LGBTQ+ Educational Resources for Teachers

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This Pride Month, prioritize making your classroom or school inclusive for all students, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Below is a series of LGBTQ+ educational resources to help you create a more equitable environment by understanding the challenges these students face and recognizing the need to have difficult but necessary conversations. Every student, especially the most vulnerable, should feel safe and welcomed.

How to Support LGBTQ+ Students in Schools

Jamie Kubiak, a high school chemistry teacher at Park East High School in New York, shares six strategies to create a warm and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students.

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Pronouns in the Classroom

When speaking with your students, avoid reinforcing the gender binary—the concept that "boy" and "girl" are the only two gender options. Doing so can unintentionally offend or harm members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Instead of This, Do This

The chart below, adapted from Kubiak, offers examples of language you can use when teaching to ensure your queer students feel welcomed in the classroom.

Instead Of...

Do This!

Saying "ladies and gentlemen" or "boys and girls"

Say "scientists," "mathematicians," "historians," "students," "everyone," or anything nonbinary

Assuming gender identity and misgendering with incorrect pronouns

Ask students for their gender pronouns. Keep the students' needs at the center of the conversation

Separating by gender or into "boys vs. girls"

Randomize groups differently

Saying "guys" to mean everyone

Say "everyone," "y'all," or "you all"

Making assumptions about a student's identity

Behave like there are LGBTQ+ students in your room/school, because there are!


Student Pronoun Survey

At the beginning of the school year, you may consider surveying students about their gender pronouns and current family situations. The survey below for students each fall was adapted from an example provided by Kubiak. Use this survey as a reference when creating your own, but be sure to personalize your survey to meet your specific needs!

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Email Signatures

You can show support for LGBTQ+ students, including the transgender and non-binary communities, by including your gender pronouns in places such as your email signature and social media channels. Kubiak provides the example below.

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Interview: LGBTQ+ Support in Schools

Hear directly from a member of the LGBTQ+ community on Shaped.

Podcast Episode Feat. Owen Bondono

In this episode of our Teachers in America podcast series, we are joined by the first transgender state teacher of the year, Owen Bondono. Hear about the importance of communities and how to support LGBTQ+ youth.

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LGBTQ+ Literature

Learn from members of the LGBTQ+ community who have shared personal memories and insights through literature.

Relevant Books and Authors in History

Discover LGBTQ+ authors and books in history from the 19th century through today.

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Jan Morris on Being Transgender

Take a look back in history at Jan Morris, who in 1974 stunned the literary world by publishing the first mainstream memoir about being transgender.

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How to Start a High School GSA

Help students who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community have a safe, supportive space by hosting a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club.

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More LGBTQ+ Teacher Resources

Have any more LGBTQ+ resources for teachers to ensure you support all students in your schools? Email us at shaped@hmhco.com or reach out on Twitter (@HMHCo).

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