Why I Teach Sex Ed: Plainfield, NJ

by Alethea Thompson

Alethea Thompson

Some days I feel like I have the best job in the world — it’s so educational! Whether I am learning from a conference, a mandatory state training, or a Planned Parenthood in-service training, I always have something new to take back to the clients I teach. I get the opportunity teach in schools, colleges, substance abuse facilities, churches, just to name a few. When I teach puberty education in elementary schools and the children learn about how their bodies are constantly changing and growing, their faces are priceless. When I go to middle and high schools, I use lessons from Making Sense of Abstinence, Positive Encounters,and Streetwise to Sex-Wise. And for the last three years I have been working with the age group 25 and up, so my work in never boring. This age group has some experience when it comes to sex, so it makes my job so much more interesting when they learn something new. It could be HIV/STD facts, or just having a safe, healthy and fulfilling sex life. 

Streetwise to Sex-Wise,
and the other titles mentioned in this essay
are available at www.SexEdStore.com

I also get the opportunity to tag team with some of the other educators from Planned Parenthood whom I consider some of the best educators in the State of New Jersey. Not only that, but I have met and been in workshops and learned from the greatest sexual health educators from throughout the nation. My job has so many different components – tabling at a health fair, having a one-on-one with a client, giving risk-reduction methods and information, street outreach, giving out condoms and preventative information when it comes to sexual health and breast health care. My job is fulfilling because I know I help prevent people from getting HIV/STDs and avoid unwanted pregnancies. I have a feeling of accomplishment and self worth. I listen to people and I care. This is my dream job and no session/program/health fair is ever the same. I’m not saying my job isn’t challenging at times, because it is. I take my job very seriously because the HIV/AIDs epidemic is also serious. 

Editor’s Note:
“Why I Teach Sex Ed” profiles sexuality educators throughout the nation. This column appears each Monday. If you teach sex ed and would like to tell your story, send your submission, in 350-700 words, to Bill@SexEdStore.com.