While the LGBT communities in Britain are celebrating the new policy that now allows LGBT relationships to be taught in schools, the rest of the world needs to sit back and learn from this remarkable achievement. As a teacher, you don't have to wait for new educational policies before you make your class LGBT friendly. Here are some tips that would help.
Conduct a Survey
A survey is essential; it will help you know your students, and how to interact with them. The study should include names of students, the names they want to be called and most importantly the pronoun they want to be referred to as (it could be he, she, it e.t.c). After the survey, keep the result discreet.
Next is to keep your door open for private message. Let them know that they can always open up to you (let them keep it anonymous if they want), once they know that you care about their safety and inclusion in the classroom, you'll really be surprised by the secret your students would reveal.
Gender shouldn't be relevant in your class, try to avoid dividing your students based on gender, in Africa, Asia and most parts of Europe, this is standard practice. Try and downplay anything gender-related. Example, if you want to pair your students for activities like sport, projects or recess, doesn't categories into boys vs girls.
A gender-neutral classroom serves as a haven to every member of the class, irrespective of their sexual orientation.
Be on the lookout homophobia and transphobia
Our students are young, and one thing they are good at is imitating the world around them. In a homophobic society, expect your students to sprout out homophobic and transphobic slangs, and indulge in homophobic bullying.
Be quick to shut them down and stand behind the bullied kid. Caution your students against bullying and let them know that there's nothing wrong in being different.
Many of us had problems coming out of the closet. .It s shouldn't be that way for our young ones, that's why you have to be available always for your students. If they approach you for questions or disclosure, don't hesitate to give them listing ears, and make them feel welcome.