Queering the Classroom

The education system itself is against anything that falls outside of what is considered normal, when this idea of normal does not exist. Ever since we were kids we are told to “be normal” or “act normal,” and it’s all based off the idea that we are all capable of being the same, and this still applies today, everyone is different, everyone drifts outside the bounds of “normal” in some aspect of their life. The question I have to ask myself as a future educator is whether I am trying to normalize or am I trying to accept and celebrate differences? Personally, I think that trying to normalize is going to cause more harm than good.

I image Integrating queerness into my classroom as straying away from what is considered the traditional way to teach, with a teacher at the front of the classroom and teaching by lecturing. I would like to incorporate as much variety into how I’m teaching as possible, group work, student led assignments etc. I also want to make a space that is a safe and welcoming space for all students. When I think of the kind of space, I want to make for my students I always think of the teachers I had in high school and what they did to make it a good space. What I have found is what makes the most difference is how my teachers treated me or other students.

For me I think that teachers need to find the balance between recognising and addressing sexuality and not letting it affect the classroom so much that it takes over. The way I think of it is as if my students are my kids, it wouldn’t matter my kids’ sexuality I would still want the best for them and want them to succeed. However, a person’s sexuality has a (or can have) a significant impact on them.

1 Comment

  1. Karen S

    Hi Sarah, I think it’s that straying from the traditional ways of teaching is a great idea! The traditional ways are not only how you teach, it’s also what you teach. Like what you said about kids often being taught to be normal. We could teach kids to be different, to embrace their differences! I sometimes think about how ways that I could stray from lecturing or standing at the front of the classroom. I wonder if more field trips (that students are interested in) would help with that? Maybe taking the students to an event to show them how everyone is different. Instead of me lecturing, they could experience it themselves.

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