I have a new administrator (principal) that just started after Thaksgiving. I asked to talk to her last week about my diabetes, and the fact that I often struggles with lows and an urgency to use the restroom. She told me that was my problem and to talk to my doctor. Any suggestions how to "tactfully" respond?

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Start conversation with,"I knew sometime you might need to leave office or shorten call to ...." Always personalize situation.

I didn't tell my adminstrator at first. I was to busy trying to deal with the dx. and all the horrible feelings/emotions that went with it.

That first week I had a low and had to ask permission to leave for the day.

I hadn't had any education at that point and I was very upset because my aide was very nasty about the whole low situation.

He was very nice to me and offered to take me home but I declined.

I made it home safely.


I now have a different adminstrator and I've never told him.

Not that I'm afraid nor trying to hide things but it's just never come up.

This admin has been very nice to me about other things and I believe he'd be understanding and helpful should I ever need him to be.


Well ok, i am, a type 1 diabetic and a  a former central office administrator.  I was the school business manager and personnel director.  Unfortunately, I seemed to be telling principals constantly, no you cannot fire a teacher for being insulin dependent, and yes, we really want them to tell us.  I mean we really really do. 


Ok, so how the break the news.  First if you use insulin and and are a teacher, my opinion is you have a professional obligation to tell your teaching partners and your principal.  I would add that you have an obligation to tell the school nurse, if one is present. 


Now how to do that, especially with a jerk like this.  Schedule a sit down and lay it out.  I do not suggest a causal brush, nor do I suggest telling others first.  Assuming it goes as this was originally described, cal the union rep for a sit down, or go to CO and see the personnel director.  I think the PD is a better option, but that is jsut me.


Now lets assume either one does not work out.  Then get to the doctor and ask them to write a letter of accommodation.  Specify what the disease is  and the modifications you are asking for.  I suggest prompt notice to a partner teacher of an issue, class release for recovery, and additional bathroom breaks.  These are reasonable accommodations, and  they can be pretty easily done.  Depending on the age of the students, ask that a student be appointed in each period to inform the partner teacher if you pass out or suddenly leave. 


In the extreme, you might request an IA for younger children.  However do not do that right out of the box.  IA's are comparatively cheap, but in general two IA's cost about as much as one teacher.  My point is that reducing a teacher position for a diabetic IA will breed contempt from other teachers, so don't do that, unless you absolutely have too.


rick phillips


Sounds like some administrators I have had in the past.     You might give her a short list of things that are medical concerns, perhaps a piece of lit from your diabetes educator.    Give it to her with the brief statement that you are working to stay healthy, but there are some concerns due to chronic illness and you want her to be informed.   Follow it up with an email to document that you have done this, or send the info that way.      Friendly, brief email.    Then if she has the same response, contact the professional organization.    The legal department should be able to guide you from there. You will be able to prove you tried to educate her in a friendly way, should you need to.    Hope it doesn't come to that!

Work overseas. Spent 10 years in a supportive school. Moved to new country this year - to a self serving school. Diagnosed 2 weeks before moving half way aroung the world - well a third of the way but the other direction. Started insuline 2 weeks before starting new job. Had 3 principals by Xmas when we also finally got an AP. Told all of them about my new condition and my concerns. By the 3rd principal was barely surviving. Told Principal, one week later was sitting with AP being told I was being written up for deficiencies for EXACTLY the same things I had talked about needing help with. Told AP I was late eating and needed to eat before our meeting. He kept yelling and telling me he was going to write me up for insubordination. Dropped way low and could only think if I passed out and died he would write me up for that as well - it was funny in my delerium. Son came in after class and convinced me to check blood, made me eat glucose and went and got me some bread. I was able to drive home about an hour later.

Short story... Union filed a grievance. Union attorney contacted me and told me to additionally invoke the Americans with Disabilities Act through the district. As if more paperwork was what I needed. Finally got it all done. No one has contacted me about anything. Nor has either Admin spoken to me or made eye contact since. Will be getting another new principal next year. Dr. wrote a scathing letter - after all this my A1C went from 6.4 to high 7s and having trouble getting BG to stay under 200 - my goal is 120-150 - Dr goal is 100-120. LOL! Still trying to get an "official" translation but filed anyway. Nobody wants to deal with medical documents even when I tell them it is legal not medical.

TELL YOUR ADMIN and UNION REP STRAIGHT UP and DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT - cause you don't have enough else on our plate : ) Dr. and attorney are p***ed and ready for battle if it comes to it. I just want to learn how to manage my new body and do my job and have somebody say what can I do to help when I show up in the office crying saying I'm barely surviving. At least I have a foundation if I need to be protected. I still feel like I am at day 1 with my health. Feel like work has to come first so I don't get fired. This really sucks.




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