March ’12 Interview with Al Vernacchio
JS: Did you always know you wanted to teach sex education?
AV: I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but my original focus was on religious studies. Eventually I got certified to teach English. Ultimately, I fell into human sexuality after my first job teaching religious studies. It was the thing I was looking for that I didn’t know existed.
JS: Do you regret getting your english certification?
AV: Not at all, in fact, the english certification was what got me into his school and allows him to continue teaching his other passion: sexuality. When I was hired at Friends Central, I made it known that I had a Masters Degree in Human Sexuality and I wanted to use it.
JS: What’s the biggest challenge for you at work?
AV: Nobody in my school speaks my language when it comes to sexuality education so that can feel lonely. The world (of sexuality) that I live and work in, is very different than the outside world. Sometimes there is culture shock, when I realize not everyone is as open, interested, inviting, and as proud as I am of my work as a Sexuality Educator.
JS: Do you struggle with curriculum obstacles from parents and administrators?
AV: Since I have the privilege of working in private schools, I don’t face the curriculum obstacles other sex educators struggle with. I creates my own and also find parents to be very supportive.
JS: What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?
AV: I wish I had known it wasn’t going to be such a big deal to be an openly gay teacher. I have always thought if I could be my authentic self in a classroom, that would be the best way.
JS: What’s your advice on job searching?
AV: Bombard the world with resumes!