WomenEd Blogs

Jane's story
Jane Green
Womens Health
by Jane Green @JGjanegreen #DisabilityEd Can you tell us how you were diagnosed? Since birth, I experienced a range of painful symptoms, from sprains, low blood pressure, joint dislocations, stomach cramps, dizziness, migraines, pain from fibromyalgia, sugar rushes, allergies and chronic fatigue. I would dislocate my shoulder simply from putting on a coat! Despite this, I was only told I was ‘bendy’, and I should avoid activities which exacerbated the pain. My hobbies as a child were sport and dancing, however I had to give them up as it made my symptoms much more severe.
Change
#WomenEd Strategic Leaders
General Blogs
by #WomenEd Strategic Leaders   #WomenEd is in its sixth year and we have, in that time, changed beyond our earliest imaginings. Our core strategic group has changed many times also and we have always sought the strongest and most committed voices to steer the group.
Negotiating your salary
Anonymous
Gender Pay Gap
by Anonymous My experience of negotiating was uncomfortable yet exhilarating. It was nerve racking yet I felt courageous. I was trembling in the inside yet I felt liberated. Without a doubt it was one of the most nerve racking things I have ever done because I did not want to be perceived as difficult. My fear lay in how I was going to be perceived by others. My fear was not in the potential decline or refusal of my negotiation but it was in being seen to be ‘difficult’ ‘proud’ or ‘arrogant.’ I feared that if I asked, my colleagues would not like me anymore.
The Headteacher in me.
Christalla Jamil
General Blogs
by Christalla Jamil @ChristallaJ Are you sometimes a headteacher out of work too? I certainly am. Sometimes my husband says, “You’re not at work now darling.” Or my children, who are both adults, chuckle and add, “Oh there she goes again, Mum thinks she is our headteacher!” Yet both these examples are paired with an element of humour. Today, I was hurt, emotional, angry, disappointed, frustrated, powerless and instantly went into headteacher mode. What would I do if this happened at work mode?
Exploring the label of ‘the angry black woman’
Dr Valerie Daniel
Diversity
by Dr Valerie Daniel @Valerie_JKD As a black professional woman I am in this intersectional space of being somewhat respected by my peers whilst still being marginalised within the wider society. I say ‘somewhat’ respected because my entire journey here in England from 1989 until now has been fraught with ‘you are too passionate’; ‘you are very sensitive’; ‘I don’t mean to be offensive or anything but.......’ and my personal favourite ‘You have a chip on your shoulder’.
Why do you want to be a teacher?
Megan Brown
General Blogs
by Megan Brown @mbhistory   Anyone entering the teaching profession will have been asked the question ‘Why do you want to be a teacher?’.  You are almost guaranteed to get asked it at an interview for a place on a teacher training course, and it should be the easiest to answer. Yet, when I sat down to plan for my interview I found myself struggling to articulate one. This shouldn’t have been the case: I have wanted to be a teacher my whole life. I just couldn’t find the right words to express why.
Stop talking about wellbeing
Sarah Creed
Womens Health
by Sarah Creed @mrscreedmaths As a relatively new user to twitter I found myself getting lost in all the useful information for teachers, with fantastic tips for teaching and leadership, I was starting to become overwhelmed by all the possibilities and then I stumbled across #WomenEd and their book club- @WomenEdBookClub. I knew this was something that was manageable with my time and set myself a June goal to read for half hour everyday allowing ample time to read the books being shared. The first book for me was Stop Talking About Wellbeing by Kat Howard - @SaysMiss.
Leadership Lessons from Lockdown
Tracey Goodyear
Leadership
by Tracy Goodyear @Miss_Goodyear It’s 5pm on Friday 5th June and I’ve decided to stop and to just do some thinking. It’s all too easy at a time like this to just carry on, to take action, to plough on through until the bitter end. It’s far too easy to forget to take stock of where we’ve been, what we’ve achieved in these extraordinary times and to plan some next steps, knowing that the future seems so uncertain.
Reset. Recover. Rebuild.
Hannah Dalton
Womens Health
by Hannah Dalton, @Doddsyinit, and Kiran Mahil, Senior Leaders of schools in London. With the phased return of pupils already underway in many primary schools, and with secondaries bringing Year 10 and 12 students back shortly, it seems timely to consider what the ‘new normal’ will be in schools. As you are only too aware, there are many matters to consider when planning and preparing the return to school for students and the wider school community.
A myriad of emotions: time for a change?
Cheryl Campbell
Diversity
by Cheryl Campbell  @CherylSBM    #SBLConnect #SBLTwitter Lockdown being imposed on us back in March 2020 was the start of a new way of working. In my previous blog I talked about how I found that my view of lockdown went through a number of phases as I adjusted to the new challenges and ways of working. I’m in phase 4 now and have restructured my working processes to allow for the new norm. Things I thought I didn’t have time for before I now realise I can achieve with the help of virtual meetings.
Voices for the Future
Claire Price
Diversity
By Claire Price   @claireprice1 These last few days have felt insurmountable. Last Monday, on the 25th May 2020, the world witnessed the death of a black man at the hands of the police. Videos of the death of George Floyd circulated and we felt diminished and we felt angry. On Tuesday, the government finally published their report into the impact of Covid-19 on health outcomes on BAME people in the UK. The report described the problem but failed to address why this may be the case. Given the huge disparity in deaths of health care professionals from a BAME background compared with their white colleagues, this seemed to be a staggering oversight.
How are you? How are you really?
Keziah Featherstone
Womens Health
by Keziah Featherstone @keziah70 One of the fundamental responsibilities of any leader is to look after their staff team. Even in relatively normal circumstances that’s difficult; recently it has been a momentous challenge. I’m the Head of a large secondary school in the Midlands. I have 130 staff – and because we are under a BSF contract I don’t employ the cleaners, caterers or site team. Like most schools the vast majority of the team are female; in addition a significant number are part of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. The staff team span all ages, some have underlying health conditions and many are parents or carers.
What difference has #WomenEd made to me?
Lizana Oberholzer
10% Braver
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.
Moving on
Nichola
Leadership
by Nichola @Nichola80 'I’d like to offer you the job'. The best sentence I’ve heard during lockdown and possibly the best one for a very long time. Doing an interview in the middle of a pandemic was strange to say the least. No shaking hands, no tour of the school or teaching a group, sitting in a room socially distant from the 2 people in the room and a 3rd member of the panel via video. But ultimately I’m still me, still the same passionate teacher. Turns out they thought so too. So in September my new challenge begins.
The journey we take and the plans that we make.
Iseabel Fincher
10% Braver
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.
Nearly Full circle
Amy Carson
10% Braver
 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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