Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Our Gender Diverse and Trans Students – What’s the Truth? with Dr Cate Rayner

Our Gender Diverse and Trans Students – What’s the Truth? with Dr Cate Rayner

I’m sure you’ve heard a WHOLE HEAP of stuff about trans people lately. It’s been all over politics and the media, with some of the information doing the rounds being outright lies.

This week I am joined by Dr Cate Rayner from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where she works with the Department of Adolescent Medicine. There she supports gender diverse and trans young people, all the way from young children up to the age of 16, as well as their families.

Dr Cate helps clear some of the common misconceptions and we discuss what actually happens with gender diverse and trans young people who seek medical care. Trust me, it’s no where near as drastic as you’ve likely been led to believe.

Listen Now

You can find the Staffroom Stories podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean App, Amazon Music/Audible, Samsung, and Podchaser.

Alternatively, listen directly by clicking the Play button above.

Please do remember to subscribe on your podcast streaming service so you never miss an episode!

Show Notes

The most important thing I can possibly add to these show notes is this: if a young person in your life comes to you to discuss their gender, the absolute best thing you can do is listen respectfully, accept wholeheartedly what they are telling you about themselves, and then ask them how they would like you to support them. They may or may not have an answer for you, but they will feel heard, respected, and know that you are a trusted adult.

Dr Cate has personally recommended these resources if you’d like more information for yourself personally or professionally:

The RCH GS website – Information about the services provided by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and their Gender Service. Also has links to further resources which I won’t repeat here.

Transcend – parent led, national peer support network and community for parents and carers supporting their Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary (TGDNB) child in Australia.

Understanding Gender Diversity, Kids health Info podcast – understanding a little more about just what gender diversity is, we cover how parents can support their children and others through their journey and where to seek help if your child is experiencing distress

Safe Schools –  helps schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTIQ+ students.

I also recommend these resources for you:

The Science Vs. podcast, in particular this episode – Trans Kids: The Misinformation Battle. Like, seriously, I recommend you go listen to that one EVEN IF you don’t listen to my own episode!!! (3 exclamation marks for a reason here folks)

The Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness podcast, in particular these episodes:

This blog post I wrote a while ago, after JVN answered as question I asked him about how best to support our LGBTQIA+ students.


Emily: Hello, my lovely people. Welcome to Staffroom Stories. I’m your host, Emily Aslan. And I’m here to bring you the topics that Australian teachers are talking about behind their closed staff room doors. Join me each episode, usually with an incredible guest to explore the things we’re talking about as well as the things that we ought to know, enjoy.

Welcome to the Staffroom my friends. This week comes with a bit of a content warning. We are discussing the mental, emotional, and physical health and care of gender diverse and trans young people. Please be protective of your own mental health.

I’m sure you’ve heard and read a whole lot about our trans community members in recent months. Some of it will have been good, solid information, and some of it will have been misinformation at best and outright lies at worst.

As teachers, we are ever increasingly likely to have one or more gender diverse or trans students in our classes. And that does include primary teaching as well. It’s a topic that comes up periodically in our staff rooms, so I wanted to get really solid, accurate information to share with you. I reached out to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne because they have a world famous gender service for children and teens. I was put in contact with Dr. Cate Rayner, who was very keen to clear the air on some misconceptions that she sees quite often.

And also to help us teachers learn some of the realities of our gender diverse and trans students. Dr. Cate is a pediatrician who works at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, with the department of adolescent medicine, as part of her job, she provides care for trans and gender diverse young people through the RCH Gender Service.

The RCH Gender Service provides individualized family centered care to children and youth up to the age of 16 years. The service includes medical specialists, such as pediatricians and endocrinologists, mental health specialists, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, nurses, a research team, and of course, amazing admin staff.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service aims to improve the physical health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse young people. So with this in mind, remember throughout this episode that Dr. Cate is working with the most up to date, research and medical care for our kids. So let’s jump in.

Welcome Dr. Cate Rayner. Thank you so much for being here today. How are you?

Dr Cate Rayner: I’m good. Thank you, Emily. Thank you for having me.

Emily: Okay, excellent. So the story that we have from the Staffroom, and this is a bit of a story that is, I feel like more common than it should be. So I overheard a teacher talking about how they don’t believe that students, particularly high school students, “should be trans” was the words that they used.

