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International Women’s Day: Celebrating all our Strong Professional Women

Being a woman striving to succeed in a professional environment is no easy task; women have many challenges to face before they can be recognised as successful, yet there are vast numbers of women who have achieved innumerable things and faced challenging obstacles, overcoming them with triumph.

It is no less challenging in an educational environment for women to be regarded as leaders and effective educationalists. Women may be regarded as “not being up to the job” or “not qualified enough” however we are witness to many wonderful and exciting experiences and outcomes achieved by the women of the Teach2030 community who share their experiences and develop their skills regularly, ensuring effective professional and personal growth.

As women, we may have a differing approach to being a teacher or a leader of learning especially as it comes alongside parenting roles and matriarchal roles, however it takes immense strength and capability to juggle multiple responsibilities and yet there are many of us doing just that and doing so in a flourishing and fruitful way.

Two females from our Ambassador community share their experiences:

My name is Tamfu Odilia Shee. I’m a teacher at BELMON BILINGUAL HIGH SCHOOL Bonaberi Douala and in Success Evening School Bonaberi I teach English language and Literature in English.

As a female teacher, mother and wife, it has not been easy coping with all the task in front me.

Being a mother of four, it’s a very difficult task as I need to check on the children’s own studies and correct them, do laundry and cook for them on daily basis as well as care for my husband as well.

For the school work, I need to prepare lessons for thirteen different classes all levels, from form one to upper six.  I need to read literature text for four different classes and prepare English language lessons in the remaining nine other classes. It should be noted that in these two schools I teach thirty-three periods weekly.

I equally have to submit monthly report as the HOD of my department and submit academic documents to the school every term.

Besides the task mentioned above, I equally have to handle emotional issues with students. Some students see me as a mother and bring their issues to me and I need to get assist them either morally, materially or financially as much as I can. Sometimes I need to give my little free periods to explain the lesson to the student(s) who may have not understood the lesson in class

Challenges faced:

Since women are still seen as weaker beings, many students,(male) turn to look down on me because I’m female. All efforts to keep the class under control sometimes fail as they disturb and make learning impossible. Some male teachers also talk carelessly to me, given that the patriarchal society in which I live still give preference to men and women looked upon as second class citizens who should bear.

Helping my own children at home sometimes becomes so difficult that it leads to poor results in their studies.

It becomes difficult to cope with students who have challenges. Sometimes I have to give up my own little comfort to see to their well being, and some the students turn to try to take advantage of my generosity.

My husband sometimes feels hurt as I’m unable to prepare food in the house on time.

Shubhangi Arya, India

I have started my journey as German Language Teacher, after completing my 7 years of teaching in school, I started feeling to try and to start new learning in my personal and professional life, in 2022 I started my journey of Professional Development as an Educator, it took me few months to understand the new ideas and learnings, the main learning circle went like ‘’unlearn and relearn’’ ‘’skilling and reskilling, these are the major part to completed and I can say learning never stops.

End of 2022 I started getting the fruits of my hard work, in 2022 I became Teach2030 Ambassador, I won Mentorship from UNESCO, I started giving trainings to teachers, when I accessed my journey of Professional development and helping others to develop themselves professionally, I found it’s been a journey full of achievements, till now I have helped more than 12 thousands teachers to upskill themselves on different topics.

, I am also running teacher training whole school program in one of the school  in my city, I have written 3 books on education and for self-helping guide for educators, along with my subject I have developed myself as Career counselor, Curriculum developer, Education consultant,  Teacher Trainer and Author. In this journey I have learnt to be humble, kind and remain down to earth.

Simplicity and kindness always remain in fashion, on this occasion of International Women’s Day I can only say to all the women, never lose hope, how hard things and situations create hurdles for you, fight and keep working hard, prove yourself and empower yourself, always remember strong women never put down anyone they empower themselves and lift others and become great leaders.

I want to share my own quote-

‘’ My life shown me hard times and most difficult, hopeless situations, but every time I came up as more empowered, more kind and stronger’’

Shubhangi

Finally, an entry from our Year of the Youth teaching competition in association with The Commonwealth. These students perfectly capture the importance of International Women’s Day in celebrating women around the world!

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