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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