Why is this important?

Students need to feel safe in order to learn. Safe to make mistakes. Safe to ask questions. Safe to test out new ideas. Safe to be oneself. A student’s sense of self is an amalgam of political, social, ethnic, sexual, gender, religious, and class identities. If any one of these identities is threatened, students may feel alienated, retreat into silence and shut down their learning process. Or worse, they may lash out in self-defense against you or other students.

All members of the Academy’s diverse student body deserve respect for the many identities they bring to the classroom. Establishing true respect — not politically-correct artifice — promotes a productive, safe learning environment, builds community, and demonstrates high standards of professionalism.

Keep these things in mind:

An unsafe learning environment can include a pattern of any of these behaviors:

As the instructor you hold a position of authority and students will take your lead as they test the appropriateness of their language and work. You are responsible for managing the balance between recognizing the potential for offense, and discussing topics and/or images that forward the goals of your course.

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