Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education Nicholas McBride recently completed training to become certified as a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) “Welcoming Schools” National Facilitator.
There are only about 50 facilitators nationwide who provide professional development to create inclusive and affirming environments for LGBTQ+ and gender expansive students in K-12 settings. McBride was selected after an application and interview process, and then completed several days of online and in-person training at the HRC’s at the national headquarters in Washington D.C.
“Welcoming Schools is the nation’s most comprehensive bias-based bullying prevention program, providing LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive professional development training to K-12 teachers,” McBride explained. “As a national facilitator, I will work with and provide training to teachers and school administrators on creating LGBTQ+ affirming classroom environments and school communities that are safe and welcoming for all students.”
McBride said when fostering a safe and welcoming school environment, “Welcoming Schools” values the use of inclusive language, such as honoring student names and pronouns, removing unnecessary gendered structures in classrooms, and recognizing diverse family structures in our communication with parents. He said another takeaway from the training was naming and addressing behavior that jeopardizes the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ students and teachers.
“I’m really proud of this work and how it intersects with my research in teacher education,” McBride said. “I’ve already been out providing professional development to school districts in NJ, but hope to expand and extend this work at TCNJ.”
In addition to the certification, McBride was recently notified that an article, which he authored, entitled “Finding ‘Otherness’ in Music and Pedagogy: A Critical Ontological Analysis of an Immersive International Music Education Exchange Program” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Music Teacher Education and will appear in an upcoming volume. In the article, McBride examined how a group of American graduate music education students altered their teaching philosophies after taking part in a month-long immersion cultural exchange program in China.
Reflecting on his recent training experience with the Human Rights Campaign, McBride says he hopes to collaborate with the programs and people committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment at TCNJ.
“The music education program already engages deeply in social justice work, so in many ways, this is simply a continuation of what we do,” McBride said. “I am excited to explore specific connections between LGBTQ+ affirming practices in K-12 education and our existing curriculum.”
— Madison Rubino ’22, M.A. in Counseling candidate