It’s me, your child’s school.
I know that may seem weird, I mean I’m not the principal nor a teacher, and surely not the school nurse…….I’m just a building; what do I have to say of any importance….right?
But I do.
First of all, your child looked great for the first day. Really. It was quite clear that you took much time to find ‘that perfect’ outfit that would show them off and also make sure they “looked cool” to their friends, and also their NEW friends. Just a word from me; you succeeded.
I noticed that your child has many diabetes supplies and that can only mean one thing; they have type 1 diabetes. I’m sorry for that, it must be difficult when they are so young. I have been around a long time and I have learned a thing or two which I would like to share with you.
Over the years I have had school officials who do everything they can to make a family feel comfortable with a child in school with diabetes; and there was also a time I thought they could have handled it much better. We will have to see what this year brings. But a few tips for you, if I may. I have noticed a few things over the years.
School officials have quite a few kids inside me for which they must give attention. It is so hard to get to know them and in the beginning it is tougher than usual. Every parent thinks THEIR CHILD is the only thing that matters, at home that works well; add them to the so many other kids?????—not so easy. Please remember that point.
Children with allergies–we have 42 this year, 3 kids with cystic fibrosis, 18 with special needs, 10 with other illnesses and we have 6 children this year with type 1 diabetes. Plus the school officials must tend to the normal everyday aspects of teaching. As you can see, there is much to handle.
You can be firm with them, they understand that this is your child, but always be polite. Anger and accusations just begins a divide. They more in control and organized you are, the more of an air of mutual cooperation will be received. You being organized is a HUGE help. The officials do not always understand everything with your child; be ready to explain it—-especially when our physical education teacher may completely get it wrong. GREAT TEACHER but the error is just a lack of understanding, teach it once and you will not have to do it again (usually), but be ready as everyone is not as in-tuned with your child as you are, I think you understand that point.
Sometimes the error may be pretty large…..it is at THAT time more than any other that your understanding is needed. I know all of the teachers, the school nurse, and even the custodial staff—-they all LOVE kids; this I know to be true. When a mistake is made, they may get pretty defensive if accused, or confronted, but in most cases they will feel horrible when they have time to think about it.
No one enters me everyday with any other idea but to make life for the kids better. Well maybe a few but no matter how hard I try (I even dropped a brick on one of them once, it did not help) there are a few ‘clunkers’, but you will find that in any business.
For the most part, the people inside me are ‘good people’ with GREAT intentions. Together we may all need to learn some things but patience, understanding, and explanations more than confrontations always will work better. Discuss with, not ‘down-to’; and we will all have a better year.
Thanks for listening today, I just wanted to come to you personally. Also, I cannot be everywhere all of the time……..but if you have tried everything you can to no avail……let me know. I have been known to drop a brick from time-to-time to knock some sense into a few folks.
Have a great me (school) year.
Your child’s school building.
I am a diabetes dad.
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