It is also important to realise potential problems of using lessons that have been written by others.
- Make sure you are familiar with all the topics or words mentioned in the lessons. Please read our sections on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Knowledge You Need
- Our lessons are not attached to schemes of work. They will need to be worked in seamlessly to your topics and medium term planning . This will make sure your work in relevant and in context.
- They should not be given to supply teachers. They require the delivery of a teacher the class know and trust.
- They will not eradicate homophobia/transphobia in isolation or in the short term. They form part of a larger process that will help embed equality and respect in your learners.
- When writing them we were sensitive to the fact that even the best laid plans come undone. It is important to have contingency plans in the event of challenging behaviour e.g. what are the boundaries, what are you willing to tolerate from your pupils.
- You might have some core behaviours in mind you will act upon consistently with all children e.g. pejorative use of the word ‘gay’. There may be other behaviours which will require a more flexible judgement. e.g. If a lesson is uninspiring, or learners are not acclimatised to difficult subject matter, then attention needing, distracting behaviour would be an appropriate response. So we try not to think of all challenging behaviour in these lessons as ‘inappropriate’. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that learners should automatically show respect for the topic. Remember how long they have had in an education system in which this work may not have been a priority. The Classroom is the place where they can make mistakes, say the wrong thing, test reactions and develop opinions on matters. Some children never get the chance to see a lesson to its conclusion because as soon as they misbehave they are asked to leave. Use your judgement.
It is important to note that lessons which use our method of ‘actualising’ assume that prior work has been done to ‘usualise’ the subject matter. A topic should never be actualised unless it has first been made usual. Go here to see why this is important. Be vigilant not to abandon learners to unfamiliar concepts in lessons as this can be counter productive and may actually engender prejudice.