2018 NETA Awards - Teacher Professional Training 

From WNET / New York 

Project Budget: $100,000 WNET was awarded $100,000 from the New York City Council to pilot and produce the Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity: A Toolkit for Educators collection, 15 digital media resources that will help administrators, guidance counselors, and educators understand and effectively address the complex and difficult issues faced by LGBTQ students. The collection features short segments from WNET’s groundbreaking First Person, a digital series that delivers candid personal narratives of LGBTQ individuals illustrating larger conversations about gender, sexuality, social norms, and identity development. The video content is scaffolded by educational resources (background essays, conversation guides, teaching tips, etc.) to facilitate their use in educational settings. When used in tandem, the videos and accompanying educational resources help promote understanding, awareness, and self-esteem. 

What Did the Judges Say?

This project provides a ground-breaking, comprehensive set of resources, an excellent collection of teaching resources, quality videos, and thoughtful teacher support materials. 

WNET and its partners exceeded their intended goals with all the material they produced. 100% of their participants said they are likely or very likely to tell others about the LGBTQ+ identity educator toolkit, and most respondents also said the information is relevant and useful. 99% of participants said they learned something from the workshop. 

The breadth of topics is impressive - this project addresses a wide range of issues that face the LGBTQ community. The teaching resources help provide context, which is valuable to teachers who don't otherwise encounter these issues in their personal lives and may need more context and information to provide appropriate support in the classroom. Extra points for a clean, easy-to-follow visual presentation of the materials. Teachers and educators want and need to know how to help and communicate with LGBTQ+ students effectively and this teaches them how to and provides resources for them to teach their peers. 

The only way this could be better is if every state had an initiative like it.