Summer is a great time to explore…Tools for Sex Educators
Sure, you’re “off for the summer.” But anyone who knows a teacher sees right through that expression. We all know you are busy refreshing, renewing, and readying for the new school year. Summer is a great time to look at some new tools for sex educators!
Here are a few resources to add to your repertoire of tools:
Sexual Health Education Guide:
Many schools and teachers face the challenge of keeping a record of their approved sex education programming. With changes in administration and staff, educators may not know what lessons to teach and what supplementary resources to use at each grade level. Without consistent implementation, students might not receive the same instruction from class to class. Also, controversy can arise when individual teachers don’t know what to teach and must make it up as they go. Having a clear record allows schools to communicate consistently with families and school staff. With that in mind, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) developed a template of a Sexual Health Education Guide that school districts can modify and make their own. This guide is now available in two versions: One for Michigan and one for all other states. Access the Guide here.
Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education:
Professional preparation for teaching sex education can make all the difference between a positive experience and one that leaves a lasting negative impression. With that in mind, a group of 20 organizations worked together to form the Sex Education Collaborative. Over the course of two years, they developed the Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education (PLSSE) and released them in April 2019. Review the PLSSE here.
Principles of Gender-Inclusive Puberty and Health Education:
Gender Spectrum developed a comprehensive guide for gender-inclusive puberty and health education. The new “Principles of Gender-Inclusive Puberty and Health Education” show educators how to create more welcoming, supportive classrooms for all students. Health educators can adopt these principles without changing their current curricula. When applied to existing course materials, the principles convey language and practices that ensure that no student’s passage through puberty is stigmatized or made invisible. Read the Principles here.
Special Education Adaptations:
I receive many requests for resources and curricula for sex education for students with special needs. After years of exploring and getting input from other sex educators and special educators, I have accumulated this resource list.
Expectant and Parenting Youth Inclusivity Toolkit:
This free, online resource provides strategies and resources for adults who may work with expectant and parenting youth (EPY) to ensure they’re being supportive, effective, and affirming in their work – whether that’s in the classroom, at home, at a job site, or at a community agency. If you are working with older adolescents, check out the Michigan Organization for Adolescent Sexual Health for this and other useful resources. Access the Toolkit here.
CDC HIV Report:
This report is one of many helpful resources provided by the Centers for Disease Prevention Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC-DASH). DASH is committed to preventing HIV, STDs, and pregnancy among all youth. Taking a school-based health promotion and disease prevention approach, the division works to prepare healthy youth for a successful future. Check their site to find useful data and program tools. Download the infogram report here.
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