Culturally Relevant Content

Why for the first time in over fifty years is the pregnancy rate of teenagers is at a rise?
This is a question left unanswered. What we can all agree on is the many factors that contribute to this problem. One of the main contributing factors is the media. Now more than ever students are constantly surfing the web or catching up on their favorite TV shows or movies. Being teachers we must focus on what the media is relaying to our students. For example one of the hit TV shows on MTV is called “16 and pregnant”. It addresses what it’s like to be a teenage mom and the struggles that come along with it. At first it seemed like a good wake up call for all pre-teens and teens, but now you can not walk past a magazine that has one of the girl’s featured on the font cover. Also teen celebrities are also giving teenage pregnancy a positive spin. Jamie Lynn Spears (pictured below) is on the cover of OK magazine which makes her life look perfect. One fact we do know is the majority of teenagers having children are not financially prepared. Another example is the movie Juno. Although the movie had a meaningful lesson at the end, the pregnancy of the teenager in the movie seemed to be taken very lightly. Being teachers we must step in and address these fantasy our students will have on teenage pregnancy. Give them the facts as well as have them do their own research. Effective teaching is not just rambling on about a topic but involving your classroom in the discussion. We must provide our students with the facts at hand and let them come up with the solutions.
We must also address the issue of the statistics surrounding different ethnic groups. Pictured is a chart from the CDC showing the percentage of teenagers having children. Being a teacher you know the probability of one of your Latino students having a baby before she graduates is huge. How will you address that? Well you can start by giving the class the statistics and asking their opinion. Maybe the student never thought of that, and she does not want to be a statistic. Also you can address how different cultures view the birth of a child. Are the parents supportive? Is the family willing to help? This can also lead to teen pregnancy.
Lastly who should be teaching the children sex education? Should it be the parents or the school? Well, you can not depend on every parent to teach their child everything there is to know about sex. Also the parent has already formed their opinion on sex. They could only teach their child not to have sex instead of discussion contraceptives. From this our lessons will be taught in a school that has a sex education program laid out in the school.