This year the iCentre team decided to base our theme for Literacy Week on Goodnight Stories for Rebels Girls, we dubbed our theme: “Amazing Women – in Life and Literature” In the days leading up to deciding on a theme, I was thinking rather a lot about who I am, and what I give to my family, friends, colleagues, and students. Here’s what I realised:
It’s the people you surround yourself with that influence who you become.
I am very fortunate to know some amazing women, and these women are partially responsible for who I am today. I have friends that are incredible role models, with experiences in all sorts of different fields. I have family members that are not afraid to say and do what is right, even though it might be difficult. I have colleagues that are forever broadening my horizons, teaching me, and challenging me every day. Because of these amazing women in my life, I am constantly trying to make them proud by growing and learning to be the best version of myself.
As Rebecca Sparrow (another amazing woman) said, it’s all about finding your tribe:
“Your tribe is made up of people who you click with. People you can trust. People who see the world the way you see it. People who like the same things as you…” (Sparrow, 2010, p.6).
These people, or your tribe, will be the people that you are most influenced by, so be careful who you choose to spend time with! Another way of thinking about it is to keep in mind what Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, said:
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” (Rohn, 2017).
It’s important to realise that you have the power to choose who you are influenced by. I am fortunate enough to have a wide range of amazing women as role models, and every one of them is generous with their time. I am constantly aware that I have the potential to be just as powerful a role model for the students that I teach and so…
Being a teacher in a girls school has placed me in a unique position.
As part of our Literacy Week celebrations, one of my colleagues created a movie that celebrated “Amazing Revolutionaries.” Today in my home room lesson, I asked my students to watch the 15 minute film. At first they were sceptical, but by the end of the film they walked out with wide eyes and stunned faces. The film focussed on:
- The Mothers of the Disappeared, also known as Madres de Plazo de Mayo
- Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese Freedom Fighter
- Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Activist
After watching the film we discussed what made these women amazing, how their lives were so different from ours, how lucky we are to live in Australia and go to school where we do. I know that a lot of teachers and educators will say that you are able to have these conversations in co-ed schools, but in my experience (I admit that as a teacher of almost 5 years it is limited) I have never had a group of girls speak so openly about women’s rights, the struggles that we have faced and still face, and how they are often unaware of these amazing women in history. It’s a powerful thing, to see these young women that I teach realise that they too can be part of global change. Therefore, we need to keep in mind that…
It’s about awareness, recognition, and celebration. It’s about “sharing stories.”
I think the creators of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls said it best when they said this about their book:
“[It tells the story of r]eal women of the the past and the present who have achieved incredible results, despite all odds. Rebel girls whose actions have changed the course of history. Painters, scientists, dancers, chefs, astronauts, jazz singers, pharaohs, boxers, writers, political leaders… from every corner of the globe!
It’s a collection of bedtime stories that will inspire young girls (and their mothers, their aunts, their cousins…) to be confident, to dream big, to cultivate their strength” (Rebel Girls, 2017, para 6.)
I am fortunate enough to have found a tribe filled with amazing women that are my role models. Until our young women have had the opportunity to discover their tribes for themselves, we need to provide them with current and relevant role models. Therefore, it’s important that we raise awareness among our students about the amazing women in history and it’s vital that we celebrate the amazing women of today.
I hope that our students have enjoyed our Literacy Week Celebrations. I hope that we have played our small part in raising awareness of amazing women and have inspired the next generation.
Rebel Girls. (2017). Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. Retrieved from https://www.rebelgirls.co/products/good-night-stories-for-rebel-girls
Rohn, J. (2017). Success Presents Jim Rohn. Retrieved from https://www.jimrohn.com/
Sparrow, R. (2010). Find your tribe : and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school. St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press.