Once children turn 5, a good chunk of their day is spent in the classroom and the social and emotional learning that happens there forms powerful habits. Welcoming Schools, a program of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, is a huge resource for the education community, and for families, who want to encourage and support, simple proactive ways to avoid gender stereotyping, embrace family diversity and end bullying and name-calling in schools.
Some simple ways teachers and adult caregivers can begin include:
- Help students see that there are many ways to be a boy or a girl—academically, artistically, and emotionally.
- Using phrases like “Good morning, everyone” instead of “Good morning, boys and girls.”
- Group students in ways that don’t rely on gender, for example students whose last names begin with A-H or or students who are sitting in a particular part of the room. This avoid situations that force children to make gendered choices, such as “boys line up here and girls line up there.”
- Put more emphasis on the inclusive term “children.” “All children can…” rather than “Boys don’t…, Girls don’t…”
For more ideas, and a wealth of resources, visit WelcomingSchools.org