Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Schoolhouse Rock!

Since yesterday was our first day of school, it seemed the perfect time for a post about some of history’s most celebrated women teachers. Just so you know, I refrained from including myself.

Hypatia (350 or 370 – 415 or 416)
A citizen of Alexandria, Egypt, a cultural and educational center of the Roman and Byzantine world, Hypatia was a philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer. Besides directing the Neo-Platonist school of philosophy, she taught and became a popular lecturer. Regrettably, Hypatia is famous not just for being one of the first women to study and teach philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy, but her barbarous death. Accused of spreading heresy and provoking conflict, she was murdered by a swarm of zealous Christians.
Source 1, 2

Beatriz Galindo (1465, 1474, or 1475- November 22 or 23, 1534)
Supposedly the best educated woman of her age, Beatriz served as tutor for Queen Isabella of Castile, and later her daughters Catherine of Aragon and Joanna (the Mad) of Castile. An instructor of philosophy, rhetoric, and medicine at The University of Salamanca, she was nicknamed “La Latina” for her expertise in Latin. Beatriz’s legacy includes establishing The Hospital of the Holy Cross in Madrid, too.
Source 1, 2
Mary Lyon (February 28, 1797 - March 5, 1849)
Established Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, presently Mount Holyoke College. Her modest background and difficulties financing her education shaped Mary’s vision for the institution. Her ambitions for Mount Holyoke included self-sustainability, students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds, and rigorous curriculum that prepared women for jobs beyond homemaker and teacher. Opened in 1837, the seminary was immediately successful; Mary served as its president for 12 years.
Source 123

Fanny Jackson Coppin (October 15, 1837 – January 21, 1913)
Born into slavery, Fanny became the first African-American woman to serve as school principal. Early in her career, she was principal of the Ladies Department at the Institute for Colored Youth (today Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) and taught Greek, Latin, and mathematics. After becoming principal, Fanny was elevated to superintendent-the first African-American to manage a school district in the United States. She remained at the Institute for 37 years; during retirement, she became a missionary in South Africa. Fanny is also remembered for establishing housing for needy women and championing women’s and African-American’s rights as a columnist for local newspapers.
Source 12

Christa McAuliffe (September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986) 
Chosen from over 11,000 hopefuls, Christa was selected to become America’s first private citizen in outer-space. Vice President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and she started conditioning at the Johnson Space Center. A high school teacher, Christa intended to perform experiments and teach lessons from the spacecraft. Sadly, on January 28, 1986, the Challenger shuttle exploded 73 seconds after take-off. Everyone on board perished.
Source 12

To read more about renowned women educators, check-out:
Famous Female Teachers A to Z

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