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Welcoming LGBTQ+ Students in your Classroom

Like so many months throughout the year – Black history month, women’s history month, AAPI month, and many more – June (pride month) provides a reminder to think about how your classroom and curriculum can be welcoming to all your students. Today I just want to walk you through some very simple steps to help make it so!

#1 Let your Classroom Wear Welcoming Colors

Printing out some beautiful posters on card stock and hanging them on your wall is so quick and simple! I printed the top set from Brittany over at The Superhero Teacher (she gives away these and many more for free on her blog) and made the second set in Canva (grab a copy here). Hang the pictures on their own, or throw them into a cheap frame from a thrift shop or craft store. If you’re looking for a fun little DIY project this summer, pick up a bunch of old frames and paint them in a color you’d like to have in your classroom come fall (gold? black? teal?). Then you can use them for posters, incredible student work, classroom rule memes, class photos, or anything else you want to hang up throughout the year.

#2 Identify Pronouns in your Welcome Survey

This is such a quick and simple one. Just add a line in your class welcome survey to ask your students what pronouns they prefer, and also whether those pronouns are just for with you at school or also the same at home. Trying to get this detail right for your students, even if you sometimes make mistakes, will make a significant impact on your relationship with them and how welcome they feel in your classroom. Consider putting up your pronouns on the board as well, under your name, on day one.

#3 Include LGBTQ+ Fiction and Nonfiction in your Curriculum

This one is huge. Students need to see themselves represented in their books, and they also need windows into the experiences of others. I know you know this! If you’re looking for a place to start, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Darius the Great is not Okay are two of my favorite recent YA books with LGBTQ+ protagonists that I’d recommend, and a number of the wonderful short stories I shared recently in this contemporary short stories post have LGBTQ+ characters as well.

I’m collaborating with Follett Publishing this week on a pride month giveaway of a whole lot more wonderful books for your classroom. I hope you’ll hop over to Instagram and enter! The giveaway begins June 17 and ends June 19.

OK, those are three simple steps to help bring more LGBTQ+ inclusivity into your classroom space. Print a few lovely posters, make space for pronouns in your welcome survey, and keep LGBTQ+ characters and themes in mind when selecting your texts for class. These small things can make a big difference to your students.

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I'm Betsy

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  • Any chance we can get copies of those welcome surveys? Maybe in The Lighthouse?

    • Yes! They are coming in The Lighthouse in our August materials for back-to-school.


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