Transgender at school: As more teachers come out, districts struggle to put policy into practice

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Credit- The Oregonian

This story outlines some of the challenges that many of us have to think about as educators when coming out or being out about our trans status.

http://bit.ly/1VgTOmu

How To Create An Inclusive Classroom Tip 3

The Bathroom Pass 

bathroom pass

Source: Pinterest

Do you remember the routine for going to the bathroom in elementary school? I sure do. It went a little something like this:

1. Raise your hand

2. Ask: May I use the bathroom?

3. If the answer was yes, walk up and grab the appropriate bathroom pass of which there were two options—-

Boys and Girls and many of them had a “gender accepted” color on them ranging in some sort of blue or pink.

My question is do we need to continue this practice? Sure, keep the bathroom pass it’s the responsibility of the teacher to know where students are. Let’s change the decision though.

Instead of having a pass with Boys and Girls written on them consider the following alternatives:

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April Guest Teacher Blog

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Source: Upworthy

Meet Carrie Colpitts a good friend and fierce advocate for LGBTQ youth. Carrie is  a teacher, zine maker, and cat person.

As we work our way through April heading towards the end of the school year, consider thinking about how you can revamp your inclusion and awareness of LBTQ youth in your school.

The Power of Language, Visibility, and Advocacy

-Root your words and actions in kindness.

I use that phrase a lot, it’s always written above the board in my classroom and I say it as a gentle reminder to students.

Much of the work I do in making my classroom a safe space is done the first few days of school. The first minute, the first hour, the first day, the first week…those are extremely important times that set the tone in the classroom for the whole year. The first things on this list of ideas for making a welcoming classroom should be done on the very first days of school. Taking time to do these things will make the school year easier for every kid in your room who might need a little extra reassurance that you are committed to making a safe(r) space for them.

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March Teacher Guest Blog

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This post begins the monthly guest education blogger. I want to thank this blogger for their awareness and dedication to integrating diversity in student identities to their conversations in science class.

Teaching Biology Beyond XX and XY 

Regardless of what subject you teach, education is, by default, political. As educators, we make choices to expose students to certain information, and it is our responsibility to provide accurate and thorough access to a variety of ideas. We must recognize that students come to us with a wide range of experiences and that all students, regardless of their backgrounds, deserve to be respected and to hear their own stories echoed within the classroom.

In my science classroom, I specifically aim to empower students to become scientifically responsible global citizens who can make educated decisions about their roles in the world. Students will often debate about climate change or the evidence for evolution, but sometimes it is more personal: when learning about heredity, a student might begin to wonder what genetic traits his or her child will have.  Continue reading

Must Watch Series or Documentaries On LGBTQ Lives

In the past few years different youth theatre groups, filmmakers, and documentaries have emerged to the masses to better educate and show the lives of LGBTQ youth. Below are 4 must watch documentaries. Some are in  the process of being produced. Others are free and available online. Another aspect of all of these shows/films are that the individuals in them are all LGBTQ. Educators take a few moments to watch these and explore how they might be useful in your schools or as a resource for students.

The Year We Though About Love

Synopsis

What happens when a diverse group of LGBTQ youth dares to be “out” on stage to reveal their lives and their loves?

“The Year We Thought About Love” goes behind the scenes of one of the oldest queer youth theaters in America, with our camera crew slipping into classrooms, kitchens, subways, and rehearsal rooms with this fearless and endearing troupe. Boston-based True Colors: OUT Youth Theater transforms daily struggles into performance for social change. With, candor, and attitude, our cast of characters captivates audiences surprised to hear such stories in school settings. Our film introduces a transgender teenager kicked out of her house, a devout Christian challenging his church’s homophobia, and a girl who prefers to wear boys’ clothing even as she models dresses on the runway. When bombs explode outside their building, the troupe becomes even more determined to share their stories of love to help heal their city.”

Source: The Year We Thought About Love 

Passing

Passing

“Passing” profiles the lives of three men of colour who have undergone gender transition from female to male. The film explores what life is like living as a black man when no one knows you are transgender and how each of them now, perceives their own journey with gender after many years of being interacted with by the world as a biological man.”

Source: “Passing” INDIEGOGO Campaign

 

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word

“Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word” takes viewers inside the challenging and inspiring lives of seven transgender youths from across the country. Learn their incredible stories, and how their determination to live an authentic life is helping them become the person they are truly meant to be. Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox serves as executive producer and host of this moving and thought-provoking documentary.”

 

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 BROTHERS
“The series follows their daily lives, the ups and down, in and outs, of what it means to live as a transgender individual in today’s urban society. The series’ main character Jack has recently started sleeping with a cisgender man after exclusively dating women for his entire adult life. His friend Davyn is on the verge of proposing to his long time girlfriend, Amy. Aiden is the youngest of the group and is pre-testosterone and pre-surgery, but aiming to raise money for his top surgery as the date approaches. And Max, the eldest, has been on hormones longer than both Jack and Davyn, but hasn’t had the financial resources to obtain his top surgery. What does it mean to struggle and succeed as a trans person in the complicated fabric of today’s society?”

 

Source: Brothers Series

 

 

Tips For Creating An Inclusive Classroom For Kids Who Are Trans Part 1

As we approach the end of 2014 I’m beginning a few projects for this blog. The first one will be a tips for those who work with youth on how to create a more inclusive classroom for kids who are of trans experience. To be clear I’m using the word Trans to include individuals who are genderqueer, gender variant, transgender, transexual, gender neutral, two-spirit, feminine of center, masculine of center, etc…

I’ll take this moment to highlight something. As a special educator the students I work with in the past are used to being defined by their disability. I don’t agree with this use of language and therefore use people first language. I’ll be doing the same thing when talking about young people who are of trans experience. I feel that this is an important aspect of language because someone may have this experience, but it does not completely define them.

On to the first tip! Continue reading