Health ed class can be a scary experience for some students. Teenagers are often uncomfortable talking about issues pertaining to their body and their physical health. This can be due to low self-esteem or a general lack of knowledge about the human body and its functions. As a health education teacher, it is important to be sensitive to each student's comfort level with the material.
Discussing comfort levels as a group can serve as a great team building activity. When students are given the opportunity to see that others struggle with the material as well, it creates a sense of trust and community within the classroom.
Model the activity by talking about some of your own fears and thoughts you had as a growing teen. This is a good way to get the conversation flowing on a more comfortable level. Encourage students to share their own thoughts and feelings, comparing them to the rest of the class.
Divide students into groups of two or three and have them interview each other by asking the following questions:
- Are you nervous about taking this class? Explain.
- What is the most uncomfortable health education topic to talk about?
- How do you feel about having boys and girls in the same health education class?
- Is there anything that you would like to learn about in this class?
- As a teammate, how can I help you out in this class?
Encourage students to meet in these same groups periodically. Be sure to explain the important positive benefits of team building to your students.
You may want to have a set time once a week for this group to meet and discuss their thoughts and feelings about the class. As each team develops, it may be appropriate for members to exchange contact information to work on projects together outside of class.
Make sure that students feel comfortable sharing in their groups and strongly encourage teammates to be respectful of one another by not sharing private information shared among the group with other classmates or students.