What Teaching Feminism Looks Like in My Middle School Classroom


In today’s constantly evolving society, teaching feminism in middle school classrooms has become increasingly vital. As a classroom teacher, my role extends beyond teaching academic subjects; I also have the responsibility of guiding my students towards becoming compassionate and empathetic individuals who can understand and appreciate different perspectives. In this article, I will share my experiences and strategies for incorporating feminism into my teaching practices, ultimately fostering a more empathetic and equal world for all.

Creating an Inclusive Environment:

The first step in teaching feminism in middle school is to create a safe, inclusive environment where discussions about gender are welcomed. This is accomplished by:

1) Setting clear expectations about respectful classroom behaviors.

2) Ensuring that all students feel comfortable expressing their opinions and sharing their experiences, while acknowledging that these conversations may be uncomfortable for some.

3) Emphasizing the importance of empathy and understanding in all aspects of the curriculum.

Discussing Key Concepts:

During class discussions, it’s essential to introduce pivotal feminist concepts such as patriarchy, gender norms, intersectionality, and consent. I strive to contextualize these ideas by connecting them to events from history or current events that students can relate to. For instance:

1) Discussing the patriarchy through the lens of ancient civilizations helps students understand how established power structures impact gender roles.

2) Analyzing advertising campaigns targeting children highlights how toxic gender norms perpetuate stereotypes.

Intersectional Feminism:

Another critical aspect of teaching feminism is exploring the concept of intersectionality – understanding that different layers of personal identity can be oppressed or marginalized. Through discussions on race, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation, we unify students under the banner of fighting for equality on various fronts.

Engaging Students with Creative Projects:

To ensure that students grasp these complex ideas while remaining engaged, I assign a variety of creative projects.

These assignments may include:

1) producing a podcast or short film that discusses feminism,

2) designing a collage reflecting gender stereotypes and norms,

3) crafting an original poem or essay that explores personal experiences related to feminism.

Continuing the Conversation:

Teaching feminism in middle school is not a one-time occurrence – it’s crucial to ensure the conversation continues throughout the school year. By connecting feminism to other subject areas and integrating it into the curriculum, students will continue to reflect on gender issues and foster a better understanding of societal equality.


By teaching feminism effectively in middle school classrooms, we impart essential values of empathy, tolerance, and understanding. In turn, this lays the foundation for meaningful discussions about gender equality throughout their academic careers and beyond. Overall, incorporating feminist principles in my teaching practices has been an enriching experience resulting in a more insightful and inclusive classroom environment.

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