Not Our Job

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherWhoRuns, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Jul 25, 2016

    First day of summer school and the students are out at recess. The nurse comes in to the lounge and starts to tell the group of teachers there that we have an above average number of students with food/peanut allergies this year. One of the teachers actually uses the words "That's not our job" and tells her to go and tell the nutrition people and the teachers monitoring lunch.
    That's not our job?
    Am I out of line in thinking that's absolutely out of line?
    The poor nurse went on to explain that she had talked to nutrition services and found out food had been ordered without considering allergies - even today they were serving PB&J - and that teachers needed to be informed because a student could have a reaction when they get back to class.
    Again, she told her to go out and tell the teachers outside because snack is not our responsibility. This was not a new teacher. This was a veteran who should know that it certainly IS her job to monitor the safety of students in her care, even in summer school!
    My jaw was on the floor watching this exchange today.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2016

    Part of my job is being sure that my students are safe when they are in my care; that includes being aware of allergies and doing all that I can to limit exposure to allergens. While I'm not the lunch or snack police--no one is going to have peanut butter in my room if I have a student with life-threatening allergies.
     
  4. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I wish I could say I'm shocked, but I'm not. THESE are the type of people that the enemies kvetch about and ruin the profession for the rest of us.

    I had a student with a slight peanut allergy and I went into full NO PEANUT MODE in the classroom! I wasn't dealing with that mess.
     
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  5. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Jul 25, 2016

    This whole thing in the lounge happened after I had a mother drop her son off with me in the morning and tell me that he'd had three violent reactions in the last few months and she brought in two epi-pens. I sincerely hope I never have to administer one, but I certainly wouldn't tell someone having a reaction that "It's not my job" to do so.

    And honestly, I don't know this teacher. It's summer school. The staff comes from all over the district, but between this and something that happened at a training session last week, I can see how lucky I am to be surrounded by the staff we have at my school!
     
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  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 25, 2016

    Whenever we have students with peanut allergies, we (the front office) do three things:

    1. Notify the entire grade-level via email (we share/trade students throughout the day, so it's important that the entire grade-level knows).
    2. A Caution: Peanut Allergy sign is placed on both sides of the classroom door (both inside and outside).
    3. The cafeteria manager has some sort of "alert" on her computer system, so when a kid with peanut allergy enters their lunch number on the key pad, something shows up on her screen so she can check their tray.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2016

    These things are on student profiles at our school. Everyone's job.
     
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  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2016

    Wow! We ALL get a list of the kids who have allergies in the whole school. We have trained epi pen delegates on every grade level. It's everyone's job to be aware.
     
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  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Part of our mandatory health and safety training is administering an epi-pen. I've never had to do it, but am confident that I could. All of our schools here are "nut-free" zones, but we have students and staff with a variety of life-threatening allergies. We all need to know, and who, to watch out for. One of our grade 8 teachers makes sure that all of her students know where her epi-pen is kept in case she has a reaction.
     
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  10. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Jul 25, 2016

    This story actually hurts my heart. What if the student were her child? We had a student who had so many allergies that the whole staff had to be informed. I know for sure teachers and cafeteria technicians know who has allergies to certain foods. It not just my job; it is also everyone else's job..
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jul 25, 2016

    A student with a life threatening allergy doesn't just jeopardize himself. His reaction can traumatize classmates who have never witnessed anaphylactic reactions! It is very scary to watch a classmate turn blue, unable to breathe, as hives rapidly appear. Not her job? It shouldn't be her job, because she has displayed the compassion necessary to be an experienced and qualified teacher. DHE is right - this does create heart pain - I don;t understand how one individual can exhibit such uncaring attitude and behavior around any child (or adult!) who has such a medical condition. I know people who are more invested in their pets than she is about her students. Very sad and dangerous. I don't think that I could live with myself if I ignored something like this, knowing that prevention was possible. o_O
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  12. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jul 26, 2016

