Igniting Social Action in the ELA Classroom

Robyn Seglem and Sarah Bonner

Publication Date: October 28, 2022

Pages: 160

On May 12, 2023, author Sarah Bonner published “LGBTQ Inclusive Content Supports ALL of My Students” at GLAAD, an essay detailing her experience as a teacher facing challenges to her curriculum. She begins,

This is the first “Teacher Appreciation Week” I’ll miss in twenty years of teaching.

When I was given the keys to my first classroom, I knew teaching was what I was meant to do. I worked to cultivate relationships among my students and their families, and I designed lessons that were “cute” and “fun.” For the better part of ten years, I thought my junior high Language Arts classroom was an apolitical space meant to block out the world so my students and I could just enjoy reading fictional stories and writing poetry throughout the school year.

We still need good fiction and poetry writing, but eventually I realized what a disservice I was doing to my students. Teaching in a rural town in central Illinois, I observed so many of our students receive amazing scholarships to nationally-recognized universities. Too many returned to their hometown after the first year, lacking experience with interacting with the world outside of their small space.

Read the full essay at GLAAD