Health in grade 9?

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So, I was a little surprised to hear that the high school I am pre- interning at barely covers the grade 9 Health curriculum. I obviously feel very strongly about this because I am a Health major, and Health is one of my biggest passions. I don’t understand how there is a curriculum for Health, yet, it isn’t being taught? I think that some Health is covered, but not nearly enough (in my opinion). The curriculum states that there needs to be 80 weeks of Health Ed every week (for one semester), I didn’t think this was nearly enough, but now it seems like a lot better then nothing at all.

I think Health is an extremely important subject. Health is something that affects a person for their entire life, and it affects society as a whole. (think health care). I especially think that grade 9 students need to be taught health because they are entering a stage where the decisions they make can last with them forever.

What is your opinion on Health Education? Do you think it should be a mandatory class for students all the way up to grade 12? why or why not?

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3 responses »

  1. I am also a health major and have had these exact thoughts! I finished my internship last semester and although I am in high school education, I only taught middle years (7,8 and 9). Why? Well because health isn’t offered past grade 9 unless you take Wellness. The most ridiculous thing I faced during my internship was the fact that I only had health with say the grade 9’s once every six day cycle… 55 minutes of health in every six school days and that was only if there wasn’t an assembly or some other school activity that they always seemed to place right when we had health class.

    It was almost impossible to get through material and not only that it was even more impossible to give students assignments or projects to work on together and develop because we simply didn’t have the time. When it came time for report cards and some students did terribly on an exam or a project parents were outraged and all I could tell them was I’m sorry, I wish I could have given extra assignments or class projects to boost your childs mark, because I KNOW they are better than the mark provided but we just don’t have the time. My co-op also was very much based around exams to test student knowledge so I had no other option but to give a test based on the mounds of information we were to give the students in a condensed amount of time.

    This has been and always will be an ongoing struggle with getting health education noticed for its importance in student life long learning. I am clearly also very passionate about health education and I believe that it is the basis for all we do in our lifes, so I also don’t understand why it doesn’t get there is so little emphasis on the subject area.

    • During my pre-internship I wasn’t teaching health, I was teaching social studies but my co-op said it would be okay if I incorporated health into the lessons, so I focused on healthy relationships and disease/hygiene/medicine in the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. So after the first day of talking about syphilis and how the disease became popular in the Middle Ages, I had students asking me “What are STI’s?” “What is abstinence”? and questions like that- questions that you would think the “typical” 14- 15 year old knows the answers to. Anyways, I asked my co-op if I could teach the students a quick 1 or 2 lessons on sexual health and she agreed. Since I knew I only had two days and way to much information to cover I decided to have them do a “webquest” I also brought a million pamphlets about STI’s and contraceptives that I have collected over the years to keep in my Family Life binder. The main purpose of the lesson was to show students the many different resources they could go to and use to answer their questions or concerns about sex. The student’s responded really well to the assignment and I think that considering I only had two days to cover such a huge topic it was a really effective way to teach it. After the two days was up I realized that this was going to be the reality in many schools who don’t allot enough time for Health Education and the best way (or one of the best ways) to overcome the issue is to show students how to find useful and credible information in regards to health. I’d be interested in hearing of the ways you overcame only being able to teach health every 6 days. I can’t imagine that would be easy!

  2. Yeah, I can totally relate to your frustration. I just feel that Health is so important and I don’t understand why it is often pushed to the side, especially for subjects like math or science. I realize these subjects are important to, but really does everyone need math and science? no not really, but everyone needs Health. The decisions adolescents make in regards to health are something that will last with them for their entire life, so I feel there should be a huge emphasis on it.

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