    This teacher is doing more damage than just the physical risk! Her attitude toward the students with allergies can cause emotional damage, and the symptoms of that are worse than an allergic reaction! This reminded me of how I felt when I was middle school age with Sydenham’s chorea. Other teachers' and students' reactions toward me effected me inside. I needed people to accept me as I was, and fortunately, some did. There's no such thing as a normal person. Everyone has differences; some are just more noticeable or need more attention.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 26, 2016

    I would be over the moon with a nurse who specifically came to me and informed me of any allergies or special care that needed to be taken with a student. Most of the time, the only thing that happens is a sheet of paper in our inbox with medical information, which I read through and make myself aware with, but my memory about such things is always improved when someone comes up and directly holds a conversation about it with me.

    Unfortunately, there are some veteran teachers who are tired of thinking about and caring for students and are just there for the pay check.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We don't have school nurses here, so it's up to us to be sure we understand any medical concerns of our students. Administration is great at making sure that info is shared with all staff and, if there are any issues that all staff need to be aware of, we discuss at a staff meeting.
     
  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Um no offense, but what kind of school doesn't have a nurse? Is this a public school? I've worked in some where we had to share a nurse but there was at least somebody on staff.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    No offense, but none of the public schools here have an assigned nurse. We must have a minimum of 3 (I think) staff who are First Aid certified; my current school has 9 or 10. If we have a student who has on-going medical needs that require a nurse, one will be able to attend to take care of the student. For the day-to-day bumps, bruises, sore stomachs and headaches, our office staff are First Aid trained and can deal with them.
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 27, 2016

    It's good that the nurse talked to the cafeteria and nutrition people - ultimately they are the ones responsible for giving the children food at lunch (I'm assuming) and the teachers should not be the middle people to track and deal with this.

    At my school, I love how we handle food allergies. Homeroom teachers are responsible for contacting parents of kids with food allergies when they're having birthday treats. Nurse notifies us all about food allergies at the beginning of the school year - we get a hand out of allergy info on each child that has allergies with their picture, what they are allergic to, and what we can do to help if they come into contact. Nurse handles talking to the cafeteria workers.

    I do still have to remind the cafeteria to not send snacks with nuts on field trips - we can order bagged lunches for students. If there are no allergies I don't care as much, but I'm all up on that if I have a student with a nut allergy.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 27, 2016

    Our county staffs clinic aides in all of the school with several roaming nurses that go into the schools to work on specialized plans for students and paperwork. Any medical issue that requires school intervention is approved by the nurse to make sure it is sound and works for the student within the school environment. The good thing I see is that it is the county that provides this service so there is less a conflict of interest when the nurse and clinic aide propose something the school doesn't like. School administration and district administration has no power over them.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    That was completely unacceptable of the teacher. The only thing I can think is that she didn't bother listening to the nurse and what she was saying. She immediately jumped to the conclusion that the nurse was telling them it was their responsibility to ensure the kids didn't have foods they were allergic to at lunch. Otherwise, she really needs to find another job. Student health is top priority.
     
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  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jul 28, 2016

    Although this situation is probably somewhat uncommon, I don't think it is the only one. While it is common sense to most of us, I do wish that schools would emphasize that student safety is a #1 concern. There was a 2nd grader who died in a lunch room from choking in AZ only a year or two ago. I am not saying it was a teacher's fault, but it should be a wake up call to take safety issues in the cafeteria very seriously.

    I have seen more students seriously hurt on the playgrounds as supervision takes a back seat to other tasks in the past couple years. Do most teachers act this way? Of course not. I do think administration needs to take the lead and say we need to see each child as if they are own, and do what we can to keep them safe. Apathetic teachers who are their just for a paycheck need to hear that student safety is more important than student test scores. The rest of teachers already know this and live it.
     
  21. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Wow. Thank goodness you don't have to work with the viper during the school year.
     

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