AJYAL’s female leadership team talks about empowering girls – Ajyal MBZ
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AJYAL’s female leadership team talks about empowering girls

AJYAL’s female leadership team talks about empowering girls

AJYAL’s female leadership team talks about empowering girls

Eilish Sleator

Assistant Principal for Key Stage 1

How do you specifically encourage female students to pursue their dreams or discover their talents? 

By being a good role model and demonstrating myself that you can achieve whatever you want to do once you put your mind to it. I have always believed that it is possible to do whatever you want but it takes hard work and determination. I am a true believer in the saying that ‘you get nothing for nothing in this life’ and this is something that I tell all my students!

Are there any differences in the behavior of female students versus the boys? 

This is the age old argument and to be honest, I think the answer depends partly on culture. Where I come from we do not encourage gender stereotypes. On the contrary, the message that we give both parents and children from the outset is that the expectation is the same for boys and for girls. This is something that we need to encourage more in our school. Girls and boys need to be given the same opportunities in order for them to fully thrive and develop holistically. We want the children in our school to be well rounded young adults when they leave here and to do that we need to provide them with a variety of skills regardless of their gender. 

Which aspect do you most enjoy while working with young children? 

I love all aspects of working with young children. Having taught children from FS1 age all the way to KS2, what it has taught me is that regardless of age, they are all children at the end of the day. To have the opportunity to positively affect the lives of young children and watch them grow and develop I feel is a very privileged position to be hold. 

As a teacher and female role model what message would you like to give to young girls wanting to succeed in life? 

Be determined and focused, be brave and don’t be afraid to take risks. Work hard and you will be rewarded. Treat everyone you meet with respect, talk to EVERYONE and always remember that honesty is the best policy. Treat people how you would like to be treated and you will earn respect and with that comes success. Remember, ‘I am a woman, hear me roar’ 

Leanne Woodward

AJYAL’s assistant principal for early years 

How do you specifically encourage female students to pursue their dreams or discover their talents? 

I am very fortunate in Early Years to be able to assist in developing the core skills from the foundations of learning. Building a passion for learning is of upmost importance. Children must first enjoy education to want to pursue it in the future. When we all look back, we can remember our most influential person, the people who empowered us, the ones who guided us, those who nurtured us but more importantly the ones who encouraged us to never give up even when things seemed difficult. For me this person was my mum. She believed in me. It is the same passion and belief I hold today. 

We must empower girls and women to never give up on their dreams.  One of my favorite quotes was by Jim Rohn. He said “the same wind blows on us all…It is not the blowing of the wind which determines our destination, but the setting of the sail.” 

I believe this is so true, regardless of background, family life, heritage or gender. If we can prepare them and guide them on their journey with a growth mindset, anything is possible. 

I believe the children should be at the heart of everything we do at school. My philosophy is quite simple- There should be no ceiling to learning regardless of gender. Children should thrive in an environment that they can grow to become responsible, self-disciplined and confident learners. They should be allowed to investigate the world around them and learn the life skills required to succeed on their learning journeys. 

Are there any differences in the behavior of female students versus the boys? 

It always amuses me when this question is asked, it brings us back to the Nature-nurture debate. Are boys typically masculine? Are girls typically feminine? My answer would have to be – Every child is different. Behaviour comes down to the individual. I believe that having positive role models is critical in helping them develop into the person they want to become. 

 In early years, it is my responsibility to ensure that children are excited about learning, curious, challenged and are able to develop their interests. Any child who enjoys what they are doing are happy. It’s our job as educators, to find out what it is that they enjoy and how they will learn best. 

Which aspect do you most enjoy while working with young children? 

I have the most rewarding job in the world! Every day is different. Educating teachers and parents and creating a community within a community is priceless. Every new experience or a milestone accomplished is a reminder of the amazing choice I made to work in education. 

As a teacher and female role model what message would you like to give to young girls wanting to succeed in life? 

Don’t give up on any of your dreams, believe in yourself. Be prepared to change, sometimes sacrifices will have to be made and you may need to adapt but never compromise your ultimate goal or integrity. Keep working towards it and one day you will achieve it. 

Yasmin Chaudhry

AJYAL’s vice principal of early years and primary

How do you specifically encourage female students to pursue their dreams or discover their talents? 

I encourage them to try new things as this broadens their horizon and gives them opportunities to learn new skills, extra-curricular activities such as sport and creative arts supports them with this. It is also important to expose young girls to successful women, in a range of fields, from all over the world as well as UAE to inspire them and for them to strive to follow in their footsteps.  Eg. World Book Day we invited some local female authors.   By giving young girls the belief that the world is their oyster and they can do anything they wish instills the self-assurance and determination they need to succeed in whatever they wish to do. We will be specifically creating opportunities to develop leadership qualities for our girls – debating, public speaking, enterprise events, leadership roles such as prefects etc.

Are there any differences in the behavior of female students versus the boys? 

Here in UAE from my experience so far the girls as they grow older seem to be more self-conscious and tend to hold back.  There seems to be more awareness of what is deemed to be “girl” and “boy “ activities.  We are providing/encouraging both, boys and girls,  to try a range of activities.  As we progress we would like to expand on extra-curricular activities we provide for both girls and boys and give them opportunities to try something that they usually wouldn’t.  

Which aspect do you most enjoy while working with young children? 

The best thing about working with children is seeing how much they develop and grow in a short space of time. It is amazing to see young children learning things at such a fast pace, being able to observe this process is a privilege as you are able to see the world through their eyes and see how they mature and adapt through their experiences. A teacher plays a huge role in a student’s life and teaches them much more than academics so it is wonderful to be able to see how our jobs can impact  children to become well-rounded and ethical citizens of tomorrow.

As a teacher and female role model what message would you like to give to young girls wanting to succeed in life? 

Believe in yourselves and set high expectations of yourselves.  You can succeed and achieve your dreams as long as you work hard as success is contingent on effort, perseverance, strong work ethic, mental toughness, self-discipline and an enduring ability to maintain a positive attitude. Not only should you ‘do your best’ but you should ‘do the right thing’.