How to Create Gender-Inclusive Classroom Settings
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How to Create Gender-Inclusive Classroom Settings

[MUSIC] Intentionally creating
a gender-inclusive school environment is a powerful way in which to
support the healthy growth and development of all children,
including transgender children. In order to learn,
children need to feel safe. Because many people in the world are still
unfamiliar with what it means to be transgender, all too often this
can lead to bullying in schools. Which can prevent even the brightest child
from developing to their full potential. When schools have a zero tolerance
policy with regard to bullying, this creates a safer, more effective
learning environment for everyone. Because children are more likely
to express the differences that make each of them unique. As authority figures,
teachers have an important role to play in modeling respect and
acceptance of transgender children. One of the most effective ways
a teacher can demonstrate affirmation, is to consistently use the name and
pronouns with which the child identifies.>>I think the easiest one, the first one
is to say, what is your preferred name? What is your preferred pronoun? And try to be respectful of that. And then, going forth from there,
just asking things like, what can I do to be helpful?>>When someone with
the authority of a teacher, actively paints a picture of a world that
includes a diverse cast of characters. Where all children can find themselves. That world view is more likely to
leave all children feeling safe, validated, and ready to learn. This might include making sure
that there’s literature available to students in the classroom and
the library that celebrates diversity and fosters a gender expansive mindset.>>The other step schools can take also, is just having people who are friendly,
culturally. And have the diverse staff, diverse
faculty that’s working with the school. And also have diversity assemblies, so
that they can show we’re just not male, female, but there are gender fluid
people in the world as well. And to have role models and classes
where kids can talk about these things.>>Making basic facilities,
like restrooms and changing rooms, accessible to all children is also a fundamental step that schools
can take to serve their students better. When a child can use the bathroom
without fear of being harassed, this allows the child
to focus on learning. Instead of investing substantial
amounts of their time, and energy finding ways to avoid
using the bathroom at school. Sadly, many parents of
transgender children say that their kids won’t
drink water all day long. Or will try to wait
until they leave school to use a bathroom where they feel safe. This can lead to serious health problems,
like dehydration and chronic constipation. All of which have a negative
effect on learning.>>I think the one in the news that
everyone’s heard about is the bathroom. As more and
more schools are learning about this, having just even single stall bathrooms. Or having the child have the ability
to use which bathroom they would like. So, the issue is, when you have a child
who might identify, for instance, as a girl and goes into a girls’ bathroom
but, physically, may not pass as a girl. Children will notice, wait a minute, this
is someone else coming into a bathroom and may give the child some looks,
and not make it comfortable. But, you know, at the end of the day, the
poor child just needs to use the restroom. because, when you gotta go,
you have to be able to go.>>Our children are the future
of our society. So, as they continue to expand the ways in
which they understand and express gender. Our schools have a responsibility
to provide them with an environment that helps them
be their most authentic selves.

About James Carlton

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