Showing Pride in Our Classrooms
by Heather M. F. Lyke
-- first published in June 2018 by RPS Secondary Curriculum & Instruction | edited May 2021 —
It’s almost June: a month full of farmers’ markets, graduation parties, and fairs. (If we're lucky, this summer we will have all of that again.) June is also the month of Pride (read about the origin of Pride and other such details here in this CNN article).
Spring and summer are a great time to reflect on our educational practices. Combine that with Pride Month in June, and it’s only fitting to reflect on how our practices specifically impact our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and families. How can we as educators work toward a space where all—including our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and families—feel safe and welcome in our classrooms and schools?
To compile a list of ideas on this topic, I anonymously surveyed three dozen LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies, many of whom are current or former students of schools in Southeast Minnesota (SEMN) and some of whom currently work in SEMN schools. I looked for what themes arose from their feedback, and resoundingly these were the four key takeaways:
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Heather M. F. Lyke is the Teaching & Learning Specialist for Dover-Eyota Schools and author of numerous articles focusing on quality education. At the time this article was first crafted, she was teaching English and facilitating staff development at Mayo High School in Rochester, MN.
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