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Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience with how to manage/what to say with the dramatic change of appearance and the return to work.

I am a high school teacher, returning to work to a school I taught in a few years ago.  I gave up work for a few years having had two children but now I am returning to the same school.  I am very open about having had breast cancer , diagnosed in May last year, and very happy to talk about it.  I am only teaching senior school classes (16/17 year olds) so I know that the students will be able to handle the information. 

I used to have long blonde hair, currently have a sickly fluffy head with some growth. I am only 6 weeks post last chemo.  I am hoping that in another 6 weeks I will have enough so that I can stop wearing the wig.. which appearance wise looks fine, but soo hot and my preference is not to wear it.  I have a feeling that some perceptive kids are going to know that it is a wig as the regrowth is starting to appear through the sides of the wig.

I want to be prepared with the right thing to say to the students.. I dont want to scare them, as some may have/be connected to sad cancer stories (I am very positive about mine - dont consider it sad) and my situation may be a trigger. But that is ok too if I am armed with the right thing to respond with.

I will have to wear my wig for the first month of school and then I will be taking it off so I feel that will be the point when I will say to my classes. This is the story about what happened to my hair.. what do you think?

But what if individuals ask before the wig comes off?I guess I just deal with those questions individually until the wig comes off.. Is that a good approach?  As I write this I have just thought that I will talk this situation through with the school counsellor before school starts.. she will be able to give some insight.. 

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Hi @Josie and welcome to the Online Community!


This is the perfect place to be asking these questions, I do hope your return to school is smooth and the students and staff are welcoming and understanding of your situation.


We have a factsheet on hair loss that may help, available here.


As you would no doubt have experienced, children of any age, are naturally curious and incredibly accepting of even the strangest of situations. Engaging them and making it a learning experience for them, whilst easing them into the changes with your self is a good approach. Liaising with the school counsellor is a great idea, and may I suggest perhaps the exec team at your school, maybe it could be a broader learning experience for the school community as well?


Does anyone else here have any experience of returning to work or to a teaching position that may assist Josie?



Kate - Online Community Manager

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