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Transgender Student Support Toolkit for International School Counselors and Educators

Course Title

Transgender Student Support Toolkit for International School Counselors and Educators

Course Number

ISCA 402

Course Overview

Professional school counselors are increasingly recognizing the diversity of their students’ gender identities and, however well-intentioned, may feel ill-equipped to support them. Participants of all experience levels are invited to join Emily in this interactive session to consider the meaning of gender, what can be done in international schools to support transgender children, and how the answers to these questions impact your students’ well-being. 

The objective of this course is to cultivate a deeper understanding of gender diversity and establish practical structures and skills to support transgender students and make your international school safer and more inclusive.

A.10. Underserved and At-Risk Populations School counselors: 

a. Strive to contribute to a safe, respectful, nondiscriminatory school environment in which all members of the school community demonstrate respect and civility. 

b. Advocate for and collaborate with students to ensure students remain safe at home and at school. A high standard of care includes determining what information is shared with parents/ guardians and when information creates an unsafe environment for students. 

c. Identify resources needed to optimize education. 

d. Collaborate with parents/guardians, when appropriate, to establish communication and to ensure students’ needs are met. 

e. Understand students have the right to be treated in a manner consistent with their gender identity and to be free from any form of discipline, harassment or discrimination based on their gender identity or gender expression.

Intended Audience

This course welcomes international school counselors of all experience levels, supporting students in any grade level and in any cultural context. Considerations will be made for participants working on socially conservative schools/regions. There is no cap on the number of participants who are welcome to join this course.

Essential Questions

What is gender? 

How can I support transgender students in my cultural and professional context? 



Participants will know:

Participants will be able to:

  • The difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, including terminology relevant to each

  • How the cycle of socialization reinforces gender norms

  • Why transgender youth are at significantly increased risk for a number of negative mental health outcomes

  • The role of schools in supporting transgender children’s healthy development

  • Support trans students who are coming out and/or transitioning in safer and more effective ways 

  • Create disclosure plans for trans youth who are coming out and/or transitioning

  • Advocate for research-backed school policies that improve safety and wellbeing for transgender children

  • Provide factual information for parents of transgender children

About the Facilitator

Dr. Emily Meadows (she/her) is an LGBTQ+ consultant and published author specializing in international schools. Emily creates an environment that is non-judgmental and engaging for her clients, while taking an intersectional approach that addresses both the why and the how of inclusion so that educators become confident and competent supporting LGBTQ+ students. 

In addition to her doctoral degree, Emily holds master’s degrees in both Sexual Health and Counseling, and has worked as an international school counselor for over a decade. She researches, publishes, and trains school communities on equitable policy and practice, while also teaching for the LGBT Health Policy & Practice graduate program at George Washington University. 

Emily has developed inclusion standards, referenda, and trainings for professional organizations such as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), The Fulbright Commission, the Association for International Educators and Leaders of Color (AIELOC), the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and the American Psychological Association (APA). Having spent more than half of her life in international schools, Emily specializes in culturally-relevant solutions to promote equity and inclusion worldwide.

Dates and times of offerings

Cohort 2: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 @ 16:00 - 19:00 GMT 

Contact hours

3 contact hours 

Time commitment between sessions


Required Resource(s)



  • American Psychological Association. (2019). Transgender people, gender identity and gender expression. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender

  • Adams, M. & Bell, L. E. (2016). Theoretical foundations for social justice education. Routledge: New York, NY. 

  • Becerra-Culqui, T. A., Liu, Y., Nash, R., Cromwell, L., Flanders, W. D., Getahun, D., Giammettei, S. V…. & Goodman, M. (2018). Mental health of transgender and gender nonconforming youth compared with their peers. Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-384. 

  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature anddesign. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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