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Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 3:17pm
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i agree with you that if a teacher doesn't want to be inconvenienced or burdened with my two pa children then it would be best to save us all the trouble and find a different teacher.
like i said, i haven't found a single one yet who didn't seem to want to participate in helping with our PA (and i ask each and every one of them prior to the school year starting. in fact, i ask the principal to check with them first so they can vocalize it to her rather than me, if necessary).
now, in the beginning, we had many more problems with teachers making errors regarding PA (but none that turned out to be hugely serious, thankfully) but we were all learning together at that time.
we live in a very, very tiny town and everyone from grades K-6th knows my girls already just because everyone knows everyone anyway. maybe that is part of what is working for us. we are able to personally get to know the people we depend on to care for our children.
i also work for the school system on a part time basis and volunteer in some capacity every week, in every building. that probably helps too. maybe it wouldn't be so "easy" for us if i wasn't as everpresent at school as i am.
still, i have to say i DON'T think it's a huge imposition on teachers to ask for their help with PA. i may ask a few impartial teachers to answer some of these questions for me. i'd be curious to hear their answers but i would be very, very surprised to hear that they are overly burdened or upset about having to accommodate kids with food allergies.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 11:00pm
perpetually perplexed's picture
Joined: 02/12/2005 - 09:00

I personally find that my "answers" to these question are evolving right now. I haven't figured out if I am looking at this from a teacher's perspective or if my "answers" are changing because my PA sons are getting older and more responsible.
A case in point would be that my PA DS and another PA child transfered to other schools this year. I felt a huge collective sigh of relief coming from the old school. The could not give me back the Epi-pens fast enough. My -unknown if PA but suspect is-- younger son and another PA child are still at this school. Their teachers are well versed in PA because my older son had them.
At this time I feel as if I have forced these teachers/schools to take on this burden. I vividly remember a teacher's horrified facial expression at an "allergy class." She was terrified of needles and could barely inject the Epi into an orange. I have often wondered in the back of my mind if she would be able to do this for real. Even though most teachers/admin were more than willing learn and accept this responsibility, I still feel as if I forced this upon them. NO, I wouldn't have changed anything that was done.
I don't think there is any right or wrong answers to this discussion. We all learn when it is talked about.

Posted on: Sat, 08/19/2006 - 12:58am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

1) Is it fair/right to give the burden/responsibility of this allergy to the teacher in the magnitude we do? Some teachers get real nervous when an allergic child is in their class.
I think it is as fair as many of the other burdens they are given besides PA (learning disabilities, behavioural issues, language barriers). I feel that my son is no more of a burden than quite a few of his classmates.
2) Is it fair that we expect them to read all labels, make choices about our kids food etc..? What about the teachers dealing with the "other" parents? Are the teachers confident enough to make these decisions.
I do not ask the teacher to read labels, if they want to have a party with other parents supplying food, my son and I read the labels (the teacher usually chooses too as well). If the teacher is supplying the food - I always offer to do the shopping so they don't have to - sometimes they accept sometimes they do it themselves.
3) What about the time spent doing these things? The teacher was hired to teach all the children.
The teacher spends no extra time on PA in my sons class.
4) What happens when a teacher messes up? Are there or should there be consequences?
I don't think there should be consequences unless it was something intentional (bringing PB in to make bird feeders). Most reactions are the result of error, two of my sons were my errors. I guess the consequence is seeing the reaction and knowing it was my fault, no-one could come up with anything worse than that.
5) Did a teacher ever consider these things when they chose to become a teacher? Would they choose it again knowing now that they are expected to take care of the kids like the parents do?
Interesting question, I would have to ask the teachers.
6) What about teachers getting some sort of certified training in dealing with allergic kids?
As soon as I get my certified training, I will sign up the teachers. They do get trained by the public health nurse annually.
and finally.
7) What about all these volunteer adults that do special things for children? I am thinking about coaches, Sunday school teachers, Boy scout and Girl scout leaders, etc...
I have never dropped DS off with a coach/leader until this past soccer season when his coach was a paramedic and reassured me it was not a problem (I had to go to work a couple of blocks away and DH was on his way from work - 15/20 minutes away). DH or I always stay or get involved - DH was cub leader, I coach his badminton team.

Posted on: Sat, 08/19/2006 - 6:48am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I just realized something about my post-- my opinions are heavily colored by my own perspective. So I find it hard to envision the impact of PA on a middle-school environment, though I see very clearly what PK-6 can be like. A 3rd grader can often read labels, but few preschoolers can... and by junior high, it is an expectation.
The child's own ability to care for their own PA has an enormous impact, doesn't it?

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:45am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Bumping up to complement another thread.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:54am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

recently, I posted an "ethics" journal article in that thread.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 8:09am
perpetually perplexed's picture
Joined: 02/12/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by cynde:
I think it is as fair as many of the other burdens they are given besides PA (learning disabilities, behavioural issues, language barriers). I feel that my son is no more of a burden than quite a few of his classmates.
Wow, I might have figured out why I am questioning some of this stuff now. (especially after all I've (we) been through)
I think that this deadly allergy had been so often grouped with nonlife threatening issues that it is becoming sort of passe'. Maybe when we say PA others think of rashes, vomiting and whatever. I think of death. Is there some way grouping disabilites in accordance with how deadly each one is? Kinda like our ridiculous terror alert levels.
Just thinking out loud.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 8:10am
perpetually perplexed's picture
Joined: 02/12/2005 - 09:00

Hey Mommabear
Thanks for showing me that thread on Duty of Care. I noticed that it was from our neighbors up north. Is there anything like it in the US?
Thx again



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