Transgender and Gender Identity

I thought the article “Discussing Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Identity and Issues” was a helpful to learning how to address transgender and gender identity issues in the classroom. As a teacher, it is our responsibility to ensure that all our students have a safe learning environment that helps to promote respect and acceptance. In comparison to gender conforming students, students that are transgender or are non-gender conforming typically experience bullying or do not feel safe in a school setting. As teachers, we need to work to educate, inform and create a level of understanding that allows students to make sense of a behavior that they may have not seen. It is normal for humans to question things that are different. We need to give students the proper channels to make sense of the information. As a result, it may make sense for teachers to address gender identity issues in the classroom if it cause misunderstanding or discomfort.
I liked that the article went over the process of speaking to the classroom about transgender and identity issues. Typically, schools, parents and communities have shied away from addressing these issues and were more like to ask students to conform. However, in recent years, society as a whole has become more accepting of the LGBT community. As a result, there has been a push to be accepting of people’s different gender identities. However, many teachers may not have the skills or knowledge of how to address these issues in a public setting. Yet, as teachers, it is our responsibility to be a role model and to model the proper behaviors that allow for a respectful classroom. Hence, we may need to read books, speak with parents and learn more about the LGBT community to learn how to create an inclusive learning environment for all students. Also, it is important to include parents, administration and students to make sure it make sense to address the issue. Every student is different and what is right for one student might not be right for another.
Personally, I believe that this is an issue to worry about if it is affecting the learning environment in the classroom. Humans are typically accepting of others so hopefully it won’t be an issue. However, if it is, I believe that it is important to have conversations that allow students to demystify the behavior and accept it. Overall, I think that this issue can be addressed by stating clearly that a respectful classroom must be maintained for all students. If you promote a respectful classroom for all students then gender identity would fall under the rules of the classroom.
Ultimately, I believe the biggest issue for teachers to deal with is once students go home. Not everyone maintains the same thoughts beliefs on gender identity. If a student watches a peer, family member or role model act or say things negatively about the LGBT community it can create problems. Students mimic their parents, hence, educating parents may be the larger underlying issue when dealing with gender identity issues in the classroom.

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How I Learned to Chase Health and Time

It is weird knowing that the majority of people chase a replaceable commodity (money) in exchange for non-replaceable commodities; ie Health and Time. But ultimately, I wish it wasn’t the case. Few people recognize that money is replaceable. For me, this lesson was taught through hardship, with the most prominent message – you can’t take money to the grave. What is the point of collecting more of a resource if you don’t/can’t actually use it? Personally, I view money as a social lubricant that helps me to save time/gain experiences so I can focus on what I love or to maintain/improve my health. My mindset is that increased wealth should not be at the sacrifice of my ethics or health. Additionally, the amount of time spent working should be balanced to allow me to find or pursue my passions. However, time after time I have seen people fall into an unbalanced equation with little reflection, me included. Which has sent me on a journey to beg the question, shouldn’t there be a balance between work, money, time, happiness and family?

Shark tank investor Cuban spoke about the expenses of purchasing his own private plane. In the article, it came down to the equation of time and money. Cuban doesn’t have to worry about food on his table for his family but he does have to worry about being present. How can you be a Dad, husband, brother, son etc. if you’re not there. He alluded to the fact that the jet gave him the ability to improve business relationships but also be present for his family. Furthering his point that his goal in purchasing the jet was not to save money but to save time so that he could send it on his interests. He stated, “We can’t own time!”

Yet, people are conditioned to an equation of time equals money to the point that they sacrifice their time and health. Go to college, get a skills and dedicate yourself to a career can easily be reconstructed to mean go into debt, learn outdated skills and help someone else chase their dream. Careers are made because of this sacrifice and people are paid for it. I work 8 hours and I make X per hour. Yet, the quantity of X is not determined by the amount of time spent but the skill involved with performing the activity. Your skill set is what determines your pay not the amount of time. Hence, you should collect skills that allow you to increase your value while reducing the time spent on the project.

Which brings me back to my point, you chase dollars and I chase time. I chase time not because I do not like money but it is because I recognize the correlation between time and money. Money is a lubricant that allows me access to increased time and health, however my time/health is an equation of my pay. My health and my time are my number one business interest and it should be EVERYONE’S!!! How can I be do my job if I am not healthy enough to DO THE JOB? Or a better (“millennial”) question is why should I do a job if it doesn’t allow me to pursue my interests?

I end with the best piece of advice by Amy Poehler “Treat your Career like a Bad Boyfriend”. Your career will dumb you as soon as you loss value, or they do. They won’t help you chase your dreams but they will force you to focus on theirs. They won’t care if your family is sick, or you missed a soccer game or a friends birthday. They will demean, devalue and degrade your worth. You are the only person that will treat you how you would like to be treated. Learn to treat yourself right and the rest will hopefully fall into place.

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