How to create an LGBTQ + inclusive classroom

Teachers have an important role to play in having the necessary conversations with students about identity, inclusion and acceptance. But determining what action to take can be a challenge. To help with this important task, we asked LGBTQ + teacher-authors: “How can teachers create LGBTQ + included classrooms where students can feel supported?” Read on for their recommendations on implementing inclusive teaching strategies.

5 Ways to Create More Inclusive Classrooms

Here are some ideas from LGBTQ + teacher-writers that you can consider when creating an inclusive classroom.

Highlight missing stories and voices in your curriculum.

When choosing classroom reading materials, it’s important to choose texts written by the voices of traditionally oppressed people as a way to help your students think deeply about history, current events and social issues and to think and speak thoughtfully.

Nouvelle ELA does this by incorporating a range of LGBTQ + leaders, thinkers, inventors, scientists, actors and athletes into its curriculum. “For example, when my students are studying Harlem Renaissance, we talk about the tension between the blues scene and the ‘high art’ scene,” he says. “It allows me to share about Mother Raini – a blues icon and weird feminist – and helps students think critically about different aspects of black art in that era. As another example, we study Audrey Lord’s poems and essays for rhetorical analysis. “He added that teachers can challenge students to find” missing stories “in their textbooks, such as the stories of women and people of color who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Similarly, The SuperHERO Teacher ensures that all the resources she creates for middle and high school ELA include instances of LGBTQ + characters in informative text and reading samples. “Representation is very important. The sooner we normalize this fact and acknowledge that there will be LGBTQ + students in every single classroom, the sooner we can ensure that those students have the resources and security they need to be confident.”

Include LGBTQ + literature in your classroom library.

To ensure that all students see themselves in their learning materials, many teacher-authors emphasize the importance of having books written by LGBTQ + Voice or a classroom library featuring different characters. “Inclusion means acknowledging that these kids are in our classroom right now,” says a teacher plan, a kindergarten and a 1st grade teacher. “As teachers we must make room for them to see and hear.”

Texan Texan, who also teaches kindergarten and 1st grade, echoes that sentiment: “As we think about our plans to include people of different nationalities, different socio-economic backgrounds and physical abilities, we must make sure we accept. When it comes to finding people who represent LGBTQ + people, ”he said. “We are fortunate to have more headlines than ever before with characters or individuals representing the LGBTQ + community, and we should use those resources to the best of our ability.”

For younger students, the Kindergarten Smorgasbord believes that using books can be an effective way to have age-appropriate conversations about diversity. “Books provide a starting point for students to ask questions and discuss and allow us to have strong conversations about diversity,” he says. “They let my students see characters that look like them, which is powerful.”

Create a place where LGBTQ + students feel safe and can see.

According to the 2021 Trevor Project LGBTQ + Youth Mental Health Survey, 42% of LGBTQ + youth suicide attempts are considered seriously, with more than half being transgender and non-binary youth. And welcome is important.

“As teachers, we have the opportunity to be another adult in the lives of our students who clearly know that LGBTQ + people exist,” said Jane Gillette, a math teacher. “Publicly welcome. Decorate your classroom with a rainbow, pink triangle, a #IllGoWithYou sticker, or a poster of people from different backgrounds. Ongoing. ”

Similarly, 2nd grade teacher Just Ad Glitter ensures that her classroom is full of signals – such as rainbows and signs that say welcome everyone – to let her students know that this is a place where they can be comfortable and acceptable.

In addition to classroom decor, Bond with James, a high school science teacher and guidance expert, recommends recognizing or working with the school’s GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) group as a way to help LGBTQ + students feel safe and welcome. He recommends that all inappropriate or discriminatory actions be resolved expeditiously, as these behaviors can lead to long-term trauma for recipients.

Use inclusive language.

The use of inclusive language in the classroom goes a long way towards creating an environment that welcomes all students. According to The Brainy Corner, The creator of a PreK curriculum, teachers can do this by mentioning their pronouns and having open conversations about the pronouns identified by their students. “Words are important. Talking openly about the LGBTQ + community is good not only for them, but for your classroom as a whole. Get acquainted with the terminology and get to know all of your students. These suggestions rarely scratch the surface, but it’s a great place to start.” ”

To add to this, Jane Gillette recommends using language that does not explicitly predict students or their family make-up, whenever using gender neutral terms. “For example, when addressing in the classroom, use ‘your adults’ vs. ‘your parents’, ‘friends’ vs. ‘boys and girls’,” he says. “And don’t assume that a student is interested in or dating someone of the opposite sex (or absolutely!).”

Find out more.

From Bond with James to James Note, this is important for educators In-depth research into the history and current perspectives of LGBTQ + students and other historically marginalized groups. “When you enter that classroom,” he said, “it’s your responsibility – your commitment – to educate and support all students, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.”

With the promise of research and professional development, you can improve your ability to listen, learn, ask questions and, ultimately, create inclusive and culturally informed classrooms. To that end, Daniel of Nouvelle ELA advises teachers to seek professional development from thoughtful leaders from all backgrounds and to advocate for districts to give more voice. If that’s not a possibility, he adds, teachers can alternatively search webinars, books and Instagram accounts from these leaders.

If you are looking for resources related to LGBTQ + history and inclusion, here are some things to get you started:

LGBTQ + History Poster Set

LGBTQ + History Poster is set by Nouvelle ELA

Grade not specified English language art

If you are looking for classroom decor to celebrate Pride Month, check out these illustrated posters with inspirational quotes from famous LGBTQ + figures.

LGBTQ support group interactive notebook activity

LGBTQ Support Group Interactive Journal FREEBIE: Grade 7-12 #kindnessnation by The SuperHERO Teacher

Grade: 7th – 12th All subject areas

This free interactive journal can be used to promote tolerance and acceptance among your older students.

5 Teacher Tips for More LGBTQ + Classroom Included by Quir Kid Staff

Staff | Classroom community

This free video is an educational resource that has 5 quick tips to help your classroom include more LGBTQ + for your students.

My teacher knew by Sarah Borai {Now My Teacher Knows} My wish

Grade not specified Classroom community

Create a way for students to always be able to share what you want with this free resource.

Ensuring safe space classroom posters by Zero West Classroom

Grade not specified Classroom community

Help create a safe, inclusive space in your classroom where all students feel welcome and respected with these posters.

* If you or someone you know needs to talk, there is a resource where you might be able to get support.

This blog, originally published in 2021, has been updated for 2022.

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