They seem to have a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be trans, and they also believe that, you know, children and teenagers are too young to know themselves and to make that decision about themselves. So I would love to start out with what does it actually mean to be trans?

Dr Cate Rayner: So that’s a great question to start with, Emily.

So being trans or being transgender is first of all, importantly, just a normal part of human diversity. So being trans or transgender, it’s not a mental illness, and that’s something really important to remember and what it actually means to be trans or when you think of us as professionals, what we think of when we say trans or transgender, that means that your gender identity, and that’s the kind of inner most concept of who you are, you know, so whether you’re a boy or a girl, whether you’re both or whether you’re neither, so it’s when your gender identity doesn’t match with the sex assigned to you at birth. And what I mean by that is when the baby is born, someone assigns a sex to them, and that’s usually based on the external genitalia that they see.

And so being trans is when your gender identity doesn’t match with that. We use trans or transgender as a kind of umbrella term, but, within that, those in the trans community will choose their own term or their own language to describe themselves. So they might say they’re trans, they might say, you know, those people who are non binary, there’s a agenda.

But also a lot of the young people I see, say to me, you know, I’m just a boy or I’m just a girl and that’s their gender identity.

Emily: And that might not match what’s on their birth certificate.

Dr Cate Rayner: That’s right. That’s right.

Emily: From a medical or scientific standpoint, what age can a child or a teenager know that they’re not the gender that they’re being referred to?

Dr Cate Rayner: We see children and young people up until the age of 16 and, and really you can present or realize you’re trans at any age. So, if you speak to my adult colleagues, they see adults for the first time, who are able to articulate their gender identity and their wishes for themselves.

And so at the Royal Children’s Hospital, which is where I work at the Gender Service, we see right up into the age of 16 now. And, and we have referrals for children as young as, you know, two, three, right up until the later teenage years, but the vast majority of the children we see, it’s about 95% of them are 8 and above.

So it’s a smaller proportion that we say younger, but there’s no age, there’s no age cutoff where we say you have to realize by a certain age, you know, that you’re trans or you can’t decide until a certain age that you’re trans. That’s not really how it works. So, you know, I’ve, I’ve seen, very young people, who are four or five were really insistent on their gender identity.

And, they’re consistent with it across settings at home and at Kinder. And this is who they are. And we also say a lot of young people who are about to go through puberty. And they might’ve just not felt quite right, but not being able to articulate it. And it’s when those physical changes of puberty are happening, that they realize that they’re trans, or they might realize that this isn’t, this is what I want.

Something’s not right. And then go through that kind of journey to understand what’s going on for them. So there’s definitely not an age criteria or cutoff where we say, you know, you can’t know until this age, or you have to know at this age to be trans. We see it across all ages.

Emily: Okay, cool. So there’s sort of, I guess this misconception that kids are too young and they can’t possibly know these things about themselves or that they shouldn’t know that there are options other than being a boy or a girl.

And so what I’m hearing you say is that until we tell them, otherwise, they sort of have these thoughts and feelings anyway. And I guess it’s just having a family that’s supportive enough to listen to that and help the child follow through with that in an age appropriate way.

Dr Cate Rayner: Most definitely.

So we know that when trans and gender diverse young people are supported and affirmed in their gender identity that their wellbeing improves. So that includes, support for them living social as the gender they identify with. And then when they’re older that might include, you know, further supports and medical support. I think people worry, there’s this misconception that we’re doing things to children and they can’t say what they want.

And that’s a real myth. So first of all there’s actually no medicines that are given to children and young people before they hit puberty. So if a young person is referred to our service and they’re pre-pubertal and they’re less than 8, they don’t even see the medical doctor. So they see a psychologist or they see a psychiatrist and the young person in their family get the support and the time to talk about, you know, what it means to them and a gender identity and how best they can be supported. And often in the pre-pubertal years, that includes things like using their preferred name, using their preferred pronoun, letting them dress, how they want to. So we talk about letting them express their gender, how they want to, and we might call that say social affirmation.

So really that’s the support that children get. And it’s not until a young person is about to go through puberty that we think about medical options. And we only use those if there’s distress there. So I think earlier on, I said being trans is, is not a mental illness. Being trans is, you know, a normal part of human diversity, but gender dysphoria that real distress.

That can be really difficult for a young person. So when they’re experiencing that distress, which is often at the time of puberty, we think about using some medicine to stop that happening.

Emily: So what does gender dysphoria mean for those people that might not know?

