I was supply teaching for a few weeks in a primary school last year and was asked to teach about Explorers, Adventurers and Icons through time. The usual names came up, Armstrong, Luther King, Drake, Columbus etc… but all the suggestions were male. I knew that wasn’t right, there are plenty of brilliant women through history to focus on.
I want the children in my class to be exhilarated by history and want to know more. I want them to feel empowered but the stories of women who have had to overcome challenges, and fought hard for everything they believed in. I wanted to pass on their story to encourage the children in my class to go out and feel inspired by them!
I chose to teach about Armstrong, Luther King and Falcon Scott because I found their stories interesting but we also explored the stories of The Suffragettes, Joan of Arc and Amelia Earhart. None of them had heard of Joan of Arc or Earhart and only a few knew a little about the Suffragettes. They LOVED learning about these women and I even overheard some of them in the class telling other children in another class about them. At the end of term both the class and I agreed that we’d had a brilliant time together discussing, debating and dramatising all the stories and that history CAN be fun!
My deed is to continue learning and teaching about new women in history and passing the excitement that I have about women through history to the young people I teach, because one day, the young girl who was so inspired by Amelia Earhart’s story (she went home and the next day brought in a drawing she had done overnight of her to remind her of her bravery) might just grow up to become the Armstrong on Mars…