This is the type of email all teachers want to receive

This powerful email from a former pupil has gone viral for all the right reasons, reaffirming the importance of classrooms being an LGBT safe space
30th June 2020, 5:26pm

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This is the type of email all teachers want to receive

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/type-email-all-teachers-want-receive
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Teaching can be a hard profession: long hours, endless marking, and dealing with difficult classes can overwhelm even the hardiest educator.

Then you receive an email like the one teacher Katie Sheds did and it makes it all seem worthwhile again.

It clearly resonated with teachers, with over 7,000 likes on the post, which trended as the most popular post under the #edutwitter hashtag.

A space for all

She posted a message from the student last week after being informed her classroom was an LGBT safe space for this student. 

"You were one of the few teachers that would speak out against the comments and jokes about gay people, or the sniggering at the back of the room when something LGBT-related would be mentioned," the former pupil wrote.

"It made your classroom feel that little bit safer. For that, I am forever grateful."

The student, who Katie kept anonymous, described experiences that were not always as positive in other classrooms in their school. 

"Many teachers would ignore the jokes, the comments or the laughs. It would make them hurt ten times more."

A school culture that allows an anti-LGBT culture to exists can have long-reaching and damaging consequences, as the teacher in this recent article on Tes outlined. 

Someone had my back

And Katie's student reiterating how much that behaviour not being tolerated in her class meant only shows once again how important a teacher can be in helping students in ways far beyond exam scores. 

"In a classroom, like yours, where it felt like somebody was fighting against the homophobia meant that every day I looked forward to going to your lesson."

They continued by going on to thank her for creating an environment where not only could they get excited about English again, but "for creating an environment where for a small part of my day, despite hurtful things I would hear… it felt like someone had my back." 

You can read the full message here:

Yesterday, I received this email from a Year 11. Amazing young man. And he's okayed me sharing it. I honestly think the message is too important not to.

I'll let his words do the talking. (Had me in tears! ?).#Edutwitter #LGBTQ #Pride pic.twitter.com/3mFuDWJHhj

- Katie Sheds (@ShedsKatie) June 24, 2020

Joshua Lowe is the social media journalist at Tes 

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