Being a feminist and a teacher – Leadership

My Gran was a head teacher, my Nanna taught pretty much every craft you can imagine and my Mum is an educational psychologist. I grew up with fantastic strong female role models working in education so I guess it’s not a surprise I grew up to be a teacher and a feminist.

Before the election in 2017 I saw Natalie Bennett speak. She talked about seeing women who she thought would make good leaders and pushing them towards leadership. She was right about the level of support needed to help women see that they are good enough. So much has been written about impostor syndrome and I remember first hearing about it and just going yes, that is it! The statistics in education for leadership aren’t great. It’s really difficult because I completely understand why women don’t want to be leaders. I don’t despite all of the wonderful role models and huge amounts of support from my colleagues and family. At the end of the day I enjoy my job but I also want time to renovate my house, walk the dogs, go climbing, learn new hula hoop tricks, grow vegetables, skate, look after the chickens, go away in the camper van, cook lovely, things knit, sew and see friends. Even being a classroom teacher I feel like my job takes far too much away from all of the things I love. I can’t imagine how having more responsibility would work. So I’m left in the position where I want more women in leadership but I’m not willing to go for it myself and I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

My solution to this is to support the women that do want this. I signed up for the Women Ed East Midlands Lead Meet because my fabulous cousin Caroline is organising it. After reading through all the brilliant sounding sessions I realised that it’s not the event for me and really it’s Sharon my head of maths who needs to be going to it. She is one of my favourite people and pretty much the reason I’m still a teacher and while I’m trying to ignore the idea that we might be split up again I can see that she is exactly the right sort of person to be gently pushed towards leadership. So we’ve done a swap, I’m teaching her youngest daughter to knit while she goes to the conference. We both feel like we’ve done quite well out of this which is usually a good sign.

There are still places left if you’ve not already got plans for Saturday it looks great and I can vouch for at least 2 of the people going being absolutely lovely.