Thoughts on a Day without Women

#SOL17 Thoughts on a Day without Women


March 6, 2017


On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.

As part of women’s history month, our school librarian has been highlighting stories of historic women.  In explaining women’s history month to some primary students on Friday she had the follow exchanged edited by my retell.

Librarian:  So this month we are going to celebrate Women’s History Month by learning about how women contributed to our history.

Male Student:  When’s Men’s History Month?

Librarian:  Every Month

Male Student:  (Fist Pump and Cheer)

So if you read my blog yesterday, you already somewhat understand my sensibilities.  However,  being a teacher,  if I  encourage all of the women in my building to stay home on Wednesday,  there wouldn’t  be any school.   If we stayed home,  it would be a VERY powerful message.  Would it be the right message?

I’ve been discussing this over the last two weeks with my son, a organizer,  my husband, an enlightened human, and some other women I know.  Wearing red, the alternative idea, doesn’t seem to be enough.  I wore red for nearly two weeks and still Betsy DeVos is the head of the Department of Education. (Thank you @SenMarkey  and @SenWarren for your efforts on our behalf.)  So what to do?  More importantly as a coach,  what to suggest?  

Here’s a go.   Let us make Wednesday about Women for our students.

In Craft Moves by Stacey Shubitz,  she uses two very different and very powerful books with strong women characters to teach writing craft through mentor texts:  Last Stop on Market Street and  Independent Dames.  

In Last Stop on Market Street,  CJ’s very wise grandmother points out some important life lessons.  This book could be used for class meeting,  as a mentor text in reading and writing.  Stacey outlines some great lessons that could be adapted to any grade level through interactive writing.   

In Independent Dames,  women of the American Revolution and their contributions are outlined in very short text.  Again,  Stacey outlines some very easily duplicated writing craft lessons in Craft Moves.  You could also use this as a mentor text for short quick literacy essays about other short text about powerful, contributing women.  Newsela also has many short texts on women in history.  I read a wonderful piece with third graders this week on Ruby Bridges.  
So,  make Wednesday about Women,  their contributions,  their power,  and their right for equality in whatever way that will make sense for your students.  In the way that will challenge or confirm their thinking for the future.  We owe it to them.  


I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Day without Women

  1. So happy I found you!!! I saw you commenting on some blogs but I kept getting sent to your google page. I couldn’t find your blog or find you in the 100s of slicers. So glad you are doing the challenge. Is this your first time? I look forward to connecting this month. And…. I love the questions you pose in your slice. Questions can be a really powerful craft move when placed purposefully. I think you really pushed my thinking with your questions in this post. I love your suggestion in the end – although I don’t have an answer to your questions in my mind – your suggested felt like a good balance. Thanks

  2. I love this idea! If we can create a powerful discussion for our students, perhaps this is the way we can move forward. Is not showing up for our students too much? Like you said, Betsy DeVos became the Sec of Education. Maybe leveraging our position in front of students- our future- is just what we need to do. Thank you for this idea!

  3. I really agree that staying home is not a great option for educators, but passive support feels insufficient. I will have to ponder what I can do in the classroom to celebrate strong women!

  4. I know what you mean….with upcoming absences for conferences I cannot take off. I like the idea of making the day a positive message about contributions from women.

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