How Do We Encourage More Young Women to Innovate and Transform the World

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

I am the mother of a 3 year-old girl. Each day I think of ways to help her develop into an intelligent, independent, unapologetic, brave, creative, compassionate, and resilient human being. I realize that one of the hardest plights in life is being born a girl, which means she will spend a lifetime standing up for herself and fighting. She will have to fight for her voice to be heard, fight for the people and causes she deeply cares about, fight against stereotypes, fight against inequality, and fight her own self doubt. So how do I prepare her and the young girls I teach for a lifelong journey of fighting, because it is unfair to just inspire passion, ideas, and skills to transform the world and not address the hardships females face. Below are a few ideas on how I believe we teach young women to be successful, innovative, and transform the world. I am also including a video about a keynote I gave last year for International Women’s Day with ideas on how women can help each other be successful and have their voices heard.

đź’ˇDiscover more ways to integrate technology effectively by taking one of my fully accredited online courses or get one of my books!

Some Ideas

  • Champion their ideas
  • Get them to compete as much as possible and champion their efforts versus victories
  • Encourage them to journal
  • Help them find outlets (sports, art, singing, dancing, etc.) that expand their minds and help them find release when the journey gets hard
  • Be real about the journey
  • Set high expectations and let them know it’s because you believe in them
  • When they fall help them learn to pick themselves up
  • Celebrate their victories, but celebrate the struggles and failures more
  • Get them to understand the importance of failure and help them to welcome it
  • Mentor them
  • Introduce them to inspiring role models (ex. Ruby Bridges, Maya Angelou, Ellen Ochoa, Simone Biles, etc.)
  • Provide them with resources for hero stories (books, podcasts, films, poetry, songs, etc.)
  • Fight for them to keep going and don’t make it easy for them to give up

I know these ideas need more explanation and resources, which I hope to explain in more detail in future posts, a talk, or book.

Feel free to share your ideas and resources in the comments!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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