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Little ones- teacher selection for next year

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by BittysMom, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. BittysMom

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    Our k-2nd grade school sends home a form every year asking if there is any info about our child that we feel would be relevent to their class placement the next year. They meet and start planning next year's classes soon. You aren't supposed to request a teacher.

    Normally I have little to say and it wasn't really an issue for me. I'm wondering if any of you seek to steer where your child winds up or leave it all to chance.
     
  2. Lisa - Aidan's mom

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    We're not allowed to request either, and I haven't; however I have requested NOT to get "Mrs. X" - so far it's worked. DS's 2nd grade teacher is the niece of my friend whose son also happens to be Type 1! She's wonderful, but doesn't take care of his D needs - we have an amazing school nurse who is very on top of things. That being said, his teacher has noticed certain times when DS gets very pale and quiet and has suggested that he goes to see the nurse to be checked.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I always got the "inside scoop" on teachers from the nurse. She usually had a few for each year who she felt were the best match for dealing with D in the classroom ( even if they didn't actually have a hand in the care). Then I'd meet with the administration and emphasize what skill set I thought might best serve a teacher who had to be attuned to a young D kid. Usually we looked for someone who was not thought to be high strung or inflexible. A willingness to learn was also important. It can be difficult to predict who will be most receptive to the added responsibility, and past experience with a D student was not always the best predictor.
     
  4. BittysMom

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    Our nurse is wonderful too and that's invaluable! I had some issues this year with her teacher and I'm hoping to avoid a repeat ;)
     
  5. BittysMom

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    I talked to our nurse as well. Some of her input on the teachers surprised me though, so now I don't know what to think.

    I want to make sure her teacher doesn't feel put-out by having a student with D, or overwhelmed. I think flexibility is big as you mentioned. The other issue is they sometimes rearrange teachers at the last minute: between grades, letting some go, rehiring etc.
     
  6. Beach bum

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    We too always got the "inside scoop" from inside sources. While we couldn't specifically ask for a teacher, we could phrase our request in a way that they knew exactly who we were talking about;) We were also allowed (in fact I just did it today in our placement letter) to say that we do not want our child placed with a specific teacher.

    A teacher should never feel put out by diabetes, and if they do have the nerve to say that, you don't want that teacher teaching any kid. However, if they can honestly say "I would feel overwhelmed with a child with d" you can say thank you and ask for someone else. This is why if you have any doubt about any of the staff you need a one on one meeting with administration to go over your child's needs.

    Some key things to put:
    You are requesting a teacher that can roll easily with the challenges diabetes sometimes brings to the class room.

    A teacher who can handle interruptions that sometimes occurs with diabetes.

    We were once placed in a class on the nurses recommendation and I was stumped by the choice, thinking this may not be the best fit...well, it ended up being the absolute best fit ever. This teacher nurtured, encouraged and put a fair amount of responsibility on my child so that when middle school came the next year she was so ready for self managing that she now handles about 80% of her school care.
     
  7. jessicat

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    I have a meeting with the principal and his existing teacher, not to name the teacher I want, but to brainstorm who would be a good choice regarding his medical needs. We then confer with that teacher to see that she is willling and comfortable. I wouldn't want my son to be in a class where the teacher wasn't a willing participant in my son's care. My son is at a relatively large school so there are usually 6 teachers at each grade, several of whom will volunteer to, which makes me feel better that they too had a say in the matter.
     
  8. BittysMom

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    Thanks everyone. Lots of good points in this thread. Made myself a list of things to address. You'll read me complaining on here next year if it doesn't turn out well :p
     
  9. momandwifeoftype1s

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    I always request a teacher who will be supportive of Connor's medical needs and isn't intimidated by it. I want a teacher who wants him in his or her class. That is my #1 request.
     
  10. DsMom

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    I never have, but have been thinking about it a lot this year. There is another boy with T1 in our school, and it seems to be the pattern so far that my son gets whoever this other boy (who is 2 grades ahead of him) has had for that grade. It has worked out well so far, and we get the benefit of having a teacher who is already familiar with T1...it's comfortable and convenient. However, the teacher who my son will probably get next year is my older son's teacher THIS year. She is kind and sweet...but TOTALLY the wrong fit for my younger son. She is WAY too laid back..Daniel has ADHD and needs a firm hand and really active involvement by the teacher.

