Good practice video exemplars
Children learn kindness and tolerance from a young age. We teach them about Martin Luther King and his famous speech outlining his dream for a more equal world. We teach children about Mary Robinson being the first female president of Ireland. We teach about love and accepting everyone. Teaching children about LGBT+ identities allows us to combat bullying and ignorance. It allows our children to be well informed and educated. It allows our children to understand the vocabulary that they are hearing and acknowledge the different types of people and different types of love.
The following sections show video exemplars of how questions around language and identities can be addressed, how an incident of homophobic bullying can be managed and how a pupil who chooses to socially transition can be supported in age appropriate ways for a primary school classroom.
Teacher, what does gay mean?
Children are continuously hearing a vast range of diverse language and will no doubt be curious about the meaning of words and expressions they hear.
Consider how you would respond to a pupil asking Teacher, what does gay mean?
This video provides a good practice guide to responding to this particular question and other associated questions.
You’ll note that the teacher in the exemplar used the following strategy:
- Asking the child where they heard the word so as to ascertaining how the word was used and in what context.
- Explaining the word openly and confidently in an age-appropriate way and based on prior knowledge acquired in class.
- Anticipating follow-on questions arising from the response.
Teacher, Lucas wants to marry Tom!
In this exemplar we see how to respond to a comment from a child that ‘Lucas wants to marry Tom’.
You will note the teacher allowed the pupils a few minutes to continue the conversation to see how it would play out before intervening. The teacher then explained in age appropriate terms what same sex marriage means and reassured all the pupils who may have felt insecure about the conversation.
Supporting a child socially transitioning
It is usual that the parent/guardian would have a chat with you about the child socially transitioning. The child themselves may be present for this conversation and it’s important that you show your support. If you have not taught lessons on gender identity that included gender transition such conversations allow you time to prepare your class so they too can be supportive of the child and their family.
The story Introducing Teddy is a very useful resource to allow children understand social transition. The following video exemplar shows how it can be used to support a child socially transition in class.
You’ll note from this video how the teacher prepared the class. You’ll also note his use of inclusive age appropriate language and terminology to support children’s understanding, his affirmation of the pupils’ contributions as they processed the concept and his follow-up language lesson introducing the term non-binary.
Féilte 2020 Featured Videos
The following videos were presented to Féilte 2020 by the INTO LGBT+ Teachers’ Group.
Being an ally
This Féilte Teachmeet video focuses on the reasons why it is important for schools to be proactive in their positive representation and inclusion of LGBT+ identities for pupils, family members and staff. It calls on all school staff and especially school leaders to be allies and to be proactive in their messaging about LGBT+ inclusivity in their schools and particularly in our staffrooms. It outlines some simple but effective actions you can take to ensure that LGBT+ colleagues in you school know that they are safe, supported and welcome in your school.
It would be useful as an introduction piece for a staff professional development session on LGBT+ inclusion or simply a standalone piece to stimulate reflection.
Creating an LGBT+ inclusive school: language and resources
This Féilte Workshop video goes through examples of recommended practice and delves into how LGBT+ inclusion can be encouraged in age-appropriate ways in schools. It showcases the animations highlighted above that support teachers in dealing with common situations that come up in the classroom, as well as highlighting some books and additional resources that can be useful for teachers. It explores the importance of representation and inclusive language in your classroom and the huge impact that a strong message of acceptance and respect from a teacher can make on an LGBT+ person.
This video will help teachers and school staff feel more confident discussing LGBT+ identities with pupils and convey ways to make your school an LGBT+ inclusive one.
Creating an LGBT+ inclusive school: visibility and inclusion
This Féilte Showcase video looks at the actions you can take to make your school more LGBT+ inclusive and the importance of doing so.
It explores the importance of visibility and inclusion through the use of stories and books, as well as throughout other areas of the curriculum such as art, music, history. It also examines ways to celebrate LGBT+ inclusion & diversity by marking various occasions throughout the school year eg. LGBT+ History Month, IDAHOBIT Day, Pride and as part of Antibullying Week.
This video will assist teachers and school staff in identifying ways in which they can make their practice more inclusive of LGBT+ identities.