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Teacher's Lounge A place for educators to share their questions, concerns, tips and teamwork in dealing with MS while working in educational settings.

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:21 AM
jnstaylor98 jnstaylor98 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 7
LAUGH IT OFF OR BE HONEST?

I'M A BAND DIRECTOR. I HAVE ONLY BEEN DIAGNOSED FOR TWO AND A HALF WEEKS. I HAVE BEGUN TREATMENT AND AM OPTIMISTIC.

MY STUDENTS, WHOM I DEARLY LOVE, ARE GUILTY OF BEING MUCH TO HONEST AND VOCAL ALL OF THE TIME. THEY POINT OUT AND LAUGH AND EVERY FUNNY THING I SAY. (ONE OF MY PROBLEMS IS COGNITIVE, WITH LANGUAGE. I WILL CALL STUDENTS BY THE WRONG NAME THAT I HAVE TAUGHT FOR 5 YEARS...SPOONERISMS...WRONG WORD USE, COMPLETE WORD SALAD FALLS OUT SOME DAYS... WE ALL LAUGH IT OFF.

LAST YEAR I BEGAN DROPPING THINGS DAILY AND STUMBLING OFF MY PODIUM WEEKLY. IT IS NOW A RUNNING GAG IN THE CLASS, AND THE JOKE IS THAT I AM LOSING THE BATTLE WITH GRAVITY.

THIS WEEKEND A STUDENT TOLD ME, "YOU'RE NOT HAVING AS MUCH TROUBLE WITH GRAVITY ANYMORE, BUT YOU DO WALK FUNNY."

MY QUESTION IS THIS, AT WHAT POINT DO WE STOP MAKING JOKES ABOUT THE QUIRKY BAND DIRECTOR AND GET HONEST ABOUT WHY THESE THINGS ARE HAPPENING. I FEAR MY KIDS WILL FEEL GUILT AND SHAME FOR EVERY JOKE THEY HAVE CRACKED ON ME OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS ONCE THEY REALIZE THAT I CAN'T HELP IT. AND YET, I'M WORRIED THAT IF I SAY NOTHING, I WILL BE HAVING A REALLY LOW DAY EMOTIONALLY AND WILL SNAP ON A CHILD AT THE WRONG TIME.

CAN ANY OF YOU THAT HAVE/HAVE NOT DISCLOSED TO STUDENTS GIVE ME ADVICE? THANKS
JOHN
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:25 PM
artteacher artteacher is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 46
jnstaylor:
You don't say how old the students are but I am going to assume this is high school students. I don't know your student's maturity but high school students should be able to handle you disclosing about your MS. But realize that if they are told the whole community will know--I don't know if that bothers you at all.

If you do disclose, I would address your concern that they may feel guilt and shame for what was said in the past. I would explain that at the time they did not know (and even you did not know) why those things were happening to you and there aren't any bad feelings about the jokes.

There are some MSers that joke about their symptoms and such. You will need to decide if you want to continue the joking atmosphere that had been occurring or do you now want it to stop because it hurts you.

Good luck with it.
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