Monday, 5 May 2014

Plan for the adopted, abused, HIV+ and pregnant

When I write a new lesson plan or activity  I always ask myself "how would my lesson impact someone if they had...

- experienced sexual abuse
- been pregnant
- a member of their family or themselves  infected with HIV
- been questioning their sexuality
- never seriously considered sex before
(and I've just added)
- been through the fostering/adoption system "

When a write new material I am usually  writing something that I hope I could use multiple times with multiple groups and possibly over multiple years. So whilst statistically it is unlikely that every class will have people for all the above questions. It is an almost 100% certainty that most of the materials I write will at some point be delivered to all of the above. 

I believe we have to plan for the 20%, 1%, the 0.1% and the 0.01%. I may never happen but if it did I want to ensure all my materials have a positive impact for everyone regardless of what others pressures that may have on their life. 

I know I sometimes get this wrong, the language I use and even the style of activities and presentation may sometimes miss the mark. But it's worth the effort. Taking the time to always recognise and validate everyone's experience regardless of how common or rare it is. 

Asking myself those questions is a method to check that my own personal experiences are not damaging my work. Am I always taking the time to help all students especially those who may face difficult and complex situations.

I sometimes add more questions
"how would my lesson impact someone who had...

- an addiction to pornography or erotica
- been caught sending naked pictures of themselves to other students
- been dumped just before the lesson
- a very positive enjoyable sexual experience yesterday
- long term body image worries
- Inherited genital herpes from their mum
- Just had a contraceptive implant fitted "

Those are all good questions too but the top 6 are my must important. They are a method to help me critique my own work. These young people deserve for my lessons to help them not add extra pressure, what ever they have or are currently facing.

Would you add any questions to my list?