We are Rachel and Nicole! We spent six week with Mrs. Kirk’s Grade 9 health class and, although our time spent together was short, it was an awesome experience. The most relevant topics for this group of students were substance abuse and sexual health so this was what we spent our time teaching about!
In our first class, we wanted to make a broad introduction about health to the students. We discussed what the students thought made a healthy person and how they see health in their daily lives. This helped us to shape our lessons to cover the most relevant material possible in these students’ lives. The students really wanted to learn about the different types of drugs, side effects, and what do to in emergency situations related to substance use. We emphasized the fact that our presence in the classroom was to provide the students with correct information and life skills with which to lead happy and healthy lives.
We had multiple lessons about substance use and abuse covering tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, other drugs and ending with strategies to avoid drug abuse and peer pressure. We finished the unit with a summarizing game of Jeopardy! and the students were extremely excited for some friendly inter-class competition!
At the end of this unit, we moved into teaching about sexual health. We discussed male and female anatomy, pregnancy, STIs, and contraceptive options. The students asked lots of questions and we focused on providing correct information to correct any false myths that were circulating in the classroom. We provided trustworthy websites for students to access if they had any further questions after our teaching time ended.
We were extremely proud of the student participation in discussions and class activities throughout the semester. We felt that this group of students benefitted enormously from the peer education aspect of the QHO program because they felt more comfortable asking questions. We were very lucky to have been welcomed into this classroom and we wish the QECVI community a future of healthy life choices!
Rachel & Nicole