In elementary school, educators set the tone for a caring and welcoming classroom.
- Set clear classroom agreements that emphasize respect and caring for classmates.
- Collaborate with others. Work with colleagues, administrators and the parent/guardian community to create a welcoming school inclusive of all students and families.
- Make the most of teachable moments. Be prepared to respond to hurtful teasing and bullying.
- Plan activities or lessons that celebrate and explore similarities and differences.
- Practice how to respond when you hear, “That’s So Gay!” or Practice how you might answer students’ questions like, “He just called me gay. What does that mean?” “How can she have two dads?” or “Why doesn’t he dress like a boy?”
- Consider the questions raised in Developing a Welcoming Classroom.
- Check out many simple steps that educators can take to develop a classroom and school that allows children to be who they are without the limitations of gender stereotyping.
- Engage students in discussions with books from our many bibliographies on family diversity, gender and bullying.
- Before reading LGBT inclusive books in the classroom, take a look at Using LGBT-Inclusive Children’s Books and Looking at Gender Through Books.
- Get comfortable talking about why welcoming schools are important for all students or responding to concerns from parents/guardians or administrators.
Need some help getting started: contact a Welcoming Schools regional consultant.