Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

Posts tagged education

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a short poem:

do teachers
that you take
other classes

another short poem:

yes but see
they are all
by the district
or state
to assign a
certain amount
of gradable
material per
semester so
they can get
paid and earn
raises and bonuses
and keep
their jobs and

a revised short poem:

does the district
or state
that you take
other classes

another short poem:


(Source: frenchtoastkarma, via nouveauqueer)

Filed under Thought this one was too interesting not to share education

15,497 notes


Rachel Maddow reports on an expected executive order from President Obama that would bar discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of Americans working for federal contractors.

Posting here as a matter of education because many people still believe that there are no real reasons for pushing for LGBTQ rights; that marriage is our only issue; that people have opinions and those are all we have to contend with.


Rachel Maddow reports on an expected executive order from President Obama that would bar discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of Americans working for federal contractors.

Posting here as a matter of education because many people still believe that there are no real reasons for pushing for LGBTQ rights; that marriage is our only issue; that people have opinions and those are all we have to contend with.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

Filed under lgbtq education

33 notes

It’s Pride Month.

I’ve seen a delightful mix of things going around, and if you’re looking for resources, you can check out the LGBTQ tag both on this blog and in general.  I’m actually not as familiar currently with the great LGBTQ blogs out there in tumblr-land at the moment, but I’ll repost any that come my way.

And remember, when the debate over allies’ place in the community pops up as it is wont to do: Allies are not the emcee.  Allies are the techs making sure the mics are working so that LGBTQ folks’ voices are heard when (we/they) speak.  If you are an ally and find yourself asking why there isn’t more focus on allies, please ask yourself why you are an ally, what you get out of it, what your purpose is as an ally, what you feel you should get out of it, and again, why you are an ally.

As always, my ask box is open (and anon available) if any questions pop up that I can be of help answering!

Filed under education lgbtq I work with youth and I'm queer

18 notes

Anonymous asked: Why would you give kids shit for changing the name of a dog? Stupid and egotistical. Lol

Hi anon!

Each child I work with has specific therapeutic goals that we work on.  In the case of many children I work with by merit of the position and program, the children have difficulty accepting and allowing others to have opinions that differ from their own and refuse compromise.  This can lead to really difficult social interactions with peers, problematic situations with teachers and parents when needing to follow rules and routines (“I don’t think I need to do it,” moves to, “I’m not doing it,” moves to, “you’re stupid and don’t know anything,” moves to, sometimes, unsafe escalation in behaviors), and an inability to have positive relationships with other people due to total inflexibility.  Flexibility and compromise are important basic social skills.

In this case, not letting the child change the name of the stuffed dog just because they didn’t like the name I gave it was an important and really positive teachable moment re: these social skills.  I let them know that I’m sorry that they don’t like the name, but that that’s the dog’s name — but what if we came up with a nickname for the dog?  We were able to roleplay asking the dog if they could use the nickname.  When the dog wasn’t sure they liked the first nickname (testing frustration tolerance and response), the child was able to come up with another one without having an aggressive reaction, and it was great.

I never “give [my] kids shit.”  I help them work towards the goals they set for themselves and make sure I do so in ways that fit into their daily lives.  But thank you for your input!

Filed under education therapy social work asks slightly rude anon psychology Anonymous

18 notes

Taking a Deep Breath to Address this one:

There was a post going around that called out the imbalance in representation of neuroatypical individuals as providers in the mental health field; it bugged the hell out of me.  Due to the context it was passed around in, which included references to mood disorders, I’m assuming it was meant in regard to any mental health disorders and not specifically to being on the autism spectrum, which is what the terms neurotypical and neuroatypical were originally used for.

Again, this is functioning on the presumption that “neurotypicality” is used re: the presence of absence of any mental health disorder, not in reference to the autism spectrum.

The quickest way to address it is this:

1.  You cannot assume that your mental health providers are neurotypical.  Neurotypicality is not something visual.  You cannot look at someone and know that they do or do not have any number of mental health challenges.

2. Mental Health Providers, be they psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mentors, etc., are not obligated to disclose their medical history to their clients.  Mental health is still health, and still considered sensitive medical information.  I have clients that are taking medications I do take or have taken, but this is not how I frame the information I give them.  Is this because I want them to think I’m “neurotypical”? No.  It’s because my medical history has no bearing on my clients.  If there are situations where personal disclosure of other information is helpful — i.e., specific analogous experiences or identities — that’s a different story.  But I have no desire to talk to clients about my brain chemistry, and I am allowed to have boundaries just as my clients are allowed to have boundaries.  If I want to talk to someone about my own mental health, that’s why I have a therapist — as do many providers.  Some graduate programs require students to attend counseling at least briefly as part of their professional and educational growth.

3. There are a number of positions in the mental health field that are, in fact, specifically geared to connecting mental health providers who have lived experience with mental health challenges or who are “neuroatypical” with those who need help.  Many of them do involve a lower base pay, but it’s also because these positions often do not require broader higher education in mental health issues.  That does not mean that individuals who are “neurostypical” do not pursue mental health positions that require a broader, deeper knowledge base.

