A GSA Teacher Sponsor is a supportive teacher ally who can support and guide the school’s GSA. The GSA Teacher Sponsor would help the students find a regular room and time to meet.
This teacher would work closely with the altView Foundation’s Community Liaison Worker to ensure that your GSA is well equipped with resources and information.
How can the GSA Teacher Sponsor help create a safer school in and out of the GSA?
If you feel safe teachers can:
- Challenge Assumptions
- Challenge your own assumptions of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Challenge the assumptions in your school
- Challenge the assumptions of your colleagues
- Challenge the assumptions of students
- Use Inclusive Language
- Language is a powerful tool that you can use to show your students that you are making an effort to create safer spaces.
- By using inclusive language you demonstrate that you are an ally and a safe person for LGBTQ students to approach.
- Us the language that youth are using, even if you disagree. Many LGBTQ people spend a lot of time contemplating their identity language. They put great care and thought into how they identify themselves and how they want to be identitied. Ignoring this information and using other names, identities, and labels is a misuse of power that will impact the trust those you are working with will have in you. More than that, it is hurtful when people choose not to follow an individual’s decision about identity.
- Raise Awareness
- Provide learning opportunities for all students.
- Invite your colleagues to participate in the work your GSA is doing.
- In your office, display a pride flag or any other indicator that your classroom or office is a safer space.
Challenges you may encounter when starting GSAs
You may face some adversity in the early stages of starting a GSA:
- Membership might be slow to accumulate
- GSA member numbers may fluctuate
- Lack of staff support
- Lack of student support
Don’t give up! GSAs take time to stabilize. Remember that there are tertiary results as well as the primary ones. You might not be fully aware of the positive impacts that your efforts are having in the school.