Dr Cate Rayner: Gender dysphoria. So dysphoria, the term means distress.

And so it’s this real distress that they feel because their body or their sex assigned at birth is not matching with who they actually are. So we talk to young people about what that means for them. So they might have dysphoria related to their chest. So if their gender identity is male, but they’re going through a puberty which is being driven by say oestrogen, and they might be getting development of their breast, and we often might use the word chest, that might create a whole lot of distress for them. And so we talk about those really difficult things like how you feeling, how you feeling about your body. What’s causing you to feel pain at the moment. And we know that trans and gender diverse young people have much, much higher rates of mental health difficulties, particularly with anxiety and depression. It’s about 10 times higher than the general population. So it’s much higher, but we also know that if we provide affirmative care, then the actual rates of those mental health difficulties approach that of the general population.

It is something that we can help them with. That’s why we’re here. That’s why there’s a Gender Service, because we know there’s something we can do to help them.

Emily: So I guess to those people that might be having that sort of misconception that gender diversity is some sort of a mental illness because of, I guess the symptoms and the way that someone is presenting, it’s the fact that these people are not receiving the support and the care that they need, that’s causing the mental distress rather than them not identifying with the gender, assigned to them at birth.

Dr Cate Rayner: Most definitely. So there’s nothing pathological. There’s nothing wrong with being trans. And it’s not that they’re not trans because they’re depressed. They’re not trans because they’re anxious, not at all. But this is a group that is discriminated against that’s marginalized. That’s exposed to things in the media said about them and that our politicians say about them. , That leads to poorer mental health. And as a Gender Service, we can support them in affirming their agenda. But I think more broadly what we’re doing that schools today. That’s another really great way that we can support these young people and make them feel.

But, but you’re right. Um, the, the kind of rates of anxiety and rates of depression and not inherent in their transness at all at all.

Emily: Yeah. So it’s, it’s more the way that they are being treated by society or expect to be treated that can cause those sorts of those anxious feelings and the depression rather than the transness itself.

Dr Cate Rayner: Yes. And if trans and gender diverse young people are supported and affirmed in their gender identity, they have healthy, fulfilling, happy lives. And and we know that from research, but we also know that by seeing our young people for the service finishing year 12 and having relationships and going to university or pursuing careers that they want to pursue. So trans and gender diverse young people can have really happy and fulfilling lives if we can affirm them in their agenda and support them.

Emily: So what, what would happen if a child or a young person was identifying themselves as trans at home, what steps would the family take to then eventually feed through to your clinic?

Dr Cate Rayner: So to come to the Gender Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital, they first need to get a referral from their GP. So I would say to the parents listening, if your young person comes to you and says, they’re trans say, how can I help you? Because I think if we kind of listened to our young people, they’ll often show us what they need.

And then once they’re referred to our service, then they go on a wait list. And then unfortunately the wait at the moment is, is long. And there are resources and there are support groups online, and there are some great websites as well, that parents can look at while they’re waiting to see us.

Such as Transcend is a really excellent website and the RCH Gender Service web page has a lot of links on there that parents can look at. While they’re waiting, schools can also be proactive and support. Once they get into the service, they have an initial appointments and that’s appointment where, they meet one of our clinical nurse consultants or one of our residents and they get to tell us their story and we can work out how we can best support them.

Emily: So it’s really driven by the child or the teen themselves as to what they feel like they need.

Dr Cate Rayner: Yeah. So, so all of our care is individualized. So when I have my first appointment with families, I get a lot of questions of, what age can we do this? And what can we do this? And I say, oh, There’s no rules we talk about it and it’s individualized and we work out what’s going to be best for you.

So, so our care is really individualized for each and individual person that we see. And it’s also kind of young person and family centered. So we speak to the young person. We speak to the parents. We go on this journey together with them. If the young person is less than age, so they see a psychologist or a psychiatrist and they have that kind of talking support and, and support in terms of what they need around maybe social affirmation.

So helping them have the hair cut that they want, or the wear the clothes that they want. Once, they reached the age that they’re starting to go through puberty. They also would see a pediatrician or an endocrinologist. So we’ve got lots of different people on our team. And then we’d start to have a chat about whether something like puberty blockers will be a benefit to them.

Emily: And what do puberty blockers do? And when, when would you use them as opposed to not using them or recommending them? I suppose.

