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Honoring the Impact of Female Educators: A Personal Reflection on Women's History Month

By: Anne Fleming  


There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish, whether that is in politics or other fields. No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.

- Michelle Obama  

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by inspiring female educators who instilled in me a love for learning and a deep respect for the teaching profession. In honor of Women’s History Month, I reflect on the impact that these educators had on my life and express gratitude for their dedication and passion.   


Learning from Inspiring Women 

For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by incredible female educators. My mother and grandmother spent time as educators and instilled in me a profound respect for my own educators and a love for learning growing up. Throughout elementary school, I only ever had female educators, and I adored each one of them. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Rock, taught me how to write my name, how to count to 100, and how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. On a day off from school, she once hosted some girls from my class along with our moms at her home for a day of games, crafts, and marshmallow toasting over the fire pit. In first grade, I was in a split classroom with second graders. Our teacher, Mrs. Smith, always managed to handle both groups with ease. I will never forget sitting cross-legged on the floor while she read books aloud, taking on different voices for each character to bring the story to life.   


Before the start of third grade, my family moved to a new city which meant attending a new elementary school. I was sad about leaving friends behind, and nervous about starting at my new school. When I met my teacher, Mrs. Standish, her warm smile instantly made me feel at home. We started the first day with a game of musical chairs to determine our seating assignments, and my nerves began to melt away as we danced around the classroom. As the school year went on, Mrs. Standish encouraged me to get to know everyone in the class and make new friends. She had a way of completely immersing us in whatever we were learning, from transforming the classroom with colorful decorations for each new subject to leading ancient Egyptian-inspired art projects to singing made-up songs about different animal species. In an especially beloved birthday tradition, she would sit the birthday boy or girl at the front of the class and make them a special birthday crown out of newspaper and ribbon while everyone sang Happy Birthday. I look back fondly on my memories of elementary school with deep gratitude for these brilliant women, who chose to dedicate themselves to the teaching profession with passion and joy.   


Celebrating the Women Who Shape Education 

As a young girl, the love and fun my educators brought to the classroom not only taught me about math, English, and history but also about life. They set an example for how to treat others and made me excited to come to school and learn each day. The impact of these experiences helped me develop confidence, curiosity, and a lifelong love for learning. As an adult, my respect for these women is even greater with the understanding that they did all of this for their students while managing their own lives and grappling with the challenges that educators and women face every day. Under the pressure of limited time, energy, and income, there are still countless educators who spend their own money on classroom supplies, give up free time for planning and grading, and go above and beyond in every way for their students. This Women’s History Month, let us celebrate the dedicated female educators who have historically dominated and championed the field of education, and who continue to make a difference in the lives of so many. Their work has a profound influence on our children, and therefore our future - This should not be taken for granted.   

 

MindSpark’s Commitment to Promoting Inclusion and Diversity in Education 

At MindSpark, we believe that inclusion and belonging are the single most important drivers of performance. There is a need for female educators to be celebrated, as they play a huge role in encouraging young girls to pursue careers in fields that have long been male-dominated. MindSpark works with educators and industry partners to cultivate whole-person growth and sustained organizational outcomes through extraordinary professional learning experiences. Inclusion and belonging are huge parts of why we do what we do. Learn more about our programs and how they not only upskill individuals but also promote the recognition and acceptance of all through education.  

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