LAKERS TOGETHER: Grand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.
As you will see, many of these tips require minor adjustments to your teaching style and habits but can have a hugely positive impact. It is our experience that respecting students' self-determination is integral to successful learning. The inclusion of these respectful behaviors benefit all students, not just transgender students.
Introductions: On or before the first day of class, ask students what name and pronoun they would like to be used. This can be done in any number of ways, but here are three strategies faculty at GVSU employ.
Mistakes (yours and others)
If you make a mistake with a student's name or pronoun, correct yourself and return to the topic at hand. In general, we recommend no more than a simple "sorry," as way of apology. Apologizing or explaining can actually draw unwanted attention and make the situation more uncomfortable. Similarly, if another student mistakenly addresses a peer, interject with a simple correction-- "she uses 'she/her' pronouns," then step back. Some students may step up and correct pronoun mistakes. The most important things to remember are these: Always correct mistakes, and do not make mistakes into the topic of discussion.
myName at GVSU
Students, faculty, and staff may designate a name other than their legal name to be used in many areas, systems, and communications in which a legal name is not otherwise required. At GVSU, this is called “myName.” Requesting and receiving a myName is not a legal name change. Once a myName has been submitted and approved, the myName will be used in most university communications. Examples of where myName will appear include Blackboard, mailroom, and GVSU ID. Legal names are still required in certain areas, including financial aid paper work (such as the FAFSA), academic transcripts, payroll, and others. Learn more about myName.
Let students know about the myName process. Please note that not all students who use a name other than their legal name may choose to indicate a myName at GVSU. Adopting the above recommendations for attendance and roll call will continue to benefit students.
Email from Faculty to Class
Welcome to (Class Title). I'm (name you would like students to call you) and I use (ex: he, him, his) pronouns. In our upcoming semester together, I want to address you correctly. Please respond to this email answering the following:
If you have additional questions or concerns, please (whatever you prefer they do, ex: email you or call you).
Training at GVSU