How To Encourage Girls on #internationalwomensday

Hey y’all! Hope your life isn’t as crazy busy as mine has been. I miss this space. I miss reflecting. I have so much in my head, just no chance to get it out. Today I feel caught up. Today is a good day, it’s International Women’s Day. A day we celebrate women and realize what a huge contribution they make on today’s society. We celebrate our female heroes. My heroes growing up were Sally Ride and Amelia Earhart. I read every book I could about them. It’s amazing I don’t have wings! 

Sally ride

I find it counterproductive, though, to celebrate women without taking the time to celebrate girls. One of the largest struggles women and girls face today is being put in a box. Girls are told what they are supposed to like, believe, look like, and careers that should choose. As educators, especially female educators, we should make a conscious effort not to do this. Here are some things women do that they probably don’t realize are harmful.

  • Openly diet. When teachers are constantly talking about what diet they are on, body shamming themselves, and skipping meals, it makes an impact on children. I’ve had my own child beg to go on a diet and refusing to eat meals because she wanted to be like the teacher she idolized. I remember wanting so bad to get nutri slim shakes growing up because that’s what the cool teachers had for lunch. When as a middle schooler I struggled with anorexia, I learned my habits from my teachers. 
  • Say that math is hard. Girls don’t have the support to try math career paths like boys do. Stereotypes are already telling them careers like doctors, engineers, and scientists are for white male nerds, they need strong women to show them that math can be done.
  • Focus on looks. Take a moment, or a day, and look at how many times you compliment girls vs boys on looks. While it does feel good to be complemented, make sure their worth isn’t just how they look or what they wear.
  • Ignore technology. Same as I said above with math, girls need that exposure before stereotypes are formed. I hear too many female teachers say daily that they don’t get technology (though they are nailing Facebook and Pinterest). I rarely hear that from male teachers. Take the tech you are used to and bring it into the classroom. Ask for help. Most districts have a tech specialist, they have that job because they want to help you, ask!

The majority of educators are women, we have the power to empower girls. We are their biggest cheerleaders. Let’s cheer for them to be whoever they are meant to be, not the box society expects them to fit in.

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