Developing A Welcoming Classroom

Educators working to develop a classroom that is welcoming of all students and their families may find it helpful to ask these questions.

Download A Welcoming Classroom

  • If visitors came to your classroom, would they know that diversity is valued as a resource in this classroom?
  • Do you explicitly try to build a community within your classroom where students respect one another, help each other, know one another and work together?
  • Are there signs about respect or caring on your classroom walls?
  • Do you develop, with your students, classroom agreements and rules regarding teasing, name-calling and respect for differences and then keep them posted on your classroom walls?
  • Would children from many diverse families feel welcomed? Would children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents/caring adults feel welcome in your class?
  • Would a gender expansive or transgender child feel welcome? Do you address the class as a whole with inclusive terms such as children, students, scholars, or a classroom name like Owls? Do you avoid separating students by gender for activities?
  • Are there posters about intervening in bullying or ways to be an ally to your friends and classmates?
  • Do students hear you interrupting mean teasing and name-calling? Do they hear you specifically say why it is mean, when it relates to a specific bias such as race, gender or religion?
  • Are there diverse images on the classroom walls including diverse family structures and individuals in non-traditional careers? Do the images include racial, ethnic or cultural diversity?
  • Does your classroom library have books with diverse family structures and books with characters in expansive gender roles?
  • Do you use inclusive language when you mention students’ families? Can forms and permission slips be signed by parents or guardians? Do you address class letters to families or parents/guardians? Do you ask students to show things to a parent or other adult at home?
  • Are resources or materials visible so that LGBTQ parents/guardians can identify you as an ally even if they do not choose to come out?
  • Do you have resources on LGBTQ topics and gender available and do parents/guardians and other staff know that you have them?