advice for teachers, multi-parent family, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, extended family, communication, curriculum, diverse families, health and physical education curriculum, puberty, transgender, non-binary, gender norms
Tara: Is there anything you would like to say to new teachers who are just beginning their career about what it is that they could do to, um, make your kids’ experience the best it could possibly be?
Jess: Um, my –my thoughts would be to, um, not assume what a child’s family may look like, um, and to take the –take their word for it. I mean if they say they have multiple people in their family, let them make those, you know, ten mother’s day cards that they need to make. (General laughter). Or whatever, five father’s day cards because maybe there’s you know, even if there’s maybe an aunt or an uncle who’s like a father or a mother to them. And another piece I would say for teachers would be communication with parents. You know, uh, communication is key, and we like to know what happens at school, what they’re learning, if there’s anything at home that we could discuss at the dinner table, um, and make it kind of fluid throughout school and home then that would be great too.
Evan: I think making sure that there’s curriculum that represents diverse families, um, not only so that our kids are reflected in their curriculum, but so that it sets a precedent with all the students that you know, queer families are sort of normalized and it’s not an issue. I think also, um, I think being really able to feel comfortable communicating with parents about what family make-ups look like. I think one thing I really appreciate is that, for instance, at mother’s day, the school wasn’t sure who identified you know as a mother for sure, and so they just sent out like you know a blanket message through our, you know we have like an app we use to communicate with teachers and they sent out a message saying, you know, we need to know who in your family identifies as a mother and should be getting a mother’s day card.
Jess: That was really cool.
Evan: Yah, so I think just opening that up, I also think, especially with our daughter sort of getting to the age now where she’s doing health class and stuff around sexuality and reproduction, all those pieces , I think that that curriculum really needs to reflect diverse families and especially trans and non-binary people and especially around like reproduction and body parts and puberty and all those things because I know from like the work I do in the community there’s so many youth now who are coming out as non-binary and really sort of transgressing those gender norms, and our curriculum I don’t think is adequate at all to deal with that.