Yesterday I attended my 2nd Women Ed Unconference.
It was an incredible day. Once again, it was a chance to connect with like minded educators from across the globe and, in addition, to share the story of our modest but important development of Women Ed in Scotland, along with the wonderful Sarah Philp. Although my friend and kindred spirit Christine Couser was not able to be with us in person yesterday, she was there in spirit and had done a huge amount to help prepare for the presentation we gave. A particular privilege was to have Hannah Wilson, one of the founders of WomenEd and an absolute inspiration in all she does, in our WomenEd Scotland session at the start of the day.
Other high points were catching up with Jo Lawrence, another source of constant inspiration to me, meeting ‘in real life’ the truly awesome Clare Erasmus and hearing the legend who is Teresa Roche deliver her entertaining and thought-provoking keynote.
The key message of the day that came through, again and again, in every session that I attended, was that we must find ways to align our work with our values, if we are to be truly fulfilled and able to be the people and educators we want to be.
There will always be an element of compromise, as no job or situation is perfect. However, if the compromise involves staying in a situation where you are having to put up with too much that goes against your core values, it may be time to think again.
Last autumn I presented at a Pedagoo event and much of what I said resonated with the discussions yesterday.
Much of it was linked to advice I had gleaned from women to whom I have become connected by women Ed such as Jill Berry, Mal Krishnasamy and Jaz Ampaw Farr.
If you are struggling, I urge you to consider your instruments of personal power.. and think about what other path there may be for you.
And above all don’t struggle alone.
Use the tremendous network of WomenEd and know that there are others out there who can help.
Thanks very much to Jules, Keziah, Vivienne, Samira, Alison and Liz for making yesterday happen.
Women Ed is life-changing and definitely an instrument of power in my life.