hi i'm a preschool teacher that has just been diagnosised with Hodgkins lymphoma was wondering if there is any other teachers on here that can give me some advice coping and working with chemo and talking to parents and children about it
Hi Lisa I know you posted this thread in March, but I have only just seen it. I am a teacher as well and was wondering how you are going and how it went with your students at school. I teach high school students, which is a totally different kettle of fish to primary students. John
Welcome to the forums I don't think we have any other teachers using the forums just at the moment but I could well be wrong. I work for the Cancer Council NSW and I moderate these forums. I should let you know the Cancer Council has just finished a new publication called "Cancer in the School Community: a guide for staff members". It includes information on dealing with treatment side effects, choosing to tell your students or their family members, and lots, lots more. It's being launched next Friday, 14 March, at Westmead Children's hospital and is being sent out to principals across the state.
I'm a teacher too, at a primary school in Victoria. I appreciated the new publication. I was sent two copies recently, of which I gave one to my principal. I was diagnosed over a year ago and feel my cancer news and absence wasn't handled that well. But I've moved on and how do I tell new students, parents or colleagues now.
My friend is a pre-school teacher. She had Hodgkins Lymphoma about 5 years ago. I'll tell her about this site, so she can tell her own story. She took time off during her chemo.
I only just found this and thought that I would add to it. I was away from school for 8 months - there one day- gone the next scenario with emergency surgery for bowel cancer. I am a high school teacher and teach at the school that both of my sons attend.(The eldest has since left).
I was completely upfront about my illness as I beleieve that the kids and the parents had the right to know why I had disappeared and that I hadn't just gone to Europe for 2 1/2 terms! It also helped my youngest son (then 13) deal with everything. My boss and HT were amazing and when I tried to work for a while they actually discouraged me as they could see that I wasn't coping.
I found that being honest and upfront meant that when I saw kids or parents in the local community, they knew how to react and were actually very supportive.
I use my experiences as anecdotes where relevant in class (I am an English teacher) to sometime highlight a viewpoint and I find my students to be wonderfully responsive.
I trully believe that it is better to be honest is the best way.
I agree with Samex. Being upfront is the best way. I am a part time Primary teacher. I had 8 months off and am now only working one day a week. I find I still get very tired and don't think I could manage much more than that at the moment.
My school community and the staff were and still are amazing. They were totally supportive to myself and my family and applauded me coming back to work. By being upfront with the boss, I am able to take time off for tests etc and he is happy to give me more or less days if I want it.
I have noted that some people are totally uncomfortable talking about it and that's ok, that's their journey. I enjoy going to work as it makes me feel "normal" again.
Me again on this forum.
I am 2 years from diagnosis and while I am copping Ok with the physical nature of the job (as much as anyone does) I still don't cope as well with the stress as I would like. My school has been awesome and while I went back to work way too early(4 weeks after treatment finished - 4 days a week), I have been able to continue on 4 days and my boss has agreed to let me continue this next year.
I was completelyupfront with high school kids and still refer to my journey when relevant in class. The reactions are often quite amazing - they see you as a real person!
Hi. I'm checking into this discussion as I have a previous life as a primary school teacher and you've all made me think of that for the first time in a while.
I'm now a public servant (after various things in between) so my return to work was to projects that I could walk away from at the end of the two days a week I worked at first.
Knowing how it was as a teacher earlier on, I am very sure I could not have returned to teaching as easily as I have to my current work. I would have found it emotionally very demanding - all that interaction - kids, parents, staff, principal, even the system people (public servants!) - and I don't know how well I would have coped.
I decided very early on that I didn't want to go back to the managing position I was in. I couldn't see myself being able to meet all the routine day to day demands of organising, leading, planning for others. Hence the project work I'm doing now.
But teaching is managing, as you know. I'd just say from the outside, though I am informed, that you guys are expending a lot of energy in your jobs, meeting a lot of demands that other people place on you.
I find it harder and harder to meet the demands of others. I guess personality is a factor too.
Harker you have hit the nail on the head as usual.
What I have found unbelievably daunting in the past few weeks of term has been that I have been constantly drawn in a multitude of directions with no time for me. I am so exhausted each day that I have rarely even had time for my walk.
It is the emotional exhaustion that only other teachers understand that takes it out of you. We were only discussing it today and even those who have no other issues to contend with have had it, let alone dealing with upcoming colonoscopies and blood tests!
While I am constantly , as you put it, meeting the demands of others, i sometimes become resentful that there is no time for me. Something that I have to work out I guess.
I am a secondary school teacher and found that the senior admin staff were very guarded with regards to who knew what. We have a student in Year 8 that is terminal and the student pathology there and what that could do was a concern. I was on an evangelical "lets change the world" by doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things and that was nipped in the bud quick smart for my own wellbeing as well as others. Some of my students know - mainly Years 10 - 12. I wonder if there is a difference between how it is handled in a government school vs an independent school....
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.