    But, of course, you can't "un-request" a teacher...so I've really been trying to think of how to handle this. I know this teacher would be a bad fit for Daniel, but the school has liked to put Daniel with a teacher familiar with D. Still pondering this one!:confused:
     
  11. DsMom

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    Thanks for posting this! It reminded me of what I just mentioned above, and I just now sent an email to the principal with my concerns. I tried to phrase it in a way that I didn't mention the teacher's name...but I think I made it clear who I was talking about! I tried to stress that his ADHD, not his D, was my main concern when choosing a teacher for 3rd grade and, although following this other boy with T1 has worked for us so far, I didn't want D to be the top priority for third grade.

    Anyway...thanks for reminding me...this had slipped my mind and they needed our input by April 15.:)
     
  12. SFGingerBeerSoda

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    I agree wholeheartedly... We do not have a full time school nurse so having a teacher that is not intimidated and values the opportunity of keeping DD in her community school is top priority.

    I recently asked her current teacher to approach the next grade level teachers about having DD in their class. This year we are fortunate as all 3 teachers have volunteered. In May we will meet with the school and choose which classroom is the best fit.
     
  13. BittysMom

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    Here is my draft of the letter I'm looking to send in. There was some tension this year, so I'm trying to be diplomatic but get my point across. Too much? What are your thoughts?

    Dear

    We?d just like to address a few considerations with respect to our daughter Caroline __'s placement for next year. While we know you?re aware of her needs regarding Diabetes care, the details of her care are likely to change a bit for the next school year so we wanted to mention that we?ll be in touch with the school/Nurse --- closer to September to iron out any changes.

    Caroline had a wonderful first year of school and all the staff was so helpful in keeping her safe and happy! She does well in school, so our main concern for next year is not academic, it?s that her teacher be a good ?fit? to Caroline?s situation. Having a school year under our belt will hopefully be helpful in that we have the benefit of knowing this is doable, and her next year?s teacher needn?t be surprised right before school start, as was the case this year with her recent diagnosis.

    We?re hoping she could be placed with a teacher who is open to her needs and is willing to take them on without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We think Caroline would be most comfortable with a teacher who is comfortable with her. Obviously someone competent and responsible would help to ensure her well being. We?ve always been very happy with the staff at ---- School and have no doubt that she?ll be in good hands.

    Please contact us if you have any questions for us or would like to discuss this further. We realize much changes before September but hope this letter can serve as some guidance.

    Many thanks,
     
  14. momandwifeoftype1s

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    I think your letter is very professional and appropriately addresses your concerns. Good job!
     
  15. BittysMom

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    Thanks. Since it's for the whole year, I really want it to work well. Don't we all :)
     
  16. Lisa - Aidan's mom

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    Good letter!! Hope you don't mind I'm going to copy a good part of it :p DS goes into 3rd next year and is changing schools/nurses and I'd like to address these issues too.
     
  17. DsMom

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    Your letter sounds great! Only thing I may add is how important it is to have a teacher that is a good communicator...being able to bring up issues with the teacher and know s/he will get back to you promptly is very important to me. Perhaps a line such as....

    "Because diabetes needs can change daily, a teacher with the willingness to communicate with me in an open and prompt manner when needed will make managing my daughter's D in school more effective and less stressful for my daughter, her teacher, and me."

    Good luck!
     
  18. BittysMom

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    Nice! Thanks for the idea.
     
  19. Butterfly Betty

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    We've never had to deal with this. Sophie was diagnosed last year in 2nd grade and this year in 3rd, they change classes so she gets both 3rd grade teachers. With having two other kids who have been through our school system, I know all the teachers and feel safe with her being with with any of them. However, I do have a friend who had requested her son not have a certain teacher and our principal listened to her.
     
  20. dragonfly

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    My daughter and the other diabetic in her class are always paired. Their current teacher meets with the principal and they discuss who would be the best fit for the next year. Once they select that person, they meet with the teacher and then with us parents.

    It's worked great. We have had wonderful teachers.
     

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