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LGBTQIA2S+ Resources: Pronouns and Names in the Classroom (Best Practices)

Pronouns and Names in the Classroom

  • Start with sharing your own pronouns. This sets the tone for the class and signals that sharing and respecting pronouns is a part of a cultural norm, as well as an expectation for all.

  • Using a student’s name and pronouns can help create a positive learning environment for LGBTQIA2S+ students.

  • Please use the name a student asks you to use.

  • Please use the pronouns a student asks you to use.

  • Do not refer to pronouns as “preferred pronouns.” Please refer to them as “pronouns” or “personal pronouns.”

  • Do not refer to a person's legal name as their "real" name.

  • Please refer to the name a person uses as their name, instead of their "preferred" or "chosen" name.

  • Consider including your personal pronouns on your syllabi with your name and contact information.

Important notes about introductions:

Important notes about introductions:

  • If a student’s name does not match your attendance sheet, do not ask their primary name in front of the classroom. Allow the student to provide this information after class or via email.
  • Make sure you honor a student’s pronouns and chosen name and hold others accountable to do the same.
  •  In large classes, or where a group introduction might not be possible, consider sending a Google survey or Forms Manager to students to allow them to share this information privately.

Avoid Gendered Greetings

Recognizing that not all people fall within the gender binary of men and women, you can use gender inclusive language in your classroom, such as:

  •  “Hi everyone”
  • “Welcome students”
  • “How are y’all doing today?”
  • Thanks for being here today, folks”