It Truly Amazes Me Sometimes
At the start of each new school year, all the teachers gather in the auditorium or the gym and come together to acknowledge the start of another year of learning, of growing together. The school is strangely silent, lacking the voices of students; however, the auditorium is filled with the voices of a multitude of educators from all walks of life.
At the front of the room, generally, there is a group of highly skilled individuals who are seated before the anxious teachers, who have been appointed to lead the school throughout the school year. Here’s the catch; more often than not, this group is mostly comprised of men
In the seats there is a preponderance of women and men, usually more women than men, ready to get into their classrooms and plan their first few units to start the school year off on the right foot. There is planning to do, gradebooks to set up and assessments to upgrade.
At the front of the room, generally, there is a group of highly skilled individuals who are seated before the anxious teachers, who have been appointed to lead the school throughout the school year. Here’s the catch; more often than not, this group is mostly comprised of men. If women are on the stage, they may be leading the elementary schools, curriculum or special ed departments. Rarely are women seen as heads of school, superintendents, or high school principals.
Where Are We, Ladies?
Here’s a Twitter list of women in ed leadership to get us started, but frankly, we are more often than not in the seats of the audience. Generally we have the same, if not more qualifications, sitting on the side-lines, watching someone else lead.
So this has led me to a handful of questions which I will explore over the coming months:
- Who are the current women in leadership positions within our schools?
- What leadership skills are most valued within the international schools and are those skills viewed differently for men and women?
- Do we value different leadership traits depending on gender?
- How are the international schools currently developing leaders and the skills needed to lead our schools in the future?
- What systems, programs, and professional development opportunities are available for women interested in educational leadership?
- Are there certain benefits in place within the international school context that allow more women to foster growth in leadership?
- How can international schools empower more women (teachers and students) in leadership?
Do We Value the Leadership Skills of Men More?
Over the past year, my dissertation subject has evolved and is slowly coming into fruition. This is a part of my new path. I am looking for more people who want to find these answers or believe they have the answers already. I welcome you to walk with me on this journey as we find more ways to empower women within our schools.
Come join a group of like-minded women at the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong on Sunday February 21st for our first ever Women Leading Change Summit as we look at ways to develop and empower women in leadership within international schools.