The biggest possible source of miscommunication between student and teachers would be the assumption of the teacher that the students are like them. For example, perhaps the teacher insists on using examples and stories that reflect their interests either presently or as a child, For example, perhaps a female student might have liked Barbie dolls or polly pockets as a child, and tried to use them as part of a word problem for math, Boys or girls not interested in these dolls may be confused or bored with the presentation.
Perhaps, if the child is not originally from America, they wouldn‘t know what a polly pocket was. It would be more helpful for a teacher to ask students what kind of toys, places, and characters they like instead of using their own interests to engage students This way, children can both feel heard, he engaged in the learning process, and maybe find out who shares their interests within the class.
Another exercise a teacher might practice is using the individual child and their interests when they are working one on one.
Sometimes children understand things better if they are applied rather than more abstract If the teacher knows Tony likes snicker bars, they can ask him to remember when they divided her snicker bars among the class one time, and help him to better understand the concept of division before going into longhand division. Discussing nonbinary genders and non-heterosexual sexual identities can still be controversial in the classroom, Although respecting gender identities and sexual orientations are common courtesy, it can make a student uncomfortable if they were to be called out or singled out for their gender or sexual identity In most subjects, respecting the students’ identities will be enough, such as using they/them pronouns if they ask you to or not referring to their significant other as their ‘friend’ or ‘special friend,’ thus undermining and ignoring their sexuality.
The teacher must also give the same respect to nonbinary or same sex parents of the children, If the teacher wishes, they may use same sex couples or gender neutral characters in stories or examples as welli However, the risk of angry phone calls from parents is still there to be contended with. The most important subject for which nonbinary genders and non—heterosexual sexualities must be brought up, without regard of any backlash, is sexual education Sexual education in America is bad enough for heterosexual students and even worse for non- heterosexual and nonbinary studentsi Even though some students, parents, and even teachers may not still be comfortable with the nonbinary and non-heterosexual community, teachers cannot ignore that these people exist, and some of them are their students.
A couple of angry phone calls should not deter a teacher from helping these underserved students gain important education that they will need for the rest of their lives. Parents, on the other hand, can do the same thing. Whether it is within their own children or their child’s peers, parents should accept and respect the reality of nonbinary and non- heterosexual students, and should work to not undermine their reality or ignore their identities. A respectful acceptance of each student’s differences will make for an easier career for the teachers, as well as a better educational experience for all sorts of students.