Dr Cate Rayner: Yeah. So where you use puberty blockers in young people who are just at the early stages of puberty. Doctors have a way of categorizing, how far through puberty you are.

And so if somebody is just starting puberty and they’re having distress related to those changes, then we can use puberty blockers to put a pause on those physical changes. So what our puberty blockade is is it’s a medication. That actually puts a pause on pubertal changes. So it stops those hormones being made that caused the body to change.

So it stops things like, you know, breast development or periods or changes in voice. They’re completely reversable . So we’ve been using puberty blockers for decades, actually in young people, who’ve had early puberty. So some people start going through puberty a lot earlier. So , seven or eight and puberty blockers have been used for that group first, since, since the eighties.

And so they’re. They’re safe, they’re fully reversible. There’s no impact on fertility long-term and if you choose to stop puberty blockers, you’d stop them and your body would just re-start puberty. It would just continue. So it’s a, it’s a pause. And the reason we use them is so that that young person can have some time to talk to their psychologist or psychiatrist and their pediatrician, and to explore what they want for their gender and for their body, without that increasing distress associated with the dysphoria of their body changing in a way that they really don’t want so. That’s the group that we use puberty blockers for, and we really try and use it in that beginning stages of puberty. So we’re trying to prevent changes that we can’t reverse later on.

Emily: So it’s basically just like buying more time before any further decisions are made and reducing the emotional distress.

Dr Cate Rayner: That’s exactly right. So it’s something that we can do that is completely reversible that buys us some time that allows a young person to, you know, think and talk with their therapist and with their family.

And to ask all the questions that they want to ask and to really think about what they want for themselves before any further decisions are made.

Emily: And then I guess the logical step after that is. If someone has already started puberty or, you know, is a bit older, is that where something like hormone therapy would come in and, and what’s the impact of that? How does that work?

Dr Cate Rayner: So we, we call it gender affirming, hormone treatment, or gender affirming hormone therapy. And so that’s the use of either estrogen or testosterone. And so that can be started in a young person who has never had blockers and it can also be started in the young person who has had blockers and you’re right. It started later on. So. We use gender affirming hormones in young people, who’ve been really consistent and persistent about their gender identity and know what they want. And we spend time beforehand talking to them about what it means. So we go through what actually is and medication, what does it involve? How does it change your body? Which changes are permanent, which changes are reversible. So there’s a process that goes on behind it. And we also talk with their parents and. I don’t want to give you a specific age that we start. It’s usually kind of mid to later adolescence that it started. And at the moment we need the consent of both parents to start testosterone or estrogen.

So at the moment, parents are always involved in those conversations. But we know that adolescents actually very capable of giving consent and telling us what they want with regards to their future and the use of hormones. So they’re really actively involved. And part of that process is making sure they can give us consent and informed consent.

So they really know what they want to can tell us. If we do start the hormones, they’re usually something that’s if you’re getting benefit from them, you do take them for a long time. You might take them for the rest of your life if you want to.

Emily: So it is a, it’s a commitment that they’re making.

And what I’m hearing is that like, none of this is a snap decision that they walk into the doctor’s one day and get surgery and that’s it.

Dr Cate Rayner: No, I think that’s another myth that you can walk in to the clinic and walk out with some hormones, or you can decide that you want to have surgery and it happens the next day.

I think a lot of these young people have been thinking about this for a long time. And they’ve been thinking about themselves for a long time. And it takes bravery to go to your GP and get a referral. And then you wait years to come to the clinic and then you have an appointment and then you wait again.

It’s a real commitment even tick to get here and to get through the process. And there’s actually barriers to access. So, we would love to be able to provide better access to all the young people who want to come here. And at the moment the wait list is, is too long. But that, yeah, you’re right.

That kind of preconception that it’s not a rigorous process and we don’t take it seriously, that’s wrong. And the young people that come and see us, they, they really do take it seriously. And a lot of them I come and they’ve already done a lot of research, like good, proper research, and they’ve really thought about it.

I think we have to also respect their right to say what’s best for them , and go on that journey with them.

Emily: Yeah, I think another, another misconception that I’ve heard along those lines is that it’s a bit of a trend, you know, like, well, my friends are trans, therefore I’m going to be trans. And I’m sure that your answer to that is going to be absolutely. No.

Dr Cate Rayner: So there’s, there’s definitely more acceptance, particularly in the younger generations of being trans and gender diverse, and that’s wonderful. And we know if we look at in a research, it would say that around 2% or so, so two to 3% of young people would identify as trans or gender diverse.

