Time and again I have heard PSHE Coordinators frustrated that they have the smallest budget in the school - often not much more per year than the weekly petty cash tin! But where there are specialist PSHE teams and teachers who are excited about working with young people on relationships and sexuality this doesn't matter - there is no need to buy resources because there is so much trigger material available in books, on the radio and increasingly on the internet - You Tube, Facebook, twitter etc which make the issues live and relevant for young people.
Whilst it has been a long time since I did any real work in the classroom on a regular basis, I do still find myself thinking a lot about how I would use material I read, see and listen to if I were working with young people on a day to day basis, and use this blog to document some of that when I have time to do so.
I am going through a phase of reading biographies/autobiographies and rekindled my love of the Desert Island Disc Archive.
Ending relationships well is one of the areas that educators often say they have difficulty finding good trigger material for. Today I listened to Dawn French's Desert Island Interview and between 25 and 30 minutes in there is fantastic material where Dawn talks about how brilliantly they managed to end the relationship and how it reflected the brilliance of the marriage.
She also talks powerfully about self belief and believing 'she is the type of person who can write a book, or do a one woman play in the West End'. Given that we know that so often it is one's own self belief that limits us rather than that there are practical things blocking us, this too could be useful for working with young people - perhaps particularly young women - about self esteem and confidence.
I read her autobiography a while ago, and had another quick flick through - the book picks up these themes and also addresses provides some passages that would be helpful about body image.
I have also read Will Young's autobiography Funny Peculiar which has a number of really useful sections which could provide trigger material about homophobia, homosexuality and self confidence. For example the following on page 150 where he says
I am at a stage where I am fully comfortable with being a gay man and a gay pop star. I have found the balance that is right for me, and I am proud of it......You can be whoever you want to be. That is the key. It is about finding what works for you that matters - not anybody else.
could be used to trigger discussion with young people.
This week I am excited because I am going back into the classroom with one of Brook's education team in Dudley. I am very much looking forward to feeling that energy and buzz of a class of young people being inspired and interested to think about the areas of sex, gender, relationships and sexuality by an educator who believes this is stuff is important.