Women in education

Brad Henry once wrote “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning".

The importance of and value teachers have in society is immeasurable and we need to acknowledge that. As with many professions, teaching is a calling and not just a job. Some teachers are so passionate about what they do, opening up the minds of learners who have been placed in their care; sharing what they know about a particular subject ; allowing learners to speak their mind and form opinions, and modelling tolerance towards others.

It seems like female teachers have a very specific impact on their students. Not to take away anything from male teachers, as their role is just as important and complements their female colleagues perfectly. 

With female teachers' role includes being in a position to make a positive impact on the gender relations in their respective communities, as well as on the learners and society. Every community has its own unique set of challenges which will have a certain level of influence on what is done and how it is done, but it is possible as long as it is a collaborative approach. 

Outside of family, caregivers, parents, etc. female teachers are often the ones who see which issues are impacting learners, be it inside the learning environment or in their community (and their homes).

Female teachers' approach to matters is quite different from their male counterparts', and the two can complement each other very well. Another important part is the leadership within the education system: this can make or break great teachers / their attitude and commitment to their work. 

An article in Seen Magazine, explored the topic of empowering teachers and the role of leadership.

As a female leader, you can empower teachers in your school by:

  • Clearly defining your vision
  • Establishing procedures for exploring problems
  • Providing resources for professional and personal development
  • Filtering mandates and present expectations in alignment with their overriding vision
  • Modelling, supporting, and promoting time spent in activities outside of school
  • Encouraging teachers to seek professional partnerships and relationships outside the school
Teachers cannot expect their school leader to give empowerment to them. It’s not a gift that comes in a box. Being empowered in our classrooms is the same as being empowered in our lives. It is a decision that requires our attention. If we want it we can have it, but it requires action on the part of the teacher.

As a teacher seeking to be empowered you should:
  • Decide what will make you different than the norm, the expectation, or the media hype
  • Clearly define what you believe great teaching is
  • Be pro-active in your personal and professional development
  • Filter information against your beliefs and hold fast to those beliefs
  • Focus and devote time and attention to specific goals and objectives
  • Share with your colleagues

Each person has a role to play and knowing the steps that need to be taken is a great place to start. (“Empowered teachers will change the world; March 30, 2013).                 

Female teachers – they are mentors, innovators, a champion for the learners, passionate about academic excellence, not only in their students but in their learners and colleagues.

You might want to read more about the power teachers have