Repeat after me: I am unstoppable.

That statement has power.  Even just uttering the words makes me feel courageous, ready to take something head-on and tackle it with everything I’ve got.  It’s passion and bravery and strength and endurance–everything we want to be.

So something this powerful should probably be taught in a classroom, right?

And it is–sort of.  I’m proposing a question regarding this statement that may be hard to stomach, but needs an answer:

Do we limit girls?

Do we tell girls they’re not unstoppable?  To not go after things?  Watch this video to hear the powerful reality.


Now tell me: Do we limit girls?

If the answer is yes, then we need to change–not just for the sake of gender equity, but for the sake of our students, our daughters, our friends.  We want empowered citizens, and that starts in the classroom.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but awareness is the first step in encouraging our girls to be bold and persistent, especially in the field of science.  Here are just a couple tips:

  • Give girls leadership roles as often as boys. Whether it be leading a group project, leading a presentation, or leading a lab activity, make sure girls and boys get to be leaders equally.  The goal isn’t to get girls into MORE leadership than boys; it’s to make all our students feel like they have no limitations.
  • Encourage nontraditional careers for girls and boys.  Jessica wants to work for NASA?  Go for it.  Benjamin wants to be an early childhood educator?  Go for it.  Just because society says something is a “girls” job or “boys” job doesn’t mean we should perpetuate that stigma.  Encourage students to pursue whatever it is they’re passionate about.



  • Encourage girls to take upper-level math and science classes.  Encourage boys to take upper-level English and history classes.  Often, we tell girls that they aren’t as good at math and science, and tell boys they aren’t good at writing.  But we should really be encouraging students wherever we see even an inkling of potential, which  means if Samuel wants to write poetry, he absolutely should.  Breaking gender stereotypes in classes is what will allow us to break gender stereotypes in the workforce.
  • Have zero tolerance for teasing.  If you hear anyone making fun of a girl or a boy for a decision they made regarding their class choice or extracurricular choice, stop it as soon as possible.  Make the classroom a place where students can explore their interests freely, with no criticisms based on what society determines as “girls” and “boys” interests.  Which means letting Mike try ballet and letting Brittany play fantasy football.

Repeat after me: we are unstoppable.

Boys, girls.  Teachers, students.  Moms, dads.  Dancers, scientists.  We are all unstoppable, and it’s about time that we told each other that.  Encouraging equity in the classroom is a huge leap in the direction of erasing gender stereotypes, and it will impact life outside of the classroom, too.  We want students who are dreamers, who grab their breakfast and head out for the day ready to take on the world.  We want workers who are the same way.

We want students who are unstoppable.


About Naomi Patten 13 Articles
Future Science Educator Miami University Class of 2019 Follow me on Twitter @MsPattenScience


  1. Naomi,
    The thing I liked most about your post was that you made the topic real. You used phrases like “…for the sake of our students, our daughters, our friends” and “Boys, girls. Teachers, students. Moms, dads. Dancers, scientists.” These are incredibly powerful in making the issue stand out and its impact on those closest to you. You also did a great job of showing strategies that can be used to help avoid inequitable classrooms. These really demonstrate how to bring these concepts you discussed into a reality. They create a space that is open to everyone and allows them to share their voice.

    • Billy,
      Thank you! I really feel that it’s important to show people WHY this matters to them, or else people tend to skim over things. Making a post that really ties in everyone is so important, especially with a critical issue like equity!

  2. Naomi,

    I really enjoyed your blog this week! I was empowered by reading it. I think the word unstoppable is a great word to use to do what they enjoy to be successful. The #LikeAGirl movement is wonderful. I have seen other videos about it and how it encourages women and girls to follow their dreams and do what they want despite being told they can’t. I also think you did a good job of explaining how we should empower women. Something unique in your blog was that you mentioned empowering men too! I think it is important to get rid of men stereotypes as well. All students should feel comfortable following their heart and going against the grain. Overall, wonderful blog!


    • Thanks Katin! I agree, I absolutely LOVE the #LikeAGirl movement. It was hard to pick which of their ads I wanted to focus on for this blog post, hahaha! Anyway, I think it’s critical to empower men as much as it is empowering women. This is important to destroy the “male-bashing” aspect of feminism and really reiterate that we want everyone to have equal opportunities!

  3. Naomi-
    I think you took your blog in a great direction. Yours is the only one I’ve read so far that has been all positive tips and ideas. None of the negatives that we see. These are important to bring up to raise awareness but I think your blog was still just as powerful without any of the negative statistics we see in the STEM world today. I actually remember seeing that Always commercial and it reminded me of how we should uplift girls (and everyone) to help them understand how powerful and intelligent and capable they are. All of your videos were great and inspiring. I think you did a great job on your blog!

    • Hayley,
      I really wanted to keep the blog post as positive as I could! I feel like there is so much negativity surrounding equity, because it’s so emotionally charged and people want to victimize everyone. But I believe that we need to take a step BEYOND being victims and into the role of being unstoppable people–ones who want to achieve everything (and more) that they are capable of!

  4. Naomi-
    I appreciate how you went into both sides of one story; we don’t only limit girls, we limit boys, as well, and sometimes that is forgotten.
    Students spend so much time in the classroom, and that time can impact their attitude and self-confidence as much as it impacts their mental growth. I think the classroom management points you made are essential so that students can be whoever they want to be.

    • Meghan-
      Exactly. The classroom is a critical space for students to develop who they are as people, and whatever they are taught in schools they will take with them out in the real world–both good and bad things. That’s why it’s so critical to reinforce good, equal opportunities for boys and girls so that women and men are equal in the workforce.

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