When I attended orientation activities at Georgetown University, I noticed that the presenters used gender inclusive language--they didn't refer to he or she, but used general words that included all and respected every student's identity.
Last year when students evaluated our program, some thought that we were sometimes unfair with regards to one gender or another. I thought a lot about that, and realized I needed to update my language and actions in this regard to respect every child's individual identity. Then the counselor shared a great article with us that is a good step in helping us with this goal.
Further in Darling-Hammond and Cook-Harvey's wonderful recent report, Educating the Whole Child: Improving School Climate to Support Student Success, they specifically discuss identity safety and the reasons why that is so important for a child's overall health and good learning/living.
As I move forward in the years of teaching ahead, I want to think deeply about creating an identity inclusive environment and what that means for elementary education. Onward.