January 22 – trans??

182/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. It’s the last day of semester one at my school. I have finished with the current crop of students and will now prepare for my next 5 months with a new group. As I am reflecting on my last semester, I think back to any substantial differences that I made for my students and this year, I can truly say that I did but it’s because I learned a lot in the process. I taught Psychology 12 and have a unit on adolescent development. This has been my defining course as I developed it and proposed it to the Richmond School District about a decade or more ago and have been the fortunate one to be able to teach what I created. I created a unit on adolescence and put in topics regarding alternate gender identifications other than the binaries of male and female that we have been accustomed to in our heterornormative existence – and no offense to anyone because that’s what we have been taught subconsciously. This year, unbeknownst to me, I had a transgender student in class. He made a comment on an assignment and I didn’t think twice as I thought he was male but because he drew attention to his gender, I was alerted. I asked the secretaries and was informed that the student I was inquiring about was “female”. I was confused. But he was not. It took me the year to have a discussion with him and he told me that I was the only teacher in his entire schooling who addressed this and that I was the only teacher who incorporated gender identity in subject matter. I did not react at the time that he told me this but I am very moved as I write this. I was bullied for my appearance (ethnic, fat, effeminate etc) but never about my gender identity as I knew I was male and my biology matched that. I made sure that I did extra research about gender identity, gender dysphoria and transgendered individuals to ensure that my lectures were correct. Thank you “student” for bringing me back to teacher and learning a lot more because I want to ensure all my students feel that my classroom is their classroom.

Advertisements