Monday, September 14, 2009

Telling Students

I'm still "in the closet" about the pregnancy with my students (and their parents). I'm trying to get to know the students a little bit before I drop the bomb on them. It's not quite as easy to say "I'm expecting twins, but someone else is carrying them" as it is to say "I'm pregnant with twins." Fortunately I'm a biology teacher and can use my announcement as a lesson about IVF, which is a part of our discussion of applied genetics in a biotechnology unit. Unfortunately we don't cover genetics until the end of 2nd quarter and I'd like to make the announcement by the end of October. I am not quite sure how to launch into the announcement and am looking for advice and/or suggestions. I plan to make a PowerPoint to show the process of IVF and to explain gestational surrogacy, but I don't know how to introduce it out of context. I have considered putting an extra credit question on an upcoming quiz that says "What should Mrs. A name her twins?" I thought this would get the ball rolling and give me a fun way to bring it up. After it's been put out there that we're going to have twins, then I could use the PowerPoint to teach them all about how we are expecting our babies. Please share your thoughts with me. I'm open to suggestions!

P.S. K says the babies are super active and she's starting to feel more and more movement. K says the movements are now more blunt and less bubble-like. I'm just hoping that the little ones aren't night owls like their daddy and keep "Auntie" K up all night!

P.S.S. I finished Myles' scrapbook this weekend and will post a few pictures of some of the pages later this week. :)


GeekByMarriage said...

I love love love the extra credit question idea! Talk about students doing a double take and re-reading it! Will def. tell you who is paying attn and who isn't!

Jaymee said...

think the question is a great way to break the ice!!!

the power point with an explanation is great. what are you talking about now? is there some way to tie it into baby making in general? even if it is something like dna or pollination, you can tie that into the very beginning process and go from there. i am assuming that you are teaching high schoolers. my science teacher used to give us the whole std talk before homecoming, which had nothing to do with what we were talking about. she did it on a friday, popped some popcorn, and showed us the nastiest pictures she could find. it was more of a put away your notebooks and let's just chat.

you could also use it as a "this is the reason that you need to know this stuff" kind of talk. maybe even make that part of the curriculum, i know that you most likely do not have a ton of flexibility in that area. this could be the start of applying this to real life, and then once a month give them the chance to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I like all of your ideas!

Glad to hear that Myles' scrapbook is done - I am looking forward to the pictures.

the Mom said...

Tell the parents first. Send a note home.

Many people have moral and/or religious objections to IVF and/or surrogacy and the parents should have the opportunity to share their viewpoint with their children before you share yours.

Telling the parents first would give you the opportunity to meet those objections all at once and publicly rather than trickling in over the next weeks or months.

It's one thing to discuss this as a scientific possibility and quite another to present it as a fact.

After the parents have been told, the name bonus question sounds perfect!

Just my $.02

LK said...

While I am huge on parental notification/involvement in regards to schooling, I think notifying the parents first makes this more controversial than it has to be. You can certainly discuss questions of ethics in regards to these procedures, and be prepared for students who perhaps have some objections to such things. Bioethics is a huge topic and there are lots of directions the question could go. I think your ideas in your post are good and would get the ball rolling.

Myself, I taught high school for 5 years and there is NO WAY I would have shared any personal info like this about myself. ;) Not because I think it's wrong to do so, but because I didn't like the students knowing everything about me - it was a small town, and they knew too darn much already! But if you're comfortable with it, I say good on you - this would be a real opportunity for them to learn by real life stories, which are always much more interesting than dry scientific language in textbooks. Good luck!!!! :)