Resources for Teaching in These Times - National Council of Teachers of English
Back to Blog

Resources for Teaching in These Times

We stand with and support all who are grieving and all who are working to heal in Orlando and throughout our country and world.

Many of you have been directly and indirectly affected by this tragedy, including in the work you are now doing to address student questions and concerns. NCTE will focus on helping all of its members ensure English classrooms and environments provide opportunities for students to express themselves and learn about others safely and true to who they know themselves to be. Our nation’s students and teachers need us more than ever.

— Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE Executive Director


Read the full response NCTE sent to all members on June 14. 

The following resources have been shared and recommended by several NCTE members in the hopes they will help us all to make sense of this tragedy and have it serve as a catalyst for thinking about how our teaching and learning might prevent such things from occurring in the future. If you have resources to share, please comment below and we’ll add them to this growing list. Thanks to all who are contributing!

Statements and Resolutions

GSEA/CEE-SJ/LGBTQ Advisory Committee Response to Orlando
This post contains a link to a resource collection page.

NCTE/CCCC Black Caucus Statement on the Orlando Mass Shooting

Early Childhood Education Assembly Response to the Orlando Shootings and the Anniversary of the Mother Emmanuel Church Murders
This statement also includes guidance for educators and several links to teaching resources.

Resolution on Strengthening Teacher Knowledge of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Issues

Diverse Gender Expression and Gender Non-Conformity Curriculum in English Grades 7-12

Media / Blogs

LGBT guidelines designed to protect most vulnerable students
This is a commentary from Rick Joseph, 2016 Michigan Teacher of the Year, in a Bridge Magazine commentary posted this April.

Say His Name! 
A blog post by Steve Bickmore.

A Moment in #NCTE15 History-Annual Convention Minneapolis
Transcript of Roxanne Henkin‘s speech at the 2015 Annual Convention

Legacy of Pride: We Are Decidedly Not Other; We are Teachers; We Are One
A blog post by Jocelyn Chadwick celebrating the actions and writing of members to build safe, inclusive classroom environments.

Journal Articles

Recognizing and utilizing queer pedagogy: A call for teacher education to reconsider the knowledge base on sexual orientation for teacher education programs.
Jeffrey D. Zacko-Smith and G. Pritchy Smith Multicultural Education, Fall 2010

Reading democracy: Exploring ideas that matter with middle grade and young adult literature.
Steven Wolk English Journal, November 2013

Getting Queer: Teacher Education, Gender Studies, and the Cross-Disciplinary Quest for Queer Pedagogies
Reta Ugena Whitlock Issues in Teacher Education, Fall 2010

“Watch what you teach”: A first-year teacher refuses to play it safe.
Nicole Sieben and Laraine Wallowitz English Journal, March 2009

Losing and gaining a self: Affirming the body, mind, and spirit of transgender youth.
s.j. Miller English Leadership Quarterly, February 2013

Envisioning Possibility: Schooling and Student Agency in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
John Kornfeld and Laurie Prothro Children’s Literature in Education, September 2005

Heather is 25! So, what literature featuring gays and lesbians is available for primary grades today?
Karla Möller Journal of Children’s Literature, 2014

Exploring literature with gay and lesbian characters in the elementary school.
Janine Schall and Gloria Kauffmann Journal of Children’s Literature, Spring 2003

“How do you have two moms?”: Challenging heteronormativity while sharing LGBTQ-inclusive children’s literature.
Selena E. Van Horn Talking Points, October 2015

Safe Zones: Supporting LGBTQ Youth through Literature
Karen Wood, Brian Kissel, and Erin Miller Voices from the Middle, May 2016

Doing What You Can: Considering Ways to Address LGBT Topics in Language Arts Curricula
Jill M. Hermann- Wilmarth and Caitlin L. Ryan Language Arts, July 2015

Heterosexual Readers in Search of Queer Authenticity through Self-Selected LGBT Novels
John Pruitt  TETYC May 2015

A Queer Literacy Framework Promoting (A)Gender and (A)Sexuality Self-Determination and Justice
sj Miller, English Journal, May 2015

Interrupting the single story: LGBT issues in language arts classrooms
Caitlin L. Ryan and Jill M. Hermann-Wilmarth Language Arts, 2013

Discussing princess boys and pregnant men: Teaching about gender nonconformity and transgender experiences within an elementary school curriculum
Caitlin L. Ryan, Jasmine M. Patraw & Maree BednarJournal of LGBT Youth, 2013

Already on the shelf: Queering award-winning children’s literature.
Caitlin L. Ryan and Jill M. Hermann-Wilmarth, Journal of Literacy Research, 2013

Mythology of the Norm: Disrupting the Culture of Bullying in Schools
sj Miller English Journal, July 2012

Confronting Bullying: It Really Can Get Better
Roxanne Henkin, English Journal, July 2012

Creating a Safe Zone: LGBTQ Work in NCTE
Roxanne Henkin English Journal, September 2011

Applying the CEE Position Statement Beliefs about Social Justice in English Education to Classroom Praxis
sj Miller, Peter Williamson, Marshall George, Jennifer King, Brian Charest, Deborah Bieler, and Laura Bolf-Beliveau, English Education, October 2011

Sexual Identity and Gender Variance: Meeting the Educational Challenges
Paula Ressler and Becca Chase, this is the opening to a full English Journal on the topic from March 2009.

