When I think about teaching human sexuality, there are so many questions that come to mind. What do I need to know about my audience? What are the objectives and outcomes of the presentation? What do I need to understand about the culture of my audience? What are the laws and policies regarding teaching sexuality for this presentation? What educational tools and strategies will be developmentally appropriate for my audience? What curriculum is appropriate for the audience? How do I correctly create and assess the objectives? How will I incorporate media and technology into the course/presentation?
Is being a sex educator more than the above questions? What are my personal and professional development responsibilities to be an educator utilizing best practices, national standards, and the media?
As I was searching the Internet for teaching strategies, I came across this webpage based out of Canada. The website, http://teachers.teachingsexualhealth.ca/teaching-tools has different sections to assist a teacher in planning to teach. The sections include prepare yourself, prepare your class, and prepare parents and the communities. These different sections provide valuable resources to assist a teacher with preparation and professional development. There is also a section for instructional methods including activities and examples of student questions. Although it is from a different country, I think the thoroughness of the website is astounding. I believe it is a tool to assist sex educators in their professional development and comfort level facilitating sexuality education.
As a sex educator, I have learned about my strengths and weaknesses. I believe the tool above is useful and yet I have feel like I am not “connected” to the social media and technology that adolescents are accessing to receive their sex education. In a blog by Deb Levine, creator of Columbia U's Go Ask Alice website, and Executive. Director of ISIS-Inc.org, she discusses the importance of being able to incorporate technology and social media with sex education. I actually felt like I was living in the Stone Age while reading the article because I do not have a Facebook or Twitter account, own a Smartphone, know any current music, browse through Youtube in my spare time, and I could go on and on about my lack of “connection” with social media. I do know that I cannot continue to turn a blind eye to these tools as a source of my own personal and professional development as a sex educator.
As you think about your own professional development as a sex educator, what tools do you use to further your own professional development? How do you think media influences your teaching practices?