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Non-Binary Teacher Shares How They Introduce Their Pronouns To 6th Graders & How The Kids Address Them

Photo: @robigotsoles / TikTok
Teacher nairobi colon teaching their class

Nairobi Colon is a 28-year-old non-binary educator known as Teacher Robi by their students. They have been sharing their journey and experiences as a sixth-grade art teacher on TikTok, where their posts often include lessons about inclusivity and diversity alongside the regular curriculum.

How do they teach their students these concepts as well as how to be inclusive of their own identity? Colon explained on TikTok their process for doing so.

A non-binary teacher shared how they introduce their pronouns and how the kids address them.

In one of their recent videos, Colon introduced themselves to their class by explaining pronouns and giving an insight into their personal life.



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"My name is Teacher Robi. I am non-binary. I use they/them pronouns," they said. 

They continued by highlighting how important these identifiers are, not only for them but also for everyone else in class. "Pronouns are super important for myself, for you. It's important that we get it right every single time," they said. 

They further reassured students that any inadvertent errors would be politely corrected and encouraged questions in case anyone had any doubts or misunderstandings.

Colon's introduction didn't stop at just stating their gender identity; it included personal anecdotes from growing up in Brooklyn to graduating with a master's degree in Art Education from Rutgers University. They even shared pictures of family members and their pet dog to foster a connection with the students.

Of course, Colon ensured to make the introduction interactive for their young students.

"Raise your hand if you have a pet," they said.

On top of that, people commended them for talking about their gender identity in the fashion that they did. "So cool. You literally spent 2 seconds talking about it but also emphasized the importance," one person wrote.

In another video posted back in 2021, Colon discussed being non-binary with their previous fourth-grade class to highlight how easily children adapt when given proper guidance and understanding.



"Alright. Let's try this... So, to my 4th grade class. What do you guys call me?" Colon asked.

The class gave enthusiastic responses, addressing them correctly as "Teacher Robi."

"And y'all are cool with that?" they asked again.

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The unanimous 'yes' from students made it clear that acceptance isn't hard when approached with openness.

Colon's approach towards teaching goes beyond imparting knowledge about art; it extends towards creating an inclusive learning atmosphere where all students feel safe and recognized for who they truly are.

Recently, before starting what would be their sixth year of teaching, Colon expressed excitement about new responsibilities awaiting them at school. This includes becoming the 6th-grade level chairperson DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion) coordinator along with social media duties while still continuing to teach art classes.



Colon emphasized how crucial balancing time between professional commitments was along with nurturing relationships — both personal and professional — and self-care during this new academic year.

"As someone who wears multiple hats in the building… my focus this year is going to be balancing my time," they said. 

The support from people for their education style was overwhelming. "The type of person I want teaching my child!!!!!!" one person wrote. "Such a phenomenal teacher, I love how they conduct themselves," another added.

Despite facing challenges daily as a non-binary educator online due to prejudice or misunderstanding, they remain committed to spreading positivity while promoting a better understanding of gender identities.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.