After having some disastrous sex education growing up in Texas, I've always wanted to become a sex ed teacher- which has been considered by everyone an "odd" occupational goal.
But after six years of being taught by middle-aged women, happily married to their high-school sweethearts, who completely and totally advocated abstinence as the only option- One teacher even told us that the majority of people use condoms incorrectly, but she would not divulge what, exactly, constitutes "incorrect" use, nor how to properly use one- I always wanted to be everything those teachers weren't. I looked around at our town's WAY above average teen pregnancy rate, the girls I'd met at work who'd never used a condom, ever, and wanted someone, anyone, to be honest and open and frank with these kids. Something that obviously isn't happening within our system.
So, how does one go about becoming a sex ed teacher? I'm already halfway toward a degree and teacher certification, but what on top of that is required to be a sex-ed teacher- even part-time, and particularly in the state of Texas?
-------------------- "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." -Homer Simpson Posts: 24 | From: Texas | Registered: Jun 2003
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In public schools (and plenty of private ones) who teaches sex ed tends to only be about who is interested. Usually, a schoolteacher doing sex ed doesn't have any extra training, they're just asked to read and follow whatever given sex ed curriculum the school they teach in uses. It's not common to have being a sex ed teacher for one school be a full-time position, as those segments are often only taught over short periods of time, not over a full year.
Often, too, many teachers see who gets "stuck with" doing sex ed as a bummer, so by all means, once you're teaching, making clear that you'd be glad to do the sex ed would be a great thing to mention.
Of course, in many schools, what you do say is going to often be limited by that school's policies and what curriculum you're using, as can be the case with many subjects in schools. So, if you want to do this and want some freedom in doing it, asking what a given school's approach/policies are with sex ed might be something to talk about when you're interviewing.
If you want to teach sex ed full-time, than rather than taking a teaching position at once school, you may want to lean towards study and work at a health clinic or sex education organization which does outreach, so that you'd travel to various schools to do presentations.
Kudos to you on your goal: we are in dire need of way more motivated and holistic sexuality educators!
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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Just like to add on here. I know that in a lot of states the people that generally teach Sexual Education in public school settings are actually the Physical Education teachers. The reasoning behind this is that they have to take a lot of health and wellness classes as a part of their major and are therefore generally more qualified than say an English teacher or Mathematics teacher. On that same line, however, is the fact of where you decide to teach and what type of school you want to get into. Ultimately it’s going to depend on what teaching degree you’re studying for. Remember that if you’re Elementary Education you’re actually not legally qualified to be teaching in a high school and in some districts middle schools won’t hire you either.
Have you spoken to your college advisor? They would be the best source right now for you to find out what all you need and if there’s anything that you can add to your major to make you more qualified for that in the job market.
And just so you know … I don’t think that’s an odd choice for an occupation at all! I think it’s great that you want to give to students what you didn’t have yourself. I know that while some of the teachers I had in my past are great inspirational figures for me … there are also those that I look at and thing “That is what I will work never to be!”
And what Heather said about the curriculum being what you have to teach … it stinks but it’s not unchangeable with a lot of work, influence, and statistics put to the right people. My friend and I just got to go ahead for changing the curriculum for his school (It took a lot of fighting and work from us … but we’re super excited). I remember my curriculum in high school … they actually told us we’d be safer with two condoms and that you the pull out method is a fine option --- whose book did THOSE come from?!? And ultimately students should have a teacher comfortable with the subject. If the teacher’s uncomfortable and unknowledgeable … where does that leave the students? I’m glad to know you want to lead them down the right path!
-------------------- "Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008
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