Webinar: LGBTQ+ Teacher Mentors: Providing a Social Safety Net

Tuesday, January 18, 5:00-6:00 pm Eastern Time


Presenter: Kyle S. Whipple, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Description: Educational systems are dominated by white, heterosexual, cisgendered women (Gray, Bitterman, and Goldring, 2013). Given the heterosexist context of society in general and schools in particular, the transition from a university teacher preparation program to student teaching to inservice teacher can be challenging for LGBTQ+ individuals (Benson et al, 2014). Students who identify as LGBTQ+, upon becoming public-school teachers, may move from a space of relative freedom and safety to one of vulnerability (Whipple, 2018). While job protections are now in place for LGBTQ+ teachers nationwide, there continue to be policies in place, such as No Promo Homo laws, that create barriers to LGBTQ+ inservice teachers. The continued existence of these types of policies compel teachers who identify as LGBTQ+ to repeatedly navigate whether or not to be out (publicly open about one’s sexuality and/or gender identity) at a school, even though out teachers could serve as role models for LGBTQ+ students (Whipple, 2018). This webinar will discuss the details of creating the LGBTQ+ Teacher Mentors group and providing access to a social network of LGBTQ+ inservice teachers in an effort to help retention.

Additional Presenter Information:

Kyle S. Whipple is an assistant professor in the Department of Education for Equity and Justice at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a PhD in STEM Education in June, 2018. Dr. Whipple’s research interests are centered around LGBTQ+ teachers and their implementation of inclusive pedagogy and curriculum, specifically using Critical Care Theory. He started the LGBTQ+ Teacher Mentors organization in 2019 to create a social network connecting out LGBTQ+ preservice and inservice teachers. He was a public-school teacher in mathematics for twenty years and identifies as a queer trans man.