Reflectionon teaching experience
Forthe community teaching experience exercise, I taught a group oftwelve students at Park Vista High School about Chlamydia as one ofthe most common STD. The exercise took about 45 minutes in which Iintroduced the topic and discussed the issues broadly and distributedpamphlets that I had prepared. The lesson centered on teaching themabout ways of protecting themselves against this disease and itsspread, symptoms and signs of the disease, screening and testing andalso basic information about the disease. The most effective methodof protection against the disease among high school students isabstaining from sex as unsafe sex is the most common method oftransmission. The other way is through practicing safe sex by usinglatex condoms. Studies have shown that latex condoms are better thannatural membrane condoms. Polyurethane female condoms have also beenfound to be effective. Signs and symptoms of the diseases are notwell pronounced in some cases hence individuals need to be regularlyscreened for the infection which is recommended twice a year for thesexually active youth. Where symptoms are pronounced in females, theyinclude vagina irritation, vaginal discharge, lower abdominal painand a burning feeling with urination. The disease is best handledthrough early screening and treatment. Delayed detection of thedisease can lead to complications that can appear later in life suchas barrenness. These complications are similar to those for othersupposedly serious STD’s such as gonorrhea and syphilis. For mostpatients who test positive for Chlamydia, they should also bescreened for other infections such as gonorrhea and syphilis andHIV-AIDS.
Epidemiologicalrationale for topic
Iwanted to make sure that the students understood what Chlamydia isand its origins. I therefore first chose to increase their knowledgein Chlamydia. I thus started off the exercise by introducing myselfand then posing several conversation questions to the group. I neededto learn what they know and they don’t in order to be relevant.With current social changes, it was important to address the issuefrom a very broad angle to accommodate diverse sexualities among thestudents. I therefore chose the chance to indicate how broad sexualrelations have become and how all these different forms can transmitthe disease. The traditional male-female sexual relations are howeverstill the most common way through which STD’s spread. I came tolearn that majority of the students understood very well about STDsand means of protecting themselves. However, there was perceivedconviction among several students that Chlamydia was not that seriousas compared to other STDs. It is for this reason alone that thedisease one of the most common.
Toprepare myself for this section of the study, I carried out priorresearch mainly from the Center for Disease Control website aboutChlamydia. From, this I research, I prepared the pamphlet indicatingthat Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the USA,(CDC.gov) Sexually active females 25 years and younger needs testingevery year. I would have preferred data to show the prevalence of thedisease and actual statistics from school districts or states andcounties. This would serve the students better to understand theseriousness of the disease to address the issue of the perceivedrelaxed attitude towards the diseases as a less serious infection.
Evaluationof teaching experience
Keepinginformation simple, relevant, and precise would make the exercisemore effective. I did not take the risk of creating a very wordypamphlet but rather chose to go for a short one with key informationpresented in brief. Personally, I have always gone for informationthat is provided in bits and not lengthy essays. The nature of thepamphlet was therefore designed in a manner that would rouse interestand information was categorized by subheadings. Important issues werelisted in bullet points to make them more visible to the audience. Itherefore gained lot in learning how to be simple and makingdecisions on what would be relevant and not relevant to this specificage group. In fact, with information on history of this disease andthe early methods of treatment which I had found very interesting, Ihad to make decision to omit that due to limitation of scope andspace.
Myknowledge and experience in making pamphlets came in handy. AlthoughI have read and been exposed to pamphlets for a long time, I have notbeen actively involved in making them regularly. I therefore had someissues I struggled to remember especially in adding images to thepamphlet. Any image whether graphical or a photograph breaks themonotony in any writing. However, the image must be relevant andcorresponds to the text. Therefore, I used one image of a lady withthe caption “The secret to Her success”. This was very relevantto the current case because success in life is based on success inprotecting one’s life and remaining alive and healthy. Studentscannot achieve their dreams in life if they are constantly all orthey have to miss class to see a doctor. As such, I saw the image asa way of broadening the approach to Chlamydia as an STD to protectingone’s self and pursuing their dreams in life.
Beingaware and well informed about your audience is very vital for anyteaching exercise. For a fact, I chose Chlamydia for the very purposethat it is very common among teenagers practicing unsafe sex. I wasvery aware of the fact that at the adolescent age and during highschool years, students are very eager to experiment and discover sex.For some of the teens in this age bracket, sex is way of delinquencyand rebellion from the systems at home school and society. It is alsoin this age that many young ones will experiment with alcohol,cigarettes, marijuana and other forms of drugs. With use of suchsubstances, judgment is impaired which can lead to unprotected sexand even rape. I thus thought of such predispositions and dangersthat high school girls might be exposed and increased the risk ofcontracting diseases such as Chlamydia.
Theexercise also increased my knowledge in the subject. I found the factthat signs and symptoms take one to two weeks to emerge to be veryenlightening. For some reason, I thought that the disease takes onlyabout five days for the symptoms to emerge. The exercise was alsothus beneficial to me in learning about Chlamydia. For futurepurposes, I will seek to increase my knowledge about any of thetopics being addressed. The teaching mode being a pamphlet in thiscase was easier. I would be very worried if in an actual face to faceexercise, I would fall short in my knowledge of a topic or I relayedwrong information to the community.
4.Community response to teaching
Fromthe initial stages, I expected to increase awareness of Chlamydiaamong the groups of students. I reckoned that I would also havetrouble assessing the actual success as there were no measurablevariables. This meant that there was no way of assessing whether thegroup took to abstain from sex or they had resulted to safe sex forthe sexually active. Studies have shown that a significant number ofteenagers are very secretive about their sex lives and sexuality. This is in respect to society values and moral standards expectedfrom them. However, I believe that by informing them than thesexually active ones, whether engaging in safe or unsafe sex need tobe tested at least twice a year will help drive the message home thatall of them are at risk and therefore need to take greater control oftheir health. Therefore, I expected that the group was more convincedto take up screening more regularly and practice safe sex orcompletely abstain from sex until marriage or after settling down inone monogamous relationship.
Ialso expected that students’ knowledge of the early signs andsymptoms of the disease would go a long way in treating it in atimely manner. Where individuals can be keen about their bodies andnotice any changes such as vaginal discharge would require them toseek early medical treatment. This not only averts the risk ofcomplications that may develop later in life and also keep otherpeople safe. As such, I expected that the group would take up selfscreening more regularly and check for any signs and symptoms andseek medical assistance. I also expected that the group would alsoenlighten other people and share the information with friends for agreater impact on society.
5.Areasof strengths and areas of improvement
Oneof the areas I felt I could improve on was using Microsoft OfficePublisher to make pamphlets. I believe this very important for myline of profession to be able to create pamphlets for publiceducation. I have across many pamphlets with multiple pages. I thinkI need to improve my knowledge in this area and learn how to makepamphlets with multiple pages.
Anotherarea that I felt I need to improve on is assessing the impact of theexercise. The pamphlet itself is just a piece of paper if theinformation contained there does not achieve the set objectives. Ifeel that being informed about the actual impact of the exercise inthe society would allow me to know the exercise was successful orwhether is need to make any changes in the approach to make it moresuccessful. It would also be very effective in seeking donor fundingand sponsorship from government or the private sector to carry outfollow up exercises or even expand the current one to a larger scaleor even to make a regular event. However, actual statistics andfigures indicating the success of such an event would be needed.
Chlamydia.CDC. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm