The article this week was written by Elizabeth Meyer, and she discussed Queer Theory. Queer theory can be defined as “seeking to explode rigid normalizing categories into possibilities that exists beyond the binaries of man/woman, masculine/feminine, student/teacher, and gay/straight” . She got into depth about many topics surrounding the word “queer” and how many teachers in education need to understand about this theory because many people mistake it with different words. Something that was emphasized heavily in this article was the fact that schools and everyone in them need to basically reassess how bullying is viewed. Many times when a bullying situation is assessed, there are many things that are not taken into consideration such as gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and much more. Meyer also brings up how this reassessment is a hard thing because teachers are trained to discipline in a way that they are so used to and it is hard to break such an old habit like that, but she emphasizes how this needs to be done immediately. She also touches on how important it is for teachers to help all students in a bullying situation because you do not know how this student identifies and they could be getting bullied for that.
Then Meyer goes on to discuss how gender roles are not what we should be teaching children in school because they are basically setting up people to be what their gender is “limited” to by society. There should not be a limit on how successful you can be just because you are a certain gender. Something that can help this from happening is for schools to stop teaching what is seen as “important” in society and just teaching students to be diverse in everything they do. As educators we all just want students to become well rounded adults and to be successful in whatever they want to do in life and we should not limit them.
The article that I found was titled “The Challenges of the Pandemic for Queer Youth” and was written by Misha Valencia in 2020. Valencia goes into depth on how since the pandemic has hit, many students have had serious rises in their anxiety levels, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the reasons for this increase of anxiety are but not limited to; non-accepting family members, no where to go, not feeling safe at home and more. Valencia then went on to give an example of a transgender boy who has gotten some serious anxiety since the start of the pandemic. He is in middle school and has been really missing his weekly support group meetings, along with seeing his counselors almost everyday. His mom realized this and decided to get help for her son by contacting the school. When contacting the school, the boy’s mom was able to set up a video/phone call chat for her son to meet with his peers and counselors a couple times during the week. Since doing this, the mother has noticed her son’s anxiety levels have gone down because he was able to have a sense of normalcy by talking to his peers and counselors. This story was very heart-warming to read because it was an example of a supportive parent in the LGBTQ+ community, which is not always the case.
I picked this article to relate to the one written by Meyer because in Meyer’s article, she discussed so many issues within the school system and not being able to realize students and how they all may have different gender associations. The article I found is something that I think Meyer would like to see because it is talking about how a school system is working together with parents and counselors to help kids in the LGBTQ+ community. This is insanely important because it is showing that people are starting to recognize that we need to be cognizant of every single student no matter what and we need to always be a resource for them. Especially now more than ever because we are in the midst of a global pandemic and are lacking human interaction with our peers. Not only for students in the LGBTQ+ community is social interaction important, it is important for everyone to keep in contact with others.
Overall, I think the article by Meyer brings up a lot of important things that need to be changed within the education system now more than ever. Then the article by Valencia is one small example that I wish could be shown to schools all over the world because it is so impactful. It shows that all people are able to work together and help others regardless of how they identify themselves and this is needed in the classroom for all children to experience. I hope that I can be a great teacher one day who will be apart of this change that is needed in the education system.