Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slice of Life - False starts, Writer's Block, & Women Mentors - #sol14

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers on Tuesdays.  For the month of March, we are posting a slice daily.


Everyone has assured me that over the month, this writing thing will become easier.  I almost gave up this morning when after a hour I struggled through multiple false starts.  I am glad I am not a professional writer.  However, I assume that they have ways of dealing with writer's block or they are better at coming up with things to say about any topic.  At this point, I am setting a timer and whatever is on this page at the end of 20 minutes will be what I post.

It's Women's History Month, which got me thinking about Women Mentors.  Throughout my early and mid-career in education, I was fortunate to have a number of women who supported me in my professional growth. They were all gifted in different ways.  Some were in supervisory roles and others were just colleagues who were a bit further down the path. 

Though they each had unique abilities, there were some things they also had in common.  Each of these women were intelligent, had an ability to read people and situations, and knew how to challenge someone (in this case me) to develop new skills.  Above all else, I knew they believed in me.

As I moved further down the path, I realize there are less mentors available.  Either there are less available or I need to look in new areas to find them.  And before you say that maybe I should be mentoring others at this point, please know that I do. 

However, I do think that there are times in your career where it is hard.  I do not know if this is due to fact that at some point women may feel competitive and not be as willing to lend one another a hand or if an environment has developed that does not support it in the same way.  Some may simply be due to the fact that my/our needs are more complex.  As a new teacher or when just moving into administration, there was a lot to learn, and more people that I could turn to for answers and support. Now I wonder about how to refine those edges that may be getting in the way of growth, but aren't as easy to face.

As women, in all stages of our careers, we do need to support one another.  We need to be able to find safe places in which to share our concerns and fears about our careers without sensing judgement or having something used unfavorably towards us.

Where do you turn? Do you feel that you have had the kind of mentoring and support that you have needed in your career?    

Well the timer has gone off...time to hit publish.