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Old 11-28-2012, 08:29 PM
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txmomteacher2 txmomteacher2 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,421
Out west somewhere!
Student's brother has cancer

One of my student's brother was diagnosed very early into the school year with a pretty rare type of cancer. My little one for the most part is doing pretty good in school. He has some behaviors that I have overlooked and cut him some slack on homework and other things since I know his world has been turned upside down. We live in a pretty rural community so the brother and Mom are gone quite a bit to get treatments. Thank goodness he did get to spend sometime with them over the Thanksgiving holidays, although they did leave yesterday and will be gone for a little while for another treatment. My class knows that his brother is sick but to them it's like he has the flu or something. Well today in the course of the conversations that were happening in my room the word cancer was used and how sick his brother really happens to be. I had some kids who looked horrified and confused. I just gently diverted the conversation to safer topic, and went on. Later I talked with my student to ask him how he felt if we talked about what was going on in his life and he said we could. So I asked my principal and she thought it was a great idea if we talked about things in class so that my little one knows that he has friends that understand what is going on so that they will understand how he is feeling. This young man is very bright and is well liked in my class so I really think that the other kids would rally around him and help support him in his time of need. I need some suggestions on what to do for him. Books I could read to the class, projects we could do for him and his brother. Just anything you guys can think of that would make this time for him easier.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:48 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,987
5th Grade Teacher
There are some great books, but some are for older students. What age are you teaching?

1. Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie
This book is great and the 8th grader telling the story finds out that his 1st grade brother has cancer. It is for 6th grade, but I use it for my students near the end of 5th grade.

2. A Shining Season by James Buchanon
A true story about a man who has cancer. It is meant for high school and middle school. It is the best book I have ever read.

Both books have some objectionable words in them, so I would preview them first. They are also both over 200 pages long.

I will think about picture books, but tonight I am drawing a blank.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:51 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 20,755
New Jersey
Grade 3
You might want to talk with your student's family before starting class discussions on his brother's illness.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:33 AM
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hbcaligirl1985 hbcaligirl1985 is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 636
Huntington Beach, CA
Substitute Teacher
First off, I think that is sweet. When I was in 10th grade, my mother died. The English teacher I was TAing for was very understandable that for the rest of the year I was moody, angry and basically slacked in my worse. Rightfully, she gave me a B instead of an A, but the day after my mom died...at the desk I worked at was a book on how to deal with grief. The simple fact that my teacher took the time out of her day to go to Barns and Noble and BUY me a book on coping as forever endeared that woman to me. Maybe even if you do a small gesture in private for him, that will help.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:18 AM
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HeartDrama HeartDrama is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,365
High School English
I agree with Cza and HBC. A small gesture done in private would probably mean a lot to him, in the meantime, I'd check with the mom about having a discussion with the class. I would also have a conversation over the phone, I wouldn't send that via email.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:51 PM
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txmomteacher2 txmomteacher2 is offline
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Out west somewhere!
Talked to Grandma. She was very happy that I wanted to do something.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:40 PM
GemStone GemStone is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 497
Not to sound paranoid, but the grandma has no legal say. If your student's brother also is registered at your school, you must maintain confidentiality.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:23 AM
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txmomteacher2 txmomteacher2 is offline
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Out west somewhere!
Grandma does have legal say, she is the boys guardian while mom is with brother in and out of town. Yes brother is registered at our school but I have permission from all parties involved.
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brother, cancer, student

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