Her star pupils!

Resilient, Collaborative Campaigners: We are the Badasses

Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade. And sometimes, you need to call a badass a badass. While not all are wearing their caps backwards, we have found a large number of educators are proudly identifying as badasses – educators who are fighting for what they believe in difficult circumstances; reading, writing and talking together to strengthen their campaigns; and above all working as a diverse collective to achieve common goals.

So how did we make this discovery? The idea of badass educators is not new, and it was Dr Red Ruby Scarlet with a bit of help from social media who brought it to our attention.

We are very fortunate to have an enthusiastic, involved community on our ‘Early Childhood Education & Care in QLD: Presented by Workforce Council’ Facebook page. We’ve recently reached over 3000 ‘likers’ of our page. We like to involve our audience, especially when we have events coming up. One upcoming event is ‘Educator Unchained’, a day featuring an exceptional group of speakers selected for the varying contributions they make to the dialogue between the service children in Australia receive, and the workforce tasked with these services.

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is one of those presenters. Part of her presentation at Educator Unchained involves drawing on stories from early childhood educators. She then highlights some of the ‘utterly badass’ early childhood educators who are recreating leadership in the profession. So, we thought we would put it to our Facebook community: do you know any badass educators?

Well, what a response. If you go to the original post on January 25, it is clear that people are more than happy to nominate a badass educator, if not several. The term struck a chord with our community, so we through we would ask the originator, Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, why she refers to educators as badasses.

“For over 25 years, utterly badass educators have been advocating, campaigning, and supporting each other to create the change we need in the early childhood sector,” said Red.

“They campaign for better pay, to reduce the gender pay gap, and advocate for feminist issues.

“They fight for better ratios, better quality curriculum and pedagogy, and they’re not sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it.

“Badass educators are more than just opinions. They are out there reading the relevant literature, writing it, talking it up, and becoming teacher researchers themselves.

“They do all of this in challenging conditions, despite circumstances that you might expect would discourage and weary them – even stop them. This is where an utterly badass educator shows their biggest strength: their ability to work together and collaborate.”

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is inspired by the power created by educators who join forces, even where there may be differences of opinion, to drive a movement forward.

“Badasses are about solidarity,” said Red.

“They are people who are very good at knowing there are many different perspectives and how to respect them.

“They do not disconnect over different points of view, instead they work with each other because of their differences. When you bring together these differences, you create incredible power and intellect.

“This is what my presentation at Educator Unchained will be about, exemplifying 25 years of badasses, and how they’ve contributed to numerous campaigns as an informed, passionate collective. I can’t wait to meet fellow badasses on the day.”

Event Information:

Educator Unchained is on Wednesday 4 May, 2016, at Royal on the Park, corner of Alice and Albert Streets, Brisbane. Registrations close 20 April, 2016, so don’t miss out on the biggest gathering of badass educators ever! Click here to find out more and to register.

Also, keep an eye out for fortnightly posts featuring badass educators. We promise you’ll be inspired.