Welcome to the Teachonomy
Wonder Woman: 4 Lessons to Empower the Girls We Teach
Wonder Woman is not simply a ‘female’ superhero, but rather she is a superhero who happens to be a female. There is a big difference.
When young girls in classrooms around the world understand this difference, they become empowered. They truly believe that they have the strength and fortitude to change the world. They become fierce.
We must teach our girls to ‘embrace the wonder,’ and internalize the lessons they can learn from Wonder Woman.
A Mirrored Reflection
Diana Prince is the princess of the Amazons. She is a skilled warrior, a leader and a determined difference maker. She is Wonder Woman and she is a mirror.
When the girls we teach look at her, they don’t see a princess, a goddess or a superhero, they see a reflection of themselves. She shows them that THEY are powerful, compassionate and brave. She reveals to them that strength can take many forms, and she teaches them lessons through her example that can change the path they choose to take.
4 Lessons Our Girls Can Learn From Wonder Woman
1. Women are Leaders that Men Will Follow
When Diana ventures into the world outside of her protected island, she is guided by Steve Turner. He teaches her about the things she innocently does not know about his world. He recruits a team of soldiers to help her with her mission. He even devises a plan to carry it out. But Wonder Woman is the one the men follow. She is the one that comes through when they need it most, and alters the plan for the greater good. She is the one that builds them up and brings them together. In the end, they ignore gender and follow her, because she is their leader.
The girls we teach must learn that leadership is not defined by gender. It is determined by the ability to serve others in such a way that trust becomes a foundation. Through their strength and grace, our girls can build others up and become leaders that men, women and children will follow.
We must empower the girls we teach to break the mold. Teach them that despite what they may see on TV or in movies, that leadership is not gender specific. It is not one versus the other, but rather a willingness to work together that bonds people. A strong, compassionate and fearless woman is a leader that anyone would willingly follow.
2. Never Be Afraid To Be Your REAL Self
The true beauty that defines Diana is so strong that it transcends her outer appearance. When she is in battle she is a fierce warrior, yet when she experiences the simple things in life, she shows her innocence. In my opinion, Diana’s most impressive ability is balance. She shows young girls everywhere that women can be strong and powerful, but also feminine and vulnerable. This is one thing that makes her Wonder Woman.
The girls we teach live in a world where they are constantly told what is beautiful. They try to imitate and become what they see because they want to feel special. It is our job as teachers to encourage them to be genuine. To show them that who they are is not something to fear, but rather the one thing they should be most proud of, because they are exactly who they were meant to be.
It is crucial to encourage our young girls to be proud of who they are. We must help them to understand that being strong can be defined in so many ways. We must encourage them to remain genuine in all they do and teach them to take pride in the many qualities that make them unique.
3. Always Seek the Truth
The Amazons use the ‘lasso of truth’ to find the true intentions of those they doubt. It gives them the power to not only seek the truth, but also to have it revealed to them. As Diana journeys to seek out the truth for herself, she realizes it is something far worse than she ever imagined. The key though is that she stands her ground, and remains steadfast once the truth is revealed.
The girls we teach must know the importance of seeking the truth. They will be told ‘truths’ by many people throughout their lives that often are simply the opinions of misguided generations. When it is revealed, they must be able to stand their ground with unwavering diligence and remain firm in their ambitions and goals. As they journey through life, we must teach our girls to seek the real truth… that their potential is limitless.
We cannot shield the young girls in our classrooms from the ‘truths’ they may be told by others. We can teach them, however, to believe in themselves. We can prepare them to accomplish great things. And we can help them succeed by squashing the many myths that they may hear along the way.
4. Superpowers and Swords Do Not Make You a Hero
Diana conquers ‘No Mans Land,’ a land no man has ever dared to cross, because she was willing to act. In the face of impossible odds, she defied the critics and doubters, and made a difference. She did not venture into uncharted territory because she had weapons or superpowers. She did so because she was driven by compassion for others, and the need to help those who could not help themselves. She did not become the hero because of her superpowers, but rather she became adored because of her selfless action.
Our girls need to know that they don’t need superpowers to be a hero, and they don’t need a sword to be a warrior. Wonder Woman had a much more powerful tool at her disposal. She possessed the willingness to act despite the unbelievable obstacle in front of her.
We must teach our young girls to take ownership of their actions, and never give up despite the obstacles they may face. We must teach them that the doubts of others DO NOT have to be their beliefs.
Teach them that THEY are the ones who decide whether or not they will try to accomplish the impossible, and choose the action they will take to change the world. THEY are superheroes.