After reading some friends’ blogs (Kara and Blaze) I decided that it was time to do my own, extremely belated, “National Coming out day” post.
You can probably guess what my main point is going to be, you have probably read a number of blog posts about how straight people don’t have to ‘come out’ and how it is (and it really is) totally unfair considering that the sexual orientation of someone should have literally no impact on how you live your life. Alas it is a topic that is becoming even more relevant with the rise of certain ‘politicians’. I cannot speak (or type) for every member of the LGBTQ+ community and my experiences will be different from the next person’s. What I can speak for is the injustice of the situation.
Having to have a disclaimer prepared for every person you meet must be exhausting. The fear of how they will take it and if it will change the relationship. You have to become a master of timing to know when is the appropriate stage to ‘break the news’ (as if it is a negative). Will they think of you differently? Will they still want to be in your life? Will they even care? I have adopted the approach of not having a disclaimer. It may be that until you say otherwise you are assumed to be straight but honestly, for me, there are worse things to be called. I like the idea of people not knowing until they literally see you in a relationship with someone. I am aware that this is my privilege talking and that for some there is a very real fear of people ever finding out, that their family will disown them or that they might get arrested because homosexuality is illegal in some places.
The reality is that people have a right to disclose this information when, how and if they want to. The most important being ‘If’. As much as I would love for everyone to be able to be 100% unapologetically themselves, I know that society isn’t ready for this yet. It breaks my heart but for now that’s how it is. If we want change then we need to get our priorities in order. We have more important things to focus on than whether I’m gay or bi or pan. Maybe I don’t know yet and that’s okay too. It is not a big deal.
One of the most important parts of being a teacher, at any stage in your career, is reflection. Anyone looking into teacher education does so with the knowledge that they will always be learning; both in terms of the curriculum areas and in terms of bettering themselves to ensure the best outcome for the children they teach.
Today we were tasked with writing a post reflecting on something from our first semester that has impacted our professional development. My first instinct was to write about my slightly disappointing assignment grade for the Values module. A completely average and perfectly acceptable grade for my first university essay but one I was not happy with. I could write for days about how this will make me a stronger essay writer and how getting used to receiving criticism will make me a stronger teacher. However, I feel like this is the obvious choice. When I really started to reflect on last semester, I realised that the essay isn’t the thing that has impacted my professional development the most; I am.
Allow me to explain. I feel like I have made so much progress even just after the first semester. A lot of it is to do with personal goals to about confidence and self worth but of course they will impact my teaching just as much as some academic goals. I have grown in terms of what I believe my abilities to be which is something I’ve always put myself down for. This growth makes me want to learn more and makes me excited for the future rather than scared of it. This is going to make me a better teacher because I finally feel like I can be good at it and also because I now understand that if we can make children enjoy school and find it interesting they will want to learn; and ultimately do better. If we want better academic results and motivation from children we need to make them more willing to learn. This comes from higher levels of confidence and self worth. Of course I already knew this but now I understand it.
This is why I hugely value the curriculum areas that focus on bettering the child personally. RME and PSHE are extremely important to me because we can use them as a means to build the child up from a personal level; not based on ability. We have the chance to make children feel like they are worth something and this is why I want to be a teacher.