Do you write a letter to your families at the beginning of the year?
Would you like to inform them about some of the inclusive work you're doing, but aren't sure how?
Below, find three examples of letters that range from general to specific. Feel free to use them as is or make them your own.
Sample 1: General Letter
Welcome to ___ grade! I am so excited to get to know you!
This year will be new and exciting in lots of different ways. I can’t wait to teach you and learn from you!
In addition to math, reading, writing, science, and social studies, we will also talk a lot about identities like race, gender, culture, and ability, and how these identities affect us and our world. We will learn about each other and talk about how we can make our classroom and our world a safe, welcoming place for everyone.
Include any additional details.
I can’t wait to meet you.
Pronouns: ______ (e.g.: she/her, they/them, he/him, he/they)
Sample Letter 2: (Can be used as a back to school letter or as a monthly or quarterly newsletter):
Include specific details about your class.
This year in our classroom we will also explore a range of social justice topics. At the beginning of the year we will devote time to explore our identities. We will read books like ______ and ______ to help us understand what makes us each unique.
This month, children will be introduced to the language of gender. They will become familiar with terms such as gender identity, gender expression and with pronouns. Through read alouds like ______ and _______, students will learn about family diversity and will have a chance to talk about who makes up their families. The work we do this month will lay the foundation for a year of deep learning and understanding about ourselves, our own identities, and those of the people in our community and our world.
Please let me know if you have questions or need clarification. Make sure to ask your students about what they’re learning!
Sample Letter 3: (Best as a monthly or quarterly newsletter):
In our classroom we celebrate the diversity and interconnectedness of our school and our world. We read books that highlight children of color and children who speak multiple languages. We read and talk about people of many ages and abilities. We are also going to read and learn about gender diversity.
In most cultures people are often taught that there are only two options for gender: boy and girl. We are often taught that we must fit fully into one or the other, and behave in a way that matches our gender.
In our class, we will start by thinking about the stereotypes (we will call them “messages”) often associated with these two genders. Once we have generated a list of stereotypes, we will think and talk about whether these messages are always true. Do girls always have to have long hair? Do boys always have to love trucks? We’ll read books featuring characters that go beyond these stereotypes. We’ll think about where and when we hear these stereotypes and how they make us feel. Students will also spend time thinking about who they are and what they like.
After exploring those messages, we’ll explore the spectrum of gender identities. Here we’ll talk about all of the ways you can be a boy, a girl, both, or neither. We will read books about gender nonconforming and transgender children and adults. Some people grow up and realize that the gender adults guessed when they were born is correct, while others might feel like it does not reflect who they truly are. We’ll talk about how a person’s gender identity is something only they can decide for themselves. We’ll also discuss how you can’t tell someone’s gender just by looking at them, and practice ways to politely ask someone what their gender is.
If you have questions or would like to learn more, I would be happy to talk with you and share some of the resources I have.
I look forward to engaging in this work with our class!