#WomedEd Leadmeet 18th May 2020 – A session which gave me hope.
Tonight, I met virtually with 300 other women to listen, learn, reflect and be inspired by a plethora of strong women, who are not afraid to have their voices heard. Some of these women know what it can be like to have the guilt of not doing enough or being enough. They banish that guilt @zssnas (No 3 in the tips from Zara) or remind themselves that they are enough.
It gave me hope. Hope that this guilt will be banished for good. Not only from myself, but from my own daughter and every other female that I come into contact with, not only in my professional life, but in my personal life too. It made me question why I have allowed myself to be consumed by that guilt and the voices inside telling me I’m not good enough, or I’m not good enough. We’ve all done it. I’m sure we all do it. Enough though. The strength of being a part of the #WomenEd movement is a reminder that we are all good enough. That what we bring to the table is enough.
It filled me with joy. To listen to these strong women reflect on the challenges and the same considerations that I have had over the period of lockdown about juggling personal and professional considerations. It made me feel part of a bigger community and that also gave me hope.
It reassured me. What we are putting in place at the moment for our students is helping. No, it isn’t perfect, however I recognised tonight that is a resounding feature of how most of us are feeling. We are working in a ‘time of emergency’ and with no blueprint for what we are doing. We have pulled together and worked together to ensure that our students are catered for to the best of our ability and we will continue to do so. At home we are currently healthy and safe and that is a blessing that I was once again reminded of by @MrsRileyEng when she spoke of the bereavement email that she has recently received. A sobering reflection on the human impact of this crisis and a reminder that we are all pulling together to ensure that we are doing what we can to support those students.
It made me reflect. @son1bon Sonia asked the question “Who/What is your shelter?” and this resonated. It reminded me how lucky I am. I have a network of friends and family and a wider professional network of support. It also made me think about the students who may not have those anchors and reminded me of my core purpose. @RealGeoffBarton was also quoted by @JillBerry1 from the Guardian at the weekend. I didn’t manage to write the full quote but the message was a reminder that school is not just academia but about the “human stuff, relationships”. Another reminder that what we do matters. What we do can inspire and change students lives, perhaps now more than ever. I’m also looking forward as a result of Jill’s reminders about what we need to start planning for the future.
Overall, the sessions left me with a feeling of hope that this time will pass and what we learn from it will be put to good use in the future. So, thank you #WomenEd, @LyndsayBawden and @MrsSpalding. I arrived tired, a bit jaded from working in what can feel like a vacuum and left inspired, uplifted and full of hope.