Social Impact

Tips on starting a conversation with your English teacher

An illustration of a teacher's desk with computer, shelf of books and pot of pencils.

Approaching your teacher can seem intimidating, but go in with an open mind, a notebook and loads of enthusiasm!

We've put together some useful things to consider before starting your conversation.

Keep the conversation positive

Remember that the best chance of success is to work together with your teachers, and so rather than pointing out what's wrong now, it could be better to think more about the opportunity for change in the future. 

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Explore books by writers of colour

Share the Lit in Colour research with your teacher

Using the key findings in the report could be a great way to start a conversation. You could share the link to the report below with them.

Take a look over the key findings and think about which ones are most relevant to your school.

There are also a number of tools and resources to help teachers, for example doing an audit of what's taught.

Lit in Colour logo on yellow and orange background

The Lit in Colour report

How to have the conversation

  • Start by asking if your teacher has time to talk to you about diversity in your English Literature curriculum. Think about when the best moment might be to have this conversation - for example it could be at the end of your lesson, or if you are talking to your teacher one-to-one.
  • Try not to put them on the spot, so it might be worth having this conversation with them in private, rather than in front of the whole class.
  • Ask your teacher if there are ways to bring more books by writers of colour into the current curriculum or into your English lessons more broadly.
  • Share your ideas and thoughts about what you'd like to see, or any books by writers of colour which you love and would like to share with other students in your class.
  • Let them know why this matters to you. 
  • Listen to their answers about what might be possible and what might be more challenging to change. 
  • Is there a theme or topic your year group is really interested in, which you could use as an opportunity to bring in a new book or author?  

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