The World Changes. Children Don’t.

As a British transplant in America, with teaching experience on both sides of the pond I’m often asked how is teaching different between England and America. Inevitably after naming a few subtle differences I’ll come back to the same point – children are children wherever you are. They all deserve the best from caring, responsible teachers who have their best interests at heart.

A new campaign from www.thinkuknow.co.uk has made me realize that children are children wherever AND whenever they are. Have you considered how teens from the past might view the issues facing teens of today? As we move in #healthed towards a skills-based approach we justify this modern style of teaching by stating that the skills we teach can be learned, practiced and applied not only now but long into the future after our students have graduated. In today’s world, social media may have changed the way young people communicate but their curiosity about sex and relationships remains the same and the skills that allow them to make more healthy decisions remain constant.

Consider how the story of Romeo and Juliet might play out online today.

Research tells us that having a supportive parent or carer can make all the difference in helping a young person learn to stay safe. I ask my students if they have a good relationship with their parents and am encouraged by their responses. Many report that they can talk with their parents about most topics but conversations between teens and parents about sex, relationships and the internet can be daunting. Thinkuknow (from England) have launched a campaign to encourage parents to talk to their children about sex, relationships and internet, using the advice and resources from their website, to help build their children’s resilience to online risks.

To do this, we will be delivering activity throughout the summer to raise their awareness of the risks and highlight where advice is available. The campaign is broken up in to three phases:

4 – 25 JulyWhat is the threat?
2 – 16 AugustWhat is the threat and how can you protect your child?
18 Aug – 2 SeptHow does their National Crime Agency (NCA) and wider law enforcement tackle the threat?
Some things, like young love, never change. So for the first phase of the campaign they’ve given the story of Romeo and Juliet a modern twist, showing how the lives of these young lovers might play out online today.

You can show your support for this campaign in a number of ways:

Watching the Romeo & Juliet animation.
Sharing the animation, images or suggested posts on your social channels.
Sharing or retweeting the campaign messages from CEOP’s channels.
Joining the campaign Thunderclap: http://ow.ly/frMd301QGeI

Here are this week’s #slowchathealth questions. Answer them all at once, or daily as they are released on Twitter. Please keep the conversation going and consider following those that might be a useful addition to your PLN.

Q1. What do you do to involve parents in your teaching of #healthed? #slowchathealth

Q2. Have you had parents contact you to help them discuss #healthed topics with their children? #slowchathealth

Q3. Have you joined the Thunderclap? http://ow.ly/frMd301QGeI Show your support, keep kids safe. #slowchathealth

Q4. Which conversation about online safety is more powerful? Teen to parent, or teen to teacher? #slowchathealth

Q5. Have you added @CEOPUK to your PLN? Share other child safety accounts that you follow. #FF #slowchathealth

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