Today I got another reminder of how high school has changed since I was a student.
This morning some students came into my classroom selling the school’s news magazine. I had a couple extra dollars, so I bought one. The cover story is “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Other major articles are “Being Gay in High School”, Raising a Child as Teenagers”, and “Teaching Sex Ed in the Classroom”. (There was also mention of the hockey team going to the playoffs.) Perhaps the bigger surprise is only one student in the class bought one.
These topics reminded me of the first shock I received as a teacher. I had signed up as a substitute before I started the academic part of the training to see if I could survive in the classroom. One of the first jobs I took was in a social studies class where students were working in teams on assigned current-events topics. Trying very hard to be helpful, I approached the first team — “What’s your topic?” And they replied “Condoms.”
All I did was mumble something about condoms making good water balloons and moved on.