Teaching really is an unexpected adventure. Today, I found myself covering for an absent teacher. It was a combined year 10,11 and 12 class of learning support students and the subject was Life Skills. The particular Life Skills lesson plan I was given to teach? Tattoos and Body Piercings! Not something I ever thought I would be teaching, but there you go, always expect the unexpected.
They had a video to view and a worksheet to answer. The learning intention was to consider tattoos and body piercings as art, culture and self expression. Also, to communicate that layering yourself with tattoos and body piercings may severely limit your choices in life as to employment opportunities and the possible consequences resulting from the reactions and opinions of other people.
These students have very low levels of intelligence, life is a daily struggle, and they could easily be persuaded by peers to perhaps do something they might regret, so I suppose in some ways it was a lesson to try and get them to think about their choices, their actions, fashions and peer pressure.
What I admire about them is their openness, their honesty and their innocence. We had quite a fun double period discussing the issues, and formulating responses. It was a refreshing change from trying to get the more fortunate to be grateful for the skills they have and to apply them productively.