Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quotes from "Safe Spaces"

For this week’s talking point I will be discussing three quotes from “Safe Spaces-Making Schools & Communities Welcoming to LGBT by Annemaire Vaccaro, Gerri August & Megan S. Kennedy. 

The first quote is from page 94: We contend that including LGBT people and issues in the curriculum is an important first step toward creating safe spaces for LGBT youth. We say first step because, as educators, we know that visibility and normalization alone cannot transform our schools into safe and affirming space.

This is a very important lesson for us as future teachers. I feel as though this shouldn’t be an issue. Having a curriculum that does not include lessons or books containing LGBT facts or stories is not creating an equal classroom. It is very sad that this is the reality of our schools and education system. As teachers we are the gateway between our students and the outside world. It is our responsibility to teach them the right attitudes, lessons, and examples regarding anything and everything. How are we supposed to do this when we can’t even have a book like And Tango Makes Three on the shelves in our classrooms?

The second quote is from page 95: Language is a tool. As such, we believe that speech is performative-it does things. Words invite or exclude, recognize or erase, empower or intimidate, examine or assume.

This quote goes along with the first one. Teachers have many tools in their toolbox (thank you Dr. Bogad for the metaphor!) and language is one of those tools. It is a powerful tool. The language we use in the classroom will shape and mold the students we teach. We must use language as a positive tool-inviting, welcoming, recognizing, empowering, and examining. 

The final quote is from page 98 and is my favorite quote from this reading: Teachers cannot legislate friendships or alliances; they cannot single-handedly change minds or hearts. Educators can, however, create inclusive and safe classrooms.

As much as we may want to change minds or hearts we cannot. We do have the capability and the responsibility, however, to create inclusive and safe classrooms for ALL of our students! Our classrooms should be havens to our students. Those four walls should create an atmosphere of equal opportunities, unbiased by outside opinions. 
Points to Share in Class: 
I would like to quote Dr. Bogad: "Teachers save lives!"  As teachers, we can change the lives of so many students. We will have LGBT students in our class and it will be our responsibility to protect them and treat them with respect and an open-heart and mind. 


  1. Hi Dorothy! I enjoyed reading your post. I agree with your comment "teachers save lives", Isn't it so exciting/scary to think that we will get to impact so many childrens lives? It is a big responsibility to take on but I think its articles like these that will help us along the way. Great job choosing quotes that really illustrate the points August makes through this article.


  2. Dorothy,

    I remembered you writing down “teacher’s save lives” in class the other day. I wrote it down too. It’s the biggest reason for why I want to be a teacher. Funny enough, I actually mentioned that you wrote it down over the phone to my Mom the other night because it’s people like you who give me hope for our future children because it’s people like you that will be teaching them. You are and you strive to make a difference. And you will with the open hearts and minds you will grow through mutual respect.

    P.S. Thanks for sharing those posters, I really loved them!

  3. Great connections to the other issues we have spoken about in class... :)

  4. Hi Dorothy,
    I liked what you said in your post, and I agree with it. I feel that as teachers, we need to care for and nurture our students.

  5. Hey Dorothy,
    I very much like your post this week and felt like you chose to discuss some pretty important quotes. I agree that not including LGBT material in textbooks and other texts does create an unequal classroom. Also, I love how you referred back to Dr. Bogad's statement of teachers save lives because it's true. Being a positive role model for LGBT youth will help them out more than you'll ever know.
    Great Job! :)