|School Health Education to Prevent AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) : Teachers' Guide (UNESCO - WHO, 1994, 117 p.)|
Students may react to this programme in different ways. They may:
· Ask baiting questions (to try to embarrass you).
· Remain silent because of embarrassment.
· Shock or try to amuse by describing sexually explicit behaviours.
· Ask very personal questions about your private life.
· Make comments that open themselves to peer ridicule or criticism.
To deal with these situations it is important to set class rules. These must be very clear to the students before you start. You can have students develop their own rules or you can start with a list and discuss with the students if they are fair and why they are important. A suggested list might be:
· Students are expected to treat each other in a positive way and be considerate of each others feelings.
· Students are not to discuss personal matters that were raised during the lesson with others outside of the classroom.
· Students should avoid interrupting each other.
· Students should listen to each other and respect each others opinions.
· Both students and teachers have a right-to-pass if questions are too personal.
· No put-downs - no matter how much you disagree with the person you do not laugh, make a joke about them or use language that would make that person feel inferior.
· Students may be offered the possibility of putting their questions anonymously to the teacher.
· Many times students laugh and giggle about sex. This should be allowed in the beginning, as it lowers the barriers when discussing sexuality.
Strategies to deal with special problems
The following strategies might be used to deal with personal questions, explicit language and inappropriate behaviour.
· Respond to statements that put down or reinforce stereotypes (for example, statements that imply that some groups of people are responsible for the AIDS epidemic) by discussing the implications of such statements.
· Be assertive in dealing with difficult situations -for example, That topic is not appropriate for this class. If you would like to discuss it, Id be happy to talk to you after class.
· Avoid being overly critical about answers - so that students will be encouraged to express their opinions openly and honestly.
· Present both sides of a controversial issue. Avoid making value judgements.
· It might be important to separate males and females in group activities that might be embarrassing to the students or where separated groups may function more efficiently.
Helping the anxious student
· It is helpful to think ahead of how you might respond to students in the class who believe they may have been exposed to HIV or have an STD. It is important that you behave in such a way that students who are worried will feel comfortable seeking your advice.
· Your responsibility in teaching an HIV/AIDS/STD programme includes learning in advance what help and services are available in your community.
· Listen to the student who approaches you, without imposing your values, moral judgements or opinions. Do not ask leading or suggestive questions about his or her behaviour.
· Convey your concern for the students health and when appropriate, tell the student that you know of services that can help him/her. Offer to start the process by contacting the one the student chooses.
· Continue your support by confidentially asking the student from time to time if he or she needs more information, has taken any action, or is still concerned about anything related to your conversation.