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My husband this week taught a bunch of year 7s about puberty as part of a new subject called Communications that he has ended up being roped into. He has never done so before and it is not his subject specialism. When he offered to get involved in the subject it was originally just teaching one aspect of it (English and Drama) but he's now doing pretty much the whole thing and not enjoying it. He felt very uneasy about the puberty lesson and in fact when our DS was home from school ill on Friday he jumped at the chance to saty home and care for him as it meant getting out of the puberty lesson. He couldn't avoid Monday's lesson though.
I said he should have refused to do it. What do you think? Would you feel qualified enough to teach it? He said a bunch of his younger female colleagues told him they keep putting it off as they don't want to teach it either.
He said he had questions on bits of paper from pupils asking about vaginal discharge, periods starting, breast development etc and felt totally out of his depth although answered as best he could. He also had some questions about test tube babies which he said he felt more able to discuss (as we had IVF).
I know young people need to learn these things and they shouldn't cause us embarrassment to talk about, but DH (a nearly fifty year old Drama teacher) was well out if his comfort zone, talking about intimate personal things with 11 and 12 year olds.
I think it's unfair to expect teachers that are not trained to teach this subject to deliver this, You wouldn't expect it in any other subject would you?
Your post is really interesting, I am an slt member who has planned work on puberty, I'm not sure on the rules either! I did think the only subject we could opt out of was RE but I might be wrong. It is tricky but most schools can't afford a full department of pshee specialists, so other staff teach these lessons. at our school many staff teach beyond their specialism.
He taught it again today. I don't necessarily think it is wrong that he is teaching it, more that he's been chucked in the deep end with no training at all and he may not be the best person to be delivering this.
At the school I worked at a nurse used to come and do a 'Growing up' talk. One for boys and one for girls. It's much better coming from a health professiona. Can your DH suggest that? How difficult to be put in that position.