Today I had one of the best teaching days of my careers. I started teaching Teen Living for the first time this year. I really love all of the subjects within the course such as goals for the future, self esteem, conflict resolution, family, friendship, dating, marriage, teen pregnancy etc... This week I was DREADING having to teach about Sexual Intimacy and STD's and abstinence. There are so many laws about teaching these subjects. Permission slips must be signed just to allow the kids to be present in the class. Utah follows Abstinence Only, which means as a teacher we can't even talk about the option of sex before marriage. (yet we talk about STDS and teen pregnancy) so the whole thing is very confusing in my head!
Anyway. I picked up some candy at the store and it happened to be smarties. I was going to give the students the smarties in the beginning of class and tell them not to eat it until the end of class where I would give them something better. The smarties equal virginity and the better candy would have equaled waiting until marriage.
Well I got the idea to have them wait until Friday to return the smartie, making them safe guard their smarties all week. I was surprised how much the students were excited about returning their smarties.
I was up until 1am last night making two huge rainbow cakes. I thought about buying them but I wanted to know how special it was and wanted to put the time into making it for them. I wrote "Worth The Wait" on the top. They looked great!
The students mostly ALL brought their smarties. We shared how they kept their smarties safe and how some of them lost them. We talked about abstinence and marriage and then we all had cake and ice cream. The students who didn't have their smarties had to have the "other" cake. The cake that was messed up and crumbled and "while it was STILL cake, It's just wasn't as special".
Some of the students said they would continue to save the smarties I gave them and hoped to be able to give them to their future spouse. I told them they better invite me to the wedding!!!!
It was a great day. I feel really happy being here at Joel P Jensen. Some days are really tough, but I know what I am doing is making a difference. I have purpose being here. I never felt this fulfilled teaching at the high school. Middle schoolers are still teachable and vulnerable and sometimes crazy annoying.