What does it mean to be a woman — a strong, successful, empowered woman?
I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately — to assess my personal growth, and the growth of my students. Each day, I notice John Marshall female students acting in ways that promote themselves as empowered women…and in ways that degrade themselves. And while my primary goal is to teach my students math, I also believe that math can help my female students focus their development into women.
Today, I taught a room full of thirty-four eighth graders math for three hours during intersession. It was a daunting task, to say the least. My saving grace was not an airtight diagnostic, the help of technology, or engaging lessons — it was my four female high school helpers. They circulated through the room, helping individual students and keeping track of the points in the game we were playing. Instantly, my eyes & ears & ability to help was multiplied by four, and many more members of the class were engaged and feeling similarly empowered.
Today, I saw my concept of a middle school/high school girls mentorship program start to develop. I saw my idea of creating “TA’s” for my classes begin to blossom. I saw my students act as empowered leaders — female leaders.
I still don’t know what it means to be a woman (for me or my kids), but today, I saw us get one step closer to finding out.