Thursday, October 12, 2006

I see London, I see France. . . .

We all have our off days.

But why were they always when the boss was there, taking notes?

Okay, this particular humiliation never happened to me, but I've known people who've experienced it or a similar thing.

For me, it was usually a student throwing up all over another student, or a wall, while the principal was in my room. I once had a diabetic student who went into a kind of sugar-shock seizure in my room; she fell to the floor and flailed about so violently that her head put a big dent in the front of my metal desk. The students had seen it happen before, and they calmly got up and cleared out a space for her to spin in safety.

You know, if I had been told she was prone to such behaviors, I might have been a little less shocked and a little more prepared to deal and help the other students deal, too.

But we were never told about things like that. It would have violated the privacy of the student and the family. I never knew, except by word of mouth (usually the kids spread the word or the child told me himself/herself) if a student was diabetic, or epileptic, or ADD or ADHD or or incontinent or anything. If it was bad enough to require an IEP, I was told that it existed, but usually I never saw the paperwork until it was conference time. It was then that I was informed whether or not I was following it. The paperwork involved in seeing a student's previous school records was so tedious that I never did it. Except for knowing about medical issues, I figured each kid had a right to a fresh start every year, anyway. Knowing too much about last year might make a teacher lower the expectations for this year. That wasn't for me.

But I really do think that a child's teacher needs to know about any medical issues that might present themselves in the classroom. Privacy be damned. Knowing might safe a life, and not knowing? I shudder to remember, and to think what might have happened.

Most of the time, after several weeks, a teacher knows, anyway, who requires a little extra time or attention or who needs to sit by the door nearest the restroom or who might need a piece of hard candy, etc.

I once taught for several sessions with the buttons on my back undone, but it was a testing day and nobody saw anything. I finally felt a breeze on my back and figured it out, but at least nobody got a glimpse of underpants. That would have traumatized my students; heck, after seeing that, they'd have nightmares for the rest of their lives. Half of them would never marry, and the other half would become addicted to Ex-lax lest they end up looking like me.

But it's sure funny when it happens to somebody who isn't me. Heh.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:39 PM | |


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