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It’s Pride Month: a month of awareness focused on the LGBTQ+ community and the unique needs of its members. Many teachers are looking for ways to support those students in their classrooms and across their campuses, providing them with the support they need to be successful. With Pronto, you have the tools you need to enhance your relationship with those students and provide them with the support they need already in hand. 

Forge strong relationships with all of your students where possible.

You can’t always control which students will be interested in reaching out to you, but you can make yourself available to the students who need you. With Pronto, you can keep communication with you at your students’ fingertips: on their devices, which they carry with them wherever they go. They can contact you when they need help and, over time, forge a deeper relationship that will make it easier for them to come to you when they have more serious concerns. 

Show your support visibly.

Teachers are some of the most important allies for the LGBTQ+ community. In college, you have the opportunity to introduce concepts and information that students might yet have seen in other areas of their lives. Often, college is a time when students broaden their minds and learn more about the world and the people around them. By showing your support, whether you introduce GIFs and emojis that show your willingness to support the LGBTQ+ community or you openly tell those students that you’re there for them, you can often help other students start to think–and often, that will mean they can throw in their support.

Integrate LGBTQ+ content into your classroom discussions and content.

Often, LGBTQ+ students see relatively little representation in their curriculums. Many teachers shy away from those topics because they aren’t familiar with the issues those students may face or fear misrepresenting them. Others simply choose the same curriculum they always have, which may not include the representation of any minority groups. 

This Pride Month, take the opportunity to examine your curriculum and take a look at what it contains. Does it offer representation for all of your students, including those who might otherwise be marginalized or ignored? Are there ways that you can better represent those students or confront the issues they may face? Not only is Pride Month a great time to bring out that curriculum, but it’s also a great time to take a look at the material you present during every month of the year and see how you can change it to better represent all your students.

Visibly stand up against homophobia.

Moderate classroom discussions and stand up against any instances of homophobia you may see in your classroom. Make your classroom–both virtual and in-person–a safe space for students of every gender or orientation. Don’t simply let those comments slide. Keep in mind that even if you think there aren’t any members of the LGBTQ+ community in your classroom, you don’t know who may still be in the closet or simply generally private about their sexuality. You want your classroom to feel safe and inclusive for every member.

Learn more about LGBTQ+ issues.

As a teacher, you already know that your education is ongoing. There are constantly new things to learn and new areas of professional development you need to check out. Make learning about LGBTQ+ issues a priority in your life. Understand the inclusive language and how to avoid offense in the classroom. As you know better, you can do better–and by both knowing and doing better, you can make your classroom a safer space for everyone in it. You can also take advantage of mental health education regarding LGBTQ+ youth, which can put you in a better position to identify the challenges your students may be facing and get them the help they need.

Familiarize yourself with LGBTQ+ services and support on campus.

It can be hard to keep up with all the services available on your campus, especially if you work at a large college or university. During Pride Month, get to know the services that are specifically available for LGBTQ+ students. Learn about your campus’s mental health services. Check out the alliances and organizations on campus. You may even want to go to a few meetings or check out the services yourself to give you a better idea of which ones are genuinely supportive. Once you know about those services and organizations, you can recommend them to students in need in your classrooms.

As a teacher, you want your classroom–virtual, in person, or hybrid–to offer a safe experience for everyone who joins it. With these strategies, you can increase your support of LGBTQ+ students, not just during Pride Month, but all year.