Normally, you’d hear about the horror stories… As a student, it can be pretty awkward. But I’m here to tell you about my experience as a TEACHER teaching 4th graders about puberty.
My first year as a 4th grade teacher was going great. My students were working hard, trying their best, and it was all I could have ever ask for. That is, until I found out that I’d be teaching Sex Ed. No big deal I thought, I can totally teach my two classes of girls- I’ve got the experience. Well… I drew the short straw and now here I was a 23 year old young woman about to teach 100 pre-pubescent 4th grade boys (mind you that’s boys around the age of 10) about their oh so soon bodily changes. I could have died right there. I mean come on, I was still 23 years old and even I giggled at the word PENIS! How was I supposed to say it without
dying blushing in front of 100 beet-red faced boys?! The day came and I raced through that powerpoint at lighting speed, only stumbling on words like “erection” and “wet dream”.
“Is a wet dream when you accidentally pee yourself?”
“..Sort of… Moving on…”
While this was absolutely mortifying to me, the teacher, I can’t imagine what is was like for these students. They had so many questions and I couldn’t even begin to answer them. Some questions were easier like,
“Will it get bigger?”
“Does the whole thing get hairy?”
“No, not the whole thing.”
“Should I start wearing deoderant”
“Yes, actually you should have started last month…”
But others, I couldn’t answer. I didn’t have the life experience to sit down with these boys and tell them “back in my day…”. I just didn’t.
This honestly boggled my mind. Why was a WOMAN who spent 4 years in college learning about how to help children read and multiplication tips and trick teaching boys about their body? Shouldn’t a professional or AT LEAST a man be doing this? All I could think about was how it could have been so much easier if I had taught the girls…. But the next year I would find out how wrong I could be.