WomenEd Blogs

10% Braver Blogs from WomenEd

A call for collaboration

by Claire Young @curiousCY

I want more circles and fewer lines. I am at my best when I’m working shoulder to shoulder with the people around me and we can see each other eye to eye. My problem with lines is that they leave the people exposed. My problem with lines is that we can only see a section of the people we’re working with, making it all too easy to lose connection with experiences and perspectives we really need to hear. So, my10% braver work is playing my part in building collaborative cultures within my school community where we connect, we centre our wellbeing, and we form circles not lines.

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Anything is possible, if you work hard enough.

by Niamh Thompson @toal_niamh

Ever since a young age, I always dreamed of becoming a teacher. Suffering from severe dyslexia, however, I didn’t think this would always be possible. As I began my A levels in Sociology and Irish, my aspirations of becoming a teacher were confirmed - I knew I wanted to pursue a teaching career. With my parents’ unwavering support and belief in me, I was able to overcome my dyslexia struggles and graduate with a degree in Irish and Sociology from QUB. The next step on my teaching path took me to apply for a PGCE in Irish. I was very nervous and failed the interview miserably. I felt like I had let everyone down.

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Thank You: Accepting that good enough IS good enough

by Janet Metcalfe @ch100j

Let me start by saying that I feel so grateful to have found a profession that I love. It has tested me to the brink this year, but I love it. I love it because it is through the inspiring students and leaders around me that I’ve begun the journey of self improvement. I feel as teachers and leaders we give everything over. Our passion, our time, our energy - and we don’t mind because we see it as all part of the greater good. But what happens when those personality strengths become the stick by which we beat ourselves?

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If you can dream it, you can do it!

by Eileen Rowntree @EileenRown3

Anyone who knows me, knows of my passion for Disney and my title is a quote by Walt Disney. I was reared with magical fairy tales and inspirational messages as we created memories as a family. No matter how old I get, I still get chills when I see the Magic Kingdom and I have loved watching our two children grow up with the same experiences, as we enjoy seeing the magic through their eyes too. This life experience has given me self-worth and an awareness of how things impact children.

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¡Mientras nos levantamos! #SoyExtraordinaria

por Tasha Fletcher @FletcherT_    Traductora Elena Diaz @TeacheryDiaz

Sororidad. Empoderar. Elevar. Inspirar. Motivar

“Tú puedes escribirme en la historia con tus amargas, torcidas mentiras, puedes arrojarme al fango y aun así, como el polvo… me levanto." Maya Angelou

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As we RISE!

by Tasha Fletcher     @FletcherT_ 

Sisterhood. Empower. Elevate. Inspire. Motivate

'You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt,

But still, like dust I rise.' Maya Angelou 

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Being 10% Braver: #IAmWriting.

by Vivienne Porritt @ViviennePorritt

We started WomenEd because women's voices on twitter were often silenced, harrassed or our views were not valued. It's one of the reasons we included a mic in our logo. So we encouraged women to tweet and to write blogs to tell our stories and share our lived experience. 

One of the reasons we wrote 10%braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education was to ensure the voices of our community reached women who are not on twitter. And over 30 voices are included in Being 10% Braver which, joyously, is published this December - you can pre-order and it's a great Christmas present! And we are delighted to share more opportunities for our community to write and to be heard.

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Being 10% Braver is possible!

by Isabelle Ercan  @IsaErcan04

What a wonderful feeling of togetherness, of sisterhood I was left with at the end of last weekend after the thought-provoking #WomenEd unconference which gives women leaders a voice in education! Women from all over the world (UK, Canada, Middle East, Europe) joined us to discuss the challenges that we all encounter as women to access the leadership ladder in educational settings. 

How shocking is it that we, women, 50% of the population, the bulk of the workforce in schools, don’t get into Headships or Leaderships posts as much as men do!

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Holding on and being brave

by Julia Knight   @KnightWilliams

In December 2019, I took a bold decision to move on from my current school. I like and follow the Twitter hashtag, 10% braver (inspiring women from @WomenEd) but for me, it was more akin to feeling and being 97% braver. So much felt at stake.

But it wasn’t the first time that I had to be brave. I stepped away from leadership in 2016 when the demands of being a mum were no longer compatible with the demands of being in Leadership. My second son’s first words were in Thai- akin to the number of hours spent away from him after a mere six weeks maternity leave.

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What difference has #WomenEd made to me?

by Lizana Oberholzer @LO_EduforAll

It is only a few days before the #WomenEd ITT/NQT/ ECT event, hosted by @WomenEdLondon,and I am keen to reflect back on what difference #WomenEd has made to me personally and beyond.

I joined #WomenEd, when I transitioned to a new role in Higher Education (HE), and a whole new world of learning was about to unfold in front of me. What I thought I knew about education, leadership and my role, was about to be reshaped and reimagined at a rate that I had not expected. I thought I was well prepared, understood my field, and understood HE. However, I soon realised that whatever I knew, will need to be reshaped to help me with the challenges of my new role.

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The journey we take and the plans that we make.

by Iseabal Fincher @FincherScience

 I’ve been reading a lot recently about women’s careers through the decades, the barriers we face as women and just how strong we can be. This has inspired me to share my journey. It is a long read so feel free to read the first and last paragraphs to get the flavour of it.

I’m 42 and according to Douglas Adams this means I am 'The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything'. In many ways I really do feel like this is true. I’ve reached an interesting point in my life where so many of the worries I had before seem insignificant. I have dreams and ambitions that are my own and I’ve made peace with my journey.

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Nearly Full circle

 by Amy Carson @TitchyDitch

I feel as though a wound has finally started healing.

Nearly 3 years ago I was approaching the end of my maternity leave. I wasn't happy about it; I was unsure about what it would mean about me as a mother if I returned to work up, I didn’t know how I would cope with working and parenting, how would my mental health fare? As for all people returning to work after an extended period and a life-change I was afraid and had many questions. I decided a good halfway house as I navigated this new duality of mother/ teacher was to return to work part-time in the first instance, so as to have time to find my feet.

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Fear: a barrier that became my tool

by Kaley Riley @MrsRileyEng #BirthdayCelebration

Four years ago, I was asked by my then Head of Department/Assistant Teacher (and, one of my loveliest friends), if I would present on some of my marking ideas at The Priory Witham TeachMeet. I hesitated, and I was nervous, but I said yes. At this point, I was not very far into my teaching career, and public speaking to peers had always been something that I struggled with and wished to overcome.

Nobody really believed it when I told them how I hated public speaking.

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What has #WomenEd done for me?

by Lucy Hemsley @CheltTeacher  #BirthdayCelebration

I do not over-exaggerate when I say reading 10%Braver changed my life: it dramatically changed how I view myself and my career. I wrote about the book when I first read it. But the book was just the beginning of my relationship with #WomenEd.

This is what #WomenEd has done for me.

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Happy birthday #WomenEd

by Yamina Bibi @msybibi  #BirthdayCelebration


I amended my talk for the launch of WomenEd Bedfordshire on 4th May 2020 to let me wish #WomenEd a happy birthday. #WomenEd has changed my life. I have noticed my courage growing since #WomenEd community embraced me. You have all helped me to accept myself and provided me with opportunities beyond my expectations.  #WomenEd, you have allowed me to dream again and for this, I am forever grateful!

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