So it’s higher than previously thought. And, and part of the greater awareness or the greater number of young people that, where we’re hearing saying they’re trans and gender diversity is because of that acceptance. And also because of the visibility. So they can see that, you know, there are other young people like them and in the media if we’re looking at famous people, there’s famous trans people now that they can see, and I can see that they’re not alone.

And there’s also much greater awareness of the services available to them. So they can say that they feel this way, but look, he’s a service that can help me. And so they might be more willing to speak up because of that. And I think it’s also important to remember that, not all trans and gender diverse people want hormones or want surgery.

So, we, we might be getting a huge number of referrals, but only a proportion of those are actually going down that path of either blockers or hormones. So some people might choose to socially transition, but they might not want to medically transition. So they might choose to use their preferred pronouns. But they don’t want to have any medicine or they don’t want to have any surgery so that there’s no, there’s no one way to do it. That’s why I say care is individualized. So I think that, yes, where we’re more aware now of how common being trans and gender diverse and there’s greater acceptance, particularly among the young people which is wonderful.

But it’s definitely not a trend. So, and I know I’m repeating myself, but if you look at what these young people do to come through our service they’ve spoken to their family, they’ve spoken to their GP that had their initial appointment then waited years, and then they’ve spoken to their pediatrician. They’ve spoken to their psychologist. So this is a group of young people who are really sure about what they want and what’s good for them and whose families and whose medical professionals who are caring for them are also really sure that this is in their best interest.

Emily: Yeah. So again, I guess reiterating the fact that these, none of this is a snap decision. You don’t just wake up one morning thinking. Yeah. I’m trans, I’m going to go on medicine today. It’s a real, it’s a real slog for these kids.

Dr Cate Rayner: It is. And I think that the difficulty is that, for some of these young people, it really is very clear to them that this is what’s best for them. That weight actually can be detrimental.

So, we ask our questions and we have our psychologists who go through their assessment process. But for a lot of young people that they say, look, I’m just a guy like that’s who I am. You know, it’s, it’s helped me stay who I am, you know? So I it can be as simple as that for the young person.

But it’s still a kind of difficult pathway for them to navigate, to get where they want to get to.

Emily: I guess one question, I don’t know if you’ll be able to answer this, but, a lot of the anti-trans rhetoric seems to center around this idea that they will regret it later. And that it’s, you know, it’s not really who they are. It’s just a kid going through a phase and that if they try to make any of these decisions, they’re going to regret it later in life.

Is that something that you would see through the clinic or is that just another misconception?

Dr Cate Rayner: The risks of regret. So, so we’re talking about regret with regards to say medical transition. So taking medicines and your body changing and then regretting it. So those risks are very low. So if you look at research because there’s research on these.

So if you look at research of the young people who have gone through a process of being seen by a multidisciplinary clinics, that’s a clinically, they might see a medical person, like a pediatrician or endocrinologist, as well as a mental health person, like a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

If you look at that group of young people, who’ve gone through that process. And then they’ve had medical affirmation. So either gender firming hormones, and then surgical affirmation, the risk of regret is about 1%. So it’s very low. And then if you break that down further and you ask them what, like, why, why, why did they regret the decision?

A lot of it is not that they have changed their gender identity. It’s that they might be regret around the social difficulties of transitioning in the world at the moment, you know, and navigating those relationships and explaining themselves. So, we know that the risk of regression is low and, and that’s because there are no permanent things that are done to young children. They’re not started till kind of mid to late adolescents.

And by that stage, gender identity is consistent.

Emily: Yep. So that’s something they’ve been knowing in themselves for a very long time. And by that point, it’s, it’s just the natural next step of their process. Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. Um, I guess to wrap it up, So coming back around to the teachers in schools who, you know, obviously we’re seeing a lot more students come through with gender diversity or trans students.

What can us as teachers do to help support them in the school environment? Knowing of course that we don’t have influence over their home environment, but within the school environment, how can we best support these students?

Dr Cate Rayner: There’s so much, you can do this so much. And we know that schools are a real protective factor when it comes to reducing rates of depression and anxiety in young people.

And we also know that young people learn and thrive when they feel. So there’s so much schools can do. And there’s actually been research, looking at the experience of trans and gender diverse young people in schools. And there’s a large proportion of them. I think there’s around 70% felt unsafe at school because of their gender diversity.

