#WomenEd & Me: #BalanceForBetter

Wearing a new hat for 2019, this end of 2018 reflection is about me, not #WomenEd, one of the Women in Ed that forms the community we created and nurtured.

#WomenEd 5 years on… this quote is apt as a starting point as it is a picture I used when I started blogging and talking about finding my fit, finding my voice and being #10%braver and finding a new role in a new school a few years back… Life is after all about the choices we make.

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Our Journey:

2015 #WomenEd Unconference I/ #IWD15 theme – #MakeItHappen

We made it happen – we started something, we  forged a community, we unintentionally created a legacy.

2016 #WomenEd Unconference II/ #IWD16 theme – #PledgeForParity

We started the conversations about diversity, equality and equity, we highlighted the gaps in the system.

2017 #WomenEd Unconference III/ #IWD17 theme – #BeBoldForChange

We encouraged our community to be #10%braver and close their confidence gap, we supported the coaching pledge.

2018 #WomenEd Unconference IV/ #IWD18 theme – #PressForProgress

We challenged the system and advocated flexible working, we encouraged the system to see things differently, we encouraged our community to break the mould.

2019 #WomenEd Unconference V/ #IWD19 theme –  #BalanceForBetter

From NQT to CEO, collaborating with #DisibiltyEd, #BAMEed and #LGBTed, supported by #HeForShe, as our book goes to print, we turn the page for the next phase for #WomenEd. A new chapter for us all…

“Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter”. #IWD19

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My realisation:

Following our 4th unconference, I took stock of how much time and energy the event had taken. I realised that something had to give, and it wasn’t going to me. I decided it was time to let go.

My choice:

I chose to step back. It was a hard choice to make. Since becoming a Headteacher, I had been asked several times if I would ever extricate myself from #WomenEd, and I maintained a firm No, I held on to the notion that #WomenEd was in my DNA. And it still is… But things change, people change and priorities change.

#WomenEd will always be a part of my journey, part of my legacy, part of my fabric, but I realised that I could and should contribute in a different way. I also wanted to enable and empower others from our community to contribute in a different way.

So I am delighted to pass the baton on to 3 new Steering Group members – we started as 7 and following the departures of Natalie and Helena in 2015, then me more recently in 2018, there has been a restructure to create more capacity – I wish Alison, Liz and Nicki as many happy memories with #WomenEd as I cherish.

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My highlights:

  • Co-leading the #WomenEd East and West Midlands regional networks – I have met friends for life in the Regional Leaders, too many to name but you know who you are!
  • Co-launching the #WomenEd Canada network at #ULEAD with Carol Campbell and our international posse
  • Co-designing the Women only NPQH with Leading Women’s Alliance and Ambition School Leadership
  • Co-writing the #WomenEd book, edited by 2 of our co-founders Vivienne and Keziah
  • Co-leading  a start up primary school and a start up secondary school with a brilliant team, many of who I have met through #WomenEd or various connections in EduTwitter Land
  • Co-leading the Diverse Leaders programmes
  • Co-creating the legacy of  diversity events like Diverse Educators and Breaking the Mould
  • Co-organising the Action Aid trip to Mozambique

My gratitude:

I will be eternally grateful for the people I have met through #WomenEd, the events that I have been invited to, the opportunities that I have been exposed to.

My pledge:

(Things I am going to strive to do in 2019 to strike a better balance for me):

  • Pressing pause and enjoying more quiet time;
  • Leaning back and enjoying where I am;
  • Saying No more than I say Yes;
  • Putting my needs higher up my priority list – both personally & professionally;
  • Worrying as much about myself as I do about others;
  • Creating space for other things;
  • Reclaiming my weekends and carving out more me time;
  • Assessing the value I will gain personally & professionally by invitations and opportunities.

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Hannah, The Hopeful Headteacher

Currently feeling hopeful about:

  • My new home – I am getting the keys in January to my new house.

Currently reading and thinking about:

  • I am reading ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, along with a lot of the #WomenEd community I would guess?!

Currently feeling grateful for:

  • My friendships made from #WomenEd, my wing women keep me going on a regular basis by giving me the challenge and the support I need.



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