On International Women’s Day I’d like to pay homage to someone who’s words inspired me last night on the SBS Insight program. Her name is Suzy Urbaniak and she’s a school science teacher who changes lives. These words took my breath away …
“The process that I use as an educator is that education is about learning and improving in your learning and it’s not necessarily about a mark which defines a child, a mark that is a connotation of their success. It’s about their journey and how they feel and the confidences that they gain and so any point of improved confidence or improved self-esteem needs to be noted. Give them positive feedback, that’s what makes the difference. It’s about building those relationships and then finding their passions and then working their passions…. It’s about authentic learning experiences… it all stems from developing their self-confidence, their enterprising skills, their intrapersonal skill, their interpersonal skills and then they acquire the knowledge. It’s not about us delivering knowledge to them.”
What an amazing woman, role model, leader and influencer. Right now you might be thinking, “What’s this got to do with physie?” Everything.
BJP is lucky enough to have 400 women who are working with physie girls (and women) all over the country on a weekly basis, motivating, nurturing, encouraging, building, helping, developing, connecting and empowering them. Importantly they are giving them real life experiences, real face-to-face device-free interpersonal relationships and opportunities to build their confidence through acquiring new skills, working with others and learning to cope with whatever life throws.
And, just like Suzy says it’s not a mark that defines a child, it’s not a trophy that defines one either. It’s about the journey of improvement and the discovery and celebration of our uniqueness. Thank you, Suzy, for giving us such a great message on International Women’s Day. And to BJP’s dedicated teachers, mere words can’t express our gratitude for the contributions you are making in your communities. Your words and actions truly empower girls and women for life.