Shattering Images of Violence in Young Adult Literature: Strategies for the Classroom
sj Miller, English Journal, May 2005

Difficult Days and Difficult Texts
In this Voices from the Middle article Robert Probst explores the important role stories play in our ability to make sense of tragedy.

Teaching for Critical Literacy: An Ongoing Necessity to Look Deeper and Beyond
This English Journal article from Michael J. Michell offers three examples of how he made critical literacy teaching hands-on in his classroom.

Teaching Tools

The 2011 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools
A Report from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network

An Introductory Critical Literacy Lesson
This is a ReadWriteThink resource by Ted Kesler for elementary school students.

#PulseOrlando Syllabus
An extensive list of resources currently being compiled and added to by teachers and librarians.

Supporting LGBTQI Students and Families (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex)
A  set of resources  from the Early Childhood Assembly designed to help teachers understand or validate LGBTQI issues and engage in faculty study groups, talk with children, and curricular planning.

Teaching after Tragedy
“Coming to school on tragic days is one of the toughest parts of teaching. It’s also, of course, one of the most important.” Ken Lindblom

The following two resources were submitted by Jenn Wood

Compassion Cultivation Training
Trainers world-wide teach an 8 week cultivating compassion course created at Stanford.

Find a Mindful Self-Compassion Course
The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion in Austin also trains around the world. They offer an 8 week training is in self-empathy.

Websites to Visit

The Fair Education Act
“This website aims to be a one-stop place for lessons and resources to support teachers in making History and Social Studies a more Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful experience for all students.”

“At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.”

LGBTQIA Resources for Educators
“LEARN NC and Safe Schools NC have partnered to create this collection of LGBTQIA resources for educators and students. Here you will find information on LGBTQIA vocabulary, school-related issues, classroom practices and lessons, bullying, and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).”

“Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.”

StoryCorps (LGBT)
“StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” This link leads to a collection of stories with LGBT themes.

The Williams Institute
“Dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.”

Welcoming Schools
“This is one of the best resources I know to support teachers, particularly teachers of young children, in countering homophobia, talking about LGBTQ issues, creating classrooms as safe spaces where all families are normalized. The website is FULL of great resources. Great for schools, professional learning communities, teacher ed programs, family and community groups, etc.” – Susi Long 

Frameworks to Consider

This is the Queer Literacy Framework Promoting (A)Gender and (A)Sexuality Self-Determination and Justice. It was created by sj Miller and you can read more about it in the article it links to when you click the image.
sjMiller resource
This image is part of a forthcoming book chapter by sj Miller. Source: Miller, s. (forthcoming). Trans*ing pedagogy: Recognition of trans* and gender creative youth in the secondary ELA classroom. In S.C. Carothers, D. Hucks, C. Lewis, V. Showunmi, and Y. Sealey-Ruiz (Eds.), Purposeful Teaching and Learning in Diverse Contexts: Education for Access, Equity and Achievement (pp. XX-XX).






Books to Read

Blackburn, Mollie V., Interrupting Hate : Homophobia in Schools and What Literacy Can Do about It. New York :Teachers College Press, 2012. Print.

edited by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline Clark, Lauren Kenney, and Jill Smith; foreword by JoBeth Allen. Acting out! : Combating Homophobia through Teacher Activism. New York :Teachers College Press, 2010.

Gonçalves, Zan Meyer. Sexuality and the Politics of Ethos in the Writing Classroom. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005. 216 pp.

Howe, James. Totally Joe (The Misfits). Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 24, 2007)

Lewis, M. A., & Durand, E. S. (2014). Sexuality as risk and resistance in young adult literature.  In C. Hill (Ed.), The critical merits of young adult literature. New York, NY: Routledge.

Meyer, E. (2007). But I’m not gay: What straight teachers need to know about queer theory. In N. Rodriguez & W. Pinar (Eds.), Queering straight teachers: Discourse and identity in education. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Miller, s. & Gilligan, J. (2014). Heteronormative harassment: Queer bullying and gender non-conforming students. In D. Carlson and E. Meyer (Eds.), Handbook of gender and sexualities in education (pp. 217-229). New York: Peter Lang.

Miller, sj, Burns, D. B., & Johnson, T. S. (Eds.). (2013). Generation Bullied 2.0: Prevention and Intervention Strategies for Our Most Vulnerable Students. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Miller, s. (Ed.).  (in press). Teaching, affirming, and recognizing trans and gender creative youth: A queer literacy framework. New York: Peter Lang.

Sieben, N. (2014). The positive impacts of teaching LGBTQ issues in the secondary classroom & college. In D. A. Powell & J. S. Kaufman (Eds.), The meaning of sexual identity in the 21st century.  Newcastle Upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars.

Sieben, N. (2016). Openly Straight: A look at teaching LGBTQ young adult sports literature through a queer theory youth lens, pp.199-217. In D. Linville & D. L. Carlson (Eds.), Beyond boarders: Queer eros and ethos (ethics) in LGBTQ young adult literature. Peter Lang.

Resources about Gun Violence

These links were shared with us by Iris Ruiz.

Gun Free UT
“Gun Free UT is a grassroots organization of UT faculty, staff, students, alumni, family, and community members committed to preserving the University of Texas-Austin as a safe and welcoming institution of higher learning.”

The Trace
“The Trace is an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States.”

Majority of Americans support next president pushing tighter gun laws: poll
By Megan Cassella, Reuters, January 13, 2016

Armed with Reason
“This is a blog dedicated to academically refuting pro-gun myths, and providing a scholarly defense of gun control.”