As teachers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our students know they are safe and cared for. Here are some simple things you can do to show support for students in the LGBTQ+ community.
Learn Students' Pronouns and Preferred Names
Begin learning students’ pronouns and preferred names on the first day of school. It can be a challenge to correct yourself if you learn them incorrectly. Click here for a free resource for students to share their preferred information.
Support Student Efforts
If your school has a Pride club, you can support the group even if you aren't the sponsor. If the club is having a fundraiser, buy something. If students made club t-shirts, wear one.
I did not sponsor my school's LGBTQ+ club, but I found other ways to support them. When I learned they wanted to start a book club, I helped find funding for sets of their first two novels. If you aren't sure how to support the club at your school, ask the club sponsor or attend a meeting.
Think about how you represent the LGBTQ+ community in your classroom. Audit your curriculum. Do you teach any literature written by members of the LGBTQ+ community? Examine your classroom library. Are there any novels with LGBTQ+ characters? If your classroom doesn't have any representation, create a plan to provide some.
I hope these suggestions help you build strong relationships with your students and create a classroom environment where everyone feels safe and welcomed.