For International Women's Day, we watch this inspiring TED Talk by Caroline Paul.
In this video, Paul explores 3 attributes of bravery which include:
1 - Getting outside your comfort zone
2 - Calling on your own resilience
3 - Finding confidence in yourself and your decisions
First of all, these three attributes are what I hope to instill in all students. Especially at the intermediate level, where they are struggling to find their place, discussing the benefits of these attributes is so important. Task risks, bounce forward when faced with setbacks, and be who you are.
While Paul discusses what parents can do to encourage girls to be more brave, I think that we have a role to play as educators as well.
I am quite open with my students. I share stories and anecdotes often as a way to build relationships and wearing my heart of my sleeve is just a part of who I am. I find the more open I am, the more students are willing to give of themselves. I also share aspects of my life to model positive mindsets and attitudes. I have noticed the past few years many girls who are hesitant to talk risks. Intelligent, kind, incredibly capable young women who remain quiet as the voices of males in the room fill the air. I have wondered why this is, and maybe this TED talk has something to say about it.
I have a bit of an adventurous spirit. Maybe this comes from growing up with three big brothers. I climbed trees, I fell, I got back up, I crossed streams by tiptoeing across logs. I was expected to be brave.
In education, perhaps we need to not only encourage, but expect bravery from our girls. While we can't change all attitudes and perceptions, we can help build confidence and resilience in all our students.
Maybe we need to ask each day, "How were you brave today?".