It turns out that great minds do think alike! One of my classmates, Lane, will be doing their Genius Hour project on how to support queer students in the classroom. Since Lane is queer, it will be interesting to see how their project develops in comparison with mine, since we’ll be approaching similar questions from different backgrounds. Lane posts items they find about their topic frequently on Twitter (@LaneMHopkins), if you’re looking for awesome resources!
On a similar note, Jessie (@JessieLGrant9) is exploring bullying in schools. She discovered that most people agree bullying stems from an imbalance of power. I think a lot of what Jessie discovers will be pertinent to my topic, since LGBTQ students are frequently the victims of power (and/or privilege) imbalances.
It will be interesting to see if some of the team-building exercises Brittany Bennett (@britt_l_bennett) finds can be used to promote acceptance and cooperation in the classroom, thus helping LGTBQ students feel like they belong in the classroom. It would also be cool to take advantage of what Erin (@ewedereit) discovers on using technology to help students find their voice; helping LGBTQ students find their voices will enable them to advocate for themselves (and others) as they continue to grow and become adults. On a one-to-one, student-to-teacher level, Virginia’s exploration (@virginia_jayne) into the implications of developing (or not developing) positive relationships with each student will provide helpful insight into how teachers can become personal allies to individual LGBTQ students.
Lane pointed me in the direction of two organizations that will help me explore my topic: GLSEN (@GLSEN) and PFLAG (@PFLAG). The #TeacherFriends Twitter chat I participated in last week discussed the importance of character education and social-emotional learning in the classroom. I think character education, social-emotional learning, and support of LGBTQ students can all go hand in hand; teaching students how to understand and interact with their own emotions and the emotions of others, as well as guiding students in how to be the best versions of themselves they can, will help to empower LGBTQ students and encourage non-LBGTQ students to be accepting of others.
On an unrelated note, please excuse the High School Musical quote. Here’s a corny HSM gif to make up for it: