Our team held another four-hour training «Teaching selected topics regarding reproductive health and sex education for school students». On Saturday, January 20, the aesthetically pleasing space of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe hosted Lviv biologists, psychologists, and other educators.

We organized this event to help the Lviv teaching community to approach this sensitive topic following international standards, using new teaching methods and tools. It will improve sex education for school students, prevent sexual violence among teens, and keep teachers’ professional knowledge up to date.

The training itself consisted of three parts:

– the teaching block (regarding modern forms and methods of teaching to school kids) was led by Natalya Dobryanska, consultant of the Lviv Professional Development Center for educators, teacher with over 20 years of professional experience;

– the psychological block was led by Olha Avramenko, clinical psychologist and sex educator. She spoke about the types of sex education and their results, the challenges in sex ed, and the main rules educators should follow;

– the legal block, focusing on consent culture, combating the discrimination of teens and sexual violence against children, was led by Hanna Chyr, Feminist Workshop’s lawyer specializing in gender issues. 

Trainers’ insights:

Natalya Dobryanska who joined our workshop as the speaker is willing to use her extensive experience in educator training to encourage teachers to put extra emphasis on sex education in schools. 

«I am happy to be of service. I am glad to work with the issue and introduce this topic for the discussion in the teaching environment», the educator shares. 

She emphasizes that sex education is not about sex. That’s complex knowledge on body, safety, and health you need to teach to the kids from the youngest age. 

Hanna Chyr, the trainer on legal issues, has a personal motivation to engage in sex education. She’s a student, and she still vividly remembers the poor-quality lessons about becoming an adult she got. 

«Frankly, I did more than a speech on legal aspects of sex education for teachers. I got personal closure as well. I graduated from school fairly recently, so I know that not only does sex education go against the standards, but it also leads to the growth of sexual violence and bullying in children’s collective. During the workshop, I was focusing on the idea of consent. In my opinion, this is the cornerstone of sex education. It teaches that everyone has their boundaries and that it’s perfectly fine to set and defend them. Everyone can either act or refrain from acting in certain ways», Hanna says.

Psychologist Olha Avramenko focused on the teachers’ needs. She asked what is the most challenging about teaching sex education to kids, and offered practical advice on how to overcome these challenges. 

«Stick to one general rule — create a trusting environment for kids and don’t criticize them. This way, everything will work out», the expert states. 

If you are part of the Lviv educator community and are willing to visit our training, reach out at office@femwork.org (places are limited).

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