Ashley Steed and D. Ann Williams
Queer Consultants provides one-on-one consulting and professional development workshops to schools and businesses. We administer classroom/school audits on gender and sexuality inclusion, collaborate on family partnership support for teachers and administration, and lead parent education nights.
Queer Consultants was founded when D. Ann and Ash noticed the lack of queer inclusive language, spaces, and understanding in the Montessori realm. As educators it’s our duty to advocate and educate the wider community on LGBTQIA+ issues, concerns, history, and more.
Their mission is to educate schools and work spaces on LGBTQIA+ issues to improve the understanding, support, inclusion, and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals already present in those spaces.
Queer Consultants envisions schools and work spaces that understand, support, include, and uplift LGBTQIA+ individuals while centering the voices of the most marginalized.
Break out #1
Auditing the Classroom Library
This hands-on workshop will give educators the tools needed to audit and curate their own classroom libraries to ensure positive representation and inclusion. After a short introduction on the importance of windows, mirrors, and sliding doors in children’s literature, we will walk through how to analyze, critique, and select books for classroom use. Using a variety of books featuring characters of a multitude of backgrounds, attendees will break into small groups and collectively practice those skills. Attendees will leave with a rubric for analyzing books as well as a carefully curated booklist to get them started on creating an equitable classroom library.
Break out #2
Decentring Cis/Het in the School Community: The Directress’ and Administrator’s Roles
Cisnormativity and heteronormativity can permeate the school environment in many different ways. This workshop is intended for guides who are willing to actively break down the centering of cis/heteronormativity in the classroom spaces and the administrators that desire to support this endeavor. The first portion of the workshop will be reviewing different examples of conscious and unconscious cis/het inclusion in the classroom and schools and why this topic is important. This will be followed by a hands-on component where the attendees will break into small groups and role-play different scenarios that may come up in a classroom setting, in interactions with current or prospective parents, in explaining these changes to staff members and the school community.