4. "Neurotypical" and "neuroatypical" appear to be clear cut, binary measures — which is not representative of how mental health works (and why I put the terms in quotes and dislike using them).  Many mental health challenges exist on a scale in which you can have those challenges without being diagnosed with a disorder.  Mood shifts and energy/activity shifts are a natural part of life, and a person can have symptoms of some disorders without being what many would consider “neuroatypical.”  The crucial element of whether someone has a diagnosable mental health disorder is whether those symptoms interfere with the individual’s daily functioning.  This isn’t a clear-line, two-checkbox situation.

5. There is still significant societal stigma surrounding mental health.  This is not the fault of the profession/system — it’s a pressure on the profession/system.  Maybe some clients would appreciate the fact that providers share similar trauma, challenges, medications, etc.; but clients are sometimes as likely to prescribe to negative views of mental health challenges and disorders as the views at large, and there is a significant risk to a mental health provider not specifically functioning on the basis of lived experience, should they self-disclose their own mental health challenges, that the client may judge the provider as less capable.

6. Boundaries.  Boundaries.  Boundaries.  Providers have the right to privacy.  Clients have the right to therapeutic sessions that focus on the client.  In some situations, mental health challenges lead to difficulties in maintaining appropriate relationship dynamics, especially when providers are meant to be someone in whom a person can confide their deepest thoughts.  This is not to say that disclosure leads to automatic or purposeful boundary violation; however, some mental health challenges by their very nature make maintaining boundaries difficult, some clients may not feel comfortable knowing that information about their providers, some providers may not feel comfortable with their clients knowing their mental health history, etc.

7. Counseling can have a personal element but, ultimately, is a professional service.  If you went to a doctor with a physical illness, you would probably value their professional service in terms of how well they’re able to treat it while also maintaining a caring bedside manner.  Would having had that illness themselves help them with their bedside manner, their empathy, their knowledge of what to do and how to do it?  That depends on the doctor, the illness, all kinds of variation.  What matters is that they can treat you and do so in a way that maintains or builds your dignity and empowerment.

8. Lived experience with the mental health system can give providers a window into their clients’ potential experiences.  Lived experience with a mental health challenge gives a provider a window into how a specific subset of symptoms effect a specific subset of individuals with similar symptoms and personalities.  The former is incredibly valuable and, I believe, essential to providing care with a lens for the client experience.  It’s also not necessarily an experience that requires an individual to be “neuroatypical” — people can have personal crises and require assistance.  Anyone can go to the ER, tell the nurse they’re thinking of hurting themselves, and watch the unfortunate hell ensue (which is not a judgement on other health professionals, just a statement on, for example, the necessity of being wanded by security and having one’s belongings removed as a matter of safety protocol).  Anyone can call an intake hotline, whether or not they’re experiencing symptoms, and experience just how difficult it can be to line up insurance with services, get a timely intake appointment that works within a work schedule without taking time off, or sometimes even get a call back depending on where and when they seek help.  But an understanding and appreciation of the difficulty of being a client within the system does not necessarily mandate that a person be “neuroatypical,” and having mental health challenges does not necessarily mean a provider will automatically have more insight into working with clients — a provider’s needs and coping styles may be drastically different from a number of their clients’, as might their experienced mental health challenges.  

Hopefully this doesn’t ruffle too many feathers, and hopefully it all makes decent sense.

Filed under mental health education

2 notes

Made a new connection and found a new resource today.

Yesterday I was up at some ungodly hour crying because technical issues were making me want to quit.

But just making that new connection to a resource that could benefit a number of clients now and in the future has made me remember why I love this work.  And I guess that means I’m in the right place.

(It’s an odd phone call to see as so uplifting, but again.  Nerdy joy over my work.)

Filed under social work education youth resources

127 notes

nigga-shark asked: can you explain the pronouns "Ze, Hir, Hirs, &c." because my teacher hasen't taught us the concept and I am curious


It’s not something normally taught in school, and it hasn’t breached the national lexicon, so your teacher may not know about it. 

You’re asking about pronouns that are gender neutral.  The English language does not have gender neutral pronouns for PEOPLE.  “It” is used for animals and inanimate objects.  “They” is neutral plural for anything.







Tumblr has been the one place where I have seen this usage used consistently and accepted and understood in the lexicon and code of this space.  The gender neutral pronouns are great because in some cases, it improves English (especially because “they” as a gender neutral singular is contradictory and wrong***) and it is inclusive to people in the queer community who are gender fluid, nonbinary, questioning, or transitioning.

Hope that helps! 

***by “wrong” I mean according the rules of Standard American English. Adding new words solves the issue.

Thanks to GWALP for adding a qualification when I noted the issue with They.

