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International Women’s Day: A Letter to my Girls.

To my Girls,

In years to come when you look back on this day, you probably won’t remember it for International Woman’s Day but the day that you went back to school after lockdown. The day that home schooling stopped and daily structure, focused learning, and socialising started back up.

Over the last twelve months, we have been thrown together almost 24 hours with only a few days at school. We have laughed, cried, talked, debated all sorts of topics, taught each other new things and created more craft than we could ever keep. And what would I ask you to take from this and use in your futures? Three things that you have shown you are more than able to do:

· Resilience – you have both shown incredible resilience to the events of the world and how our lives changed almost overnight. By accepting that some things you cannot influence or change, focusing on what you can change provides you the clarity of thought that anything is possible. Who would have thought you would be able to learn a new skill such as playing the viola or mastering accents in a drama class through weekly Zoom lessons?

· Self-belief – there were times (mainly when doing maths!) that you both stood your ground on what you knew was the best way of solving a problem. My “old school O Level” methods are not the only way to solve algebra equations in 2021. You knew that you were right, and by believing in yourselves and your knowledge showed real character.

· Collaboration – there are so many times when you helped each other with no thought of how this could impact your own work. And the end result was so much better than if you had done it on your own. Perhaps my favourite afternoon was creating a video news report as if we were all in the Amazon rain forest but from our back garden, to illustrate the harmful manufacture of palm oil.

You have both just lived through a global pandemic on a scale that we have never seen before. So, if you just take one piece of advice from me, it would be this. You can learn and develop regardless of what life throws at you. Remember your gender, age, nationality, or hair colour don’t matter – but through your resilience, personal self-belief, and collaboration with others, you will live the lives that you want to.

I am immensely proud of all that you have achieved, especially over the last year and the people that you are growing up to be.  Now, can we talk again on how to do maths the proper way!

All my love Dad