How to tell Parents and Students about my disease?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by sue35, May 22, 2009.

  1. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    May 22, 2009

    So, I have been out for the last week with a horrible sinus and lung infection due to my Cystic Fibrosis. It is the third or fourth time I have been out for so long and I feel I owe my parents and students an explanation. I work at a small school and I know things are going around about me so I want to clear everything up.

    I have no idea how to go about this. I was thinking of writing the parents a letter but don't know what to include. As for the kids, I don't want them thinking I am going to die or something like that which can happen as 5th graders love drama:)

    I know that some of you have gone through serious health problems also and was wondering how you told the parents and students.

    Also, I know this is the end of the year, but I still feel that they have a right to know.
     
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  3. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2009

    I would definitely write a letter.

    Make it short and to the point and don't forget to include that the disease is not contagious (5th grade drama possiblility) and that Cystic Fibrosis is something that you live with though at times your body has to recoup (reason for your absences).

    If you have an email address, you may want to include that just in case your parents (or students) may want to email you privately.

    Don't forget to let your principal/director know that you feel the need to address the issue head-on.

    :hugs:
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2009

    Maybe a notice can be sent out through the administration? It would seem like you should at least let the administration know you want to inform the parents. Otherwise, the administration may feel an obligation to keep your condition confidential (which increases the rumors, of course). They may also wish to add something to your letter about how they value the students' education and whatever they're doing to keep education as consistent as possible (perhaps going to the same sub as much as possible or something, or working closely with you to ensure the curriculum is maintained).
     
  5. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    May 22, 2009

    I am going to talk the my principal. I have a feeling that she won't want me to do it, but I am going to discuss that rumors are much worse than the truth. I don't want parents thinking that I just take off all this time for fun. I think I will also talk about how wonderful the school is throughout this so maybe she will like that more.

    I just worry I will chicken out and not do it, but I know that I have to. The students are starting to worry.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 22, 2009

    For what it's worth, my kids and their parents have been wonderful with all the days I've missed this year.

    They knew I missed a month for surgery. I made a point of mentioning that it was a mastectomy whenever someone asked how I was feeling, just so they would realize that it wasn't something that could be avoided or postponed.

    I think the fact that I'm able to joke about it has helped. (My homeroom, in my absence chose to be the "9H Heffalumps" and had T shirts made up saying so. I pulled a couple of girls aside and asked why they hated me-- why else would they ask a woman who had just had a mastectomy to proclaim "Heffalump" in hot pink across her chest???? When they caught their breath we all had a good laugh.)
     
  7. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    May 22, 2009

    I agree with previous posters. I would write a letter with just enough information to clarify and avoid rumors, but at the same time not mentioning more than you need to.

    It definitely sounds like a good idea to me for you to provide your email address. Sometimes questions are better thought out in writing and more honest because the writer doesn't fear losing face in front of an audience.

    I hope it goes well, Sue.
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    May 22, 2009

    Be honest, brief, and straight-forward, and yes, they do deserve an explanation for lengthy absences.

    I would send a copy to my principal as well just to let him/her know that you're dealing with this professionally.
     
  9. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    May 22, 2009

    Thank you guys for the advice. I was hesitant to send anything because I don't want it to look like I want attention or anything like that. But if I was spending money to send my kids to school I would want to know why the teacher was gone this much.

    I have good parents (for the most part) so I hope that they will be supportive. Now I just have to write the letter!
     

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