So I think there’s so much that schools can do to make them feel safe and affirmed. Firstly, it would be policy. So it’s about having ingrained in your school inclusive policy. So that can be around uniform and it means it really needs to be quite explicit. So. I’ve had young people who tell me for a full year, they only wore the PE uniform because that was the most gender neutral uniform that they were allowed to wear.

Emily: Yeah. Because it’s often, you know, this is the boy’s uniform and this is the girl’s uniform and that’s it.

Dr Cate Rayner: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So policies around uniform, having a think about toilets. So schools might think they’re being supportive by saying here can use this staff toilet, but if that toilet is so far away than all the other classrooms and it’s actually impractical to use it, it doesn’t help.

So it’s actually that thinking about how practically you’re going to be able to support these person in terms of bathrooms and toilets that they use, where can they get changed? Where do they want to get changed. Getting the language right as well. So using preferred names and having all teachers use preferred names.

So it’s not that when you’re in this class with this teacher, they’re affirming and they’re supportive, but when you use in this class, they actually use your old name or your dead name, because that’s really jarring. So having a policy or system in place so that the preferred name is used across the board, as well as preferred pronouns.

I think the young people who might be in the process of actually transitioning whilst at school, it’s listening to the young person. So how do they want to do it? So every young person is different. So I’ve had some young people say that they want to have the day off school and they want the teachers to tell the rest of the class and then they’ll come back.

Whereas I had another young person who wanted to stand up in the class themselves and say, Hey, I’m trans his name. You know, I was like, great, go for it. So they all want to do it a different way. And sadly I’ve looked at young people, who’ve actually changed schools because they’ve had such a negative experience.

They don’t feel like they can stay there anymore. So that actually changed schools in order to transition socially. So I think if a young person comes to someone at the school and says, I’m trans, and I want to socially transition, ask them, how can we support you? It’s as simple as that? How do you want to do it? We’ll support you to do it. And then. Exactly. Right. So, so follow through and, you know, and have someone who makes sure that happens. What else? I think there’s so much schools can do, being visibly supportive. So if you’re a young trans person you’re initial thought might be that the school is not going to be supportive.

So if you have a family that may not be understanding or supportive, or if you’ve been reading the papers recently or watching the TV, you might have this assumption that not everyone’s going to be supportive of you being trans or gender diverse. And so you might assume that of your school as well, unless the school is visibly supportive.

So I having posted. Supporting your young people to start up a support group, for LGBT young people. Those sorts of visible supports, proactive support. So really important. I’m thinking of all that, the things that the young people have told me that schools again,

Emily: I guess the key thing is to, to ask them. And then follow through.

Dr Cate Rayner: Ask them and then follow through. And sports events and camps, have a think about those because they’re so gendered. So can you have events in your sports days that are not gendered, so how can you make them inclusive and then make that part of the policy year. So there’s so much, there’s so much that can be done in schools to support these young people.

Emily: Even, I guess, in language, like I know, particularly in primary school, teachers will just say boys and girls. And then I stand there and think, well, some of them might not be either or they might be both. Having boys versus girls in competitions, and then there may be that one kid that’s sitting there going well, I’m in the wrong group.

Dr Cate Rayner: And people sometimes feel anxious when they hear that and for some reason there’s a resistance to it and it’s really easy once you start, you know, hi everyone, my amazing scholars, you know, There’s so many different words you can use and fun ways that you can great your class, that isn’t gendered.

Emily: All right. Thank you so much, Cate, for joining us today and give us all this information that I think a lot of us may not have been exposed to before.

Dr Cate Rayner: Oh, you’re welcome. Emily. It’s been a pleasure talking to you today, right?

Emily: Thank you.

If you’d like to continue the conversation, come and join us over on Facebook in the group called The Teacher Community by Staffroom Stories. And you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram @StaffroomStories. You can also check out the blog at for full podcast, episode transcripts, as well as articles about a whole range of other staffroom topics.

If you liked what you heard today, I’d love for you to tell your friends and colleagues about this podcast. And if you would leave me a review or whatever service you’re listening through, this helps others to find us. Thank you for gifting me some time out of your day. I hope the rest of it treats you well.


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys sharing the real and human teacher life, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine.

All posts

No Comments

Join the Conversation


* indicates required

Join us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest posts


Latest Posts

%d bloggers like this: