Thank God it's Friday

17th February 2006 at 00:00
Monday I pick up some visual aids from the local health resource centre for my teaching on contraception this week. The manager is encouraging and it takes three of us to carry all the free leaflets, posters, and boxed display materials to my car. I'm glad that I declined the life-sized pregnant torso, but I wonder if my box of condoms is past its use-by date.

Tuesday I show off the new resources at a short PSHE staff meeting. I explain how to use the boxed set with the erect penis that ejaculates (if the gel is inserted correctly before the lesson). The teachers refuse to touch any of my latex or rubber items. Mrs B says she'll give that lesson to the supply teacher covering for her on Friday.

Wednesday To introduce the topic to class 10, I show the film about birth.

It is going well until Nicholas falls to the floor. It appears to be a faint and not a fit. Maybe the room is too hot. Later that day, when we talk about conception, Luke asks how the tadpoles get there. And he really means tadpoles... he's been working on the pond wildlife in environmental studies. It is my fault for using picture language and not sticking to the technical.

Thursday Class 11 today. After a carefully worded introduction I bring out the new resources and introduce the erect rubber penis. None of the pupils will open a condom packet. James says that it's best if I do it as I've probably done it before. I look at him closely. He is not trying to be funny. He has Asperger's syndrome and is just stating the obvious. I place the condom on to the blue phallus but as I forget to insert the gel, there is no ejaculation. I want to wash my hands but the classroom has no sink; instead I move on to feelings and relationships. "Can you get pregnant if your belly buttons touch?" asks Julie. It is nearly break time. Quickly, I cover the dangers of very heavy petting. The bell rings.

Friday The supply teacher collects his materials for Mrs B's lesson on contraception. He has just heard Class 11 discussing yesterday's session.

Janine said, with some authority, that Mrs Crowley said you could get pregnant from French kissing. Conception aided by tadpoles and tongues, eh? That's another topic we'll have to revisit.

Gina Crowley teaches at a special school in the North-east. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email friday@ We pay for every article we publish

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