Here are some tips for successful questions and answers:
Set boundaries with your students. One helpful boundary might be no personal questions. Many students will ask things like “When did you lose your virginity?” or “When do you think you should lose your virginity?” Often, students are trying to uncover what is normal—specifically, whether or not they are normal.
Turn around personal questions by asking the class “When do you think people should have sex for the first time? How do you decide?” These can make for excellent discussions that get students thinking about their own values.
Take questions home before answering them so you have a chance to review them. It also gives you an opportunity to research new topics.
If you need more clarification, tell the class as a whole that you need more information, and hope the writer will put a follow up question in the box.
If some questions are asked in slang, reframe the question with appropriate language. For example, say that although some people use the phrase “blow job” it actually means oral sex.
Ensure all students put something in the box. If only one person puts a question in the box, it is no longer anonymous. Ask them for feedback. (This is also a great way to get feedback on something they may have learned.)
The following sites have answers to questions asked by youth. Use them to help answer the questions that end up in your own anonymous box.
|Alberta Health Services
|These student questions are organized by grade levels, as well as by topic. Ask new questions and get a response within 7 working days.
|Go Ask Alice!
|Columbia University runs this site of questions and answers.
|Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
|A sexual health resource for young people including questions and answers.