from CEC Blog, Kathy states,
“As educators, we have to teach what dating behavior is appropriate in public. I think we often have to fill in the sex education gap that may exist in our students’ home life. This is a tough area that I have just begun to explore. “
This brings back memories of when 15 year old student, A. called me one evening around 11pm, crying on the phone. She had been on a date with her boyfriend and told her that if she loved him, she would have sex with him. She remembered things I had said in class and refused him, so he broke up with her. I tried to reassure her that if he loved her, he would not be giving her ultimatums like that. Of course my husband is now in the background having a “heart attack” because I’m talking about sex to one of my students! I encourage her to talk to her mom but she is afraid mom will never let her date again. Finally I convince her to let me talk with her mom, which I do the next day. We have a great talk and then both of us talk with my student so all ended up well.
Now I can hear some of you saying that this isn’t my job but if my students trust me and confide in me, I feel it is my job. Like Kathy says, I have to teach my students about dating behavior.
I don’t get in the nitty gritty about sex or birth control but I do have my class do a project to see how their lives will change with a baby. We do research and figure out the cost of giving birth, infant care, all the way up to graduating high school. Many of the figures are estimated but I think it gives a realistic picture about the costs.
I also have my class create a budget according to their dream lives. I have them figure out if they will be married or single, how many children they will have, what kind of car they will drive, and what kind of house they will live in. They figure out the yearly cost to live the way they like and then they job hunt in the classified to find a job that will pay for this way of life. Many of them get a huge reality check when this happens. They find out that they need to do better in school or change their expectations. One little girl looked up in shock and said that she would be living in a cardboard box if she didn’t do better!
We also talk about dating procedures from where to go on a date, asking a girl out on a date, accepting a date, logistics of a date, making reservations, what to wear, tipping, how to act, and even ending a date. Of course the more experienced students like to give their input and we get to discuss recent behaviors. Sometimes we even get to do some role playing which helps out the shy students.
As an adult, I think we take a lot of these situations for granted. With today’s economy and cost of things going up, it is really hard for teens to date. Brainstorming as a class would be a great way for discussion and ideas for those who are having trouble. If everyone talks about cost saving ideas, it won’t be so bad as if only one person thinks it.
I think lessons in dating behavior would not only be successful but also appreciated by the students in my class.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'Dating for Domokuns'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10899777@N02/2522262234 by: Isaac Hsieh