I mentioned it because I have several friends who personally prefer ‘they’ as their chosen pronoun, as opposed to hir or ze (or yo or other innovative vocabulary).  And, while on some level it is considered grammatically wrong, there are many circles who consider the singular they as appropriate, sometimes even seen in academic texts.  But more importantly in this particular situation, if ‘they’ is a person’s chosen pronoun over hir or ze or others, it’s important to respect that when addressing them. 

While adding new words solves the potential grammatical issue with a singular ‘they’, particularly in situations (such as how GWALP uses them frequently) where there is no assumed or stated gender of the speaker, when interacting with an individual who has stated a pronoun preference of they, being more or less grammatically ‘wrong’ is not an issue that applies. 

I just wanted to reblog and elaborate as it seems that this is a very new concept for many people, which is awesome that they’re being introduced to it, and I just wanted to clarify that issue so that no one accidentally polices in a well-meaning (“you could use (hir/ze), it’s better”) way.  I personally know individuals who use ze as well as individuals who use they.  It all depends on the individual being addressed.

Filed under It's a mixed bag I use she but also answer to he education lgbtq gwalp girlwithalessonplan gender

31 notes

Let's do this. International #Education School.


I’m thinking somewhere like Singapore or Hong Kong (they’re both travel hubs, with direct flights to most countries, high standards of living and support for international communities).

I’ll take a maths position, and can set up an immersion course in Spanish. Other…

Need a school social worker/counselor? I’m not at the higher credentials yet but I bet we could manage a therapeutic position until I’m licensed…

Filed under hisnamewasbeanni education

53 notes

anachronistic-nostalgia asked: hi! I'm a non-binary English Education major who's going to student teach next year. you answered a question about teaching students about ze/hir pronouns, which happen to be the ones I use. do you think it would be safe/alright to ask my students to use those (and a gender-neutral honorific like "Mx.") to refer to me? I'm really worried about catching flak for my pronouns/gender identity when I start teaching.


"Mx."  Is a new one to me!  How is that pronounced phonetically? 

I don’t see it as any different than introducing yourself on the first day.  “Hi everyone I’m Mx. Smith.  That’s right I said Mx. because that’s how I like to be addressed.  If you want, you can just call me Smith.”  And then cover ze/hir later.  (Also, referring to teachers as last name only is common where I teach and not seen as disrepectful.) 

Like, I was pretty emphatic about “Miss” before I became married, not Ms.  Whereas other female unmarried teachers are adamant about Ms. 

However, that’s a much safer distinction to make as a cis female.  You need to feel out your host teacher on this one.  Ze will know the environment better to know if it’s safe for you to do that in the school. 

I hope that was a little helpful. 

As someone who falls in the grey genderqueery area myself and would rather use Mx. than Ms. any day of the week, My advice would be to discuss it with your mentor teacher before anything else and read it from there. It’s also important to remember that ultimately, they have the final call in the classroom — and if they themselves find this objectionable, it may not only be difficult to find a way for students to understand the concept depending on the area and background, but also difficult for you to be successful in the classroom with the mentor teacher if said mentor will not give you respect in regards to your pronouns and preferred form of address.

Am I saying stay in the closet, re: gender? Noooo no no. I’m saying whatever you do, tell the mentor teacher before you tell the students. I would say this with anything from pronouns to telling stories about your cat to suggesting a classroom activity. Always tell the mentor teacher before the students; never surprise the person in charge of the classroom and your evaluations. That also removes surprises for you. If there’s going to be “flak” from the mentor teacher before you even get into the classroom, you want to know before you’re, for personal example, a month and a half into the semester and being told you really need to start wearing clearly gendered clothing and sending more standard gender messages because the kids are asking too many questions and you’re confusing them.

If they take issue, it will give you time to discuss this with your supervisor at school, with professors you trust, etc. It will give you time to figure out how to address it both with the professionals and the students. It may be that some environments may not be easy (or even safe) to work in while maintaining your gender expression, as a student or as a licensed professional, and it will be a lesson in feeling out where is and isn’t and learning how to maneuver in less ideal situations.

And if they’re totally cool with it, it may give them an opportunity to share ideas with you about how to address it. Heck, maybe it’s something they’ve already done with their kids before and they already have advice as to how to make it go smoothly.

Filed under Hope this doesn't offend It's my perspective as someone who isn't exactly binary who has been there teaching is complicated gender is complicated adults are complicated sometimes moreso this way than the kids are kids can be more willing to learn education lgbtq best case and worst case girlwithalessonplan sorry for hijacking

377 notes


The Parents Project is real thing that is really happening.
AKA, the site is up!

Our first handful of posts and our brand new design just went live moments ago - and we are so excited to share it with you all! We will be working over the next few months (and then to infinity and beyond!) to continue to build the essays, advice, stories, and more, and to work out any and all of the tiny bugs that will arise in these first few weeks.
We cannot thank all of you enough for supporting us and helping us begin this resource for so many parents who need guidance and support. 
Stay tuned as we add many new resources, and follow us on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram!!

I’ve seen some of the material that’s on the site, and think it’s a helpful tool to have on hand for parents, youth, and other involved adults alike.

Filed under lgbtq education resources