This is my first time posting on here- I'm so happy I found this place! I'm a 1st grade teacher and have been diabetic for 18 years. This past week my school has dramatically changed the way that I operate in my classroom.
There is one other diabetic teacher in my school. A parent made a complaint about her checking her blood sugar in front of the kids and claimed that the teacher checked the child's blood sugar. Obviously, this did not happen. She was 'investigated' and our administrators made a new rule for us: if we need to check our blood sugar we have to call one of them to watch our class and to make sure that everyone is 'protected' while we check our blood sugar...
I'm quite dumbfounded at the whole situation. It's not as big of an issue with the other teacher but I check my blood sugar far more often (read- too often!) and it's creating an issue with my teaching. Before I would do it very quickly while I was talking to my students or they were doing independent work. Basically, it wasn't an issue at all. Now, I have to stop my lesson to call someone and they come in the room for less than a minute while I do it. One of my students said to the asst. principal today, "I know why you come in." I quickly said, "Yeah to see how awesome you are doing!" She said no and that she knew the real reason. This new rule is now making it an issue...
I haven't talked to the principal about this yet, as I'm trying to get as much evidence and support for my position as I can before I argue my case. I was also told that he's unlikely to budge on his decision. That's why I'm here...have you ever heard of this happening anywhere else before? Can they even make this rule? Any advice and/or input would be appreciated. Thanks!
If you are part of a Union I would talk to them see if a better way can be developed. I teach in a high school which most likely doesn’t make it such a big deal. My AP knows I check in my classroom and my administration has never said anything to me.
An idea would be ask if another teacher or professional can come and “visit” in place of the administration. When I worked in a Elementary School I had to do my breathing treatments in the clinic because it could make a student scared to see me doing this. I just wanted to do it during my planning period or lunch.
You sound like you are between a rock and a hard place. Talk to the Union, in Florida, I'm told our teacher's union will talk to you and advise you even if your not a member. I am an Elementary, Exceptional Student Education, teacher in a separate class. I have 9 to 13 students with varying degress of limitations in grades Kg to 5th. I test at the back of my classroom at my computer, it is not very noticable unless a students gets up and comes up to me while it is being done. They are a great group of kids and are aware that I test and take insulin. They are my greatest supporters. However, last year my school had a break in and my portable was one of the hardest hit, (totaled over $15,000.00 in damage to my neighbor and my classroom) and I was not allowed into the room to retrieve or check on my insulin. Once I was allowed in I found my insulin in the baggie, on the floor, covered in paint and other stuff they dumped. No one said anything about it, but I think they did not really notice it. I was concerned that some kid found it and my needles and tried to use it. Thank God they didn't. I don't normally leave it anymore unless I forget. Good Luck and talk to someone. The Union will normally send someone to go with you to talk to administration.
as a former district administrator this seems like a bad rule to me.
So how to work it? I would not call the association on the first blush. I would go to the principal and talk to them and tell them why this does not work out so well. They may have a specific reason to bar it but I doubt they thought it out completely. I would take my meter with me and show them what is being discussed.
So what are the possible remedies? First follow the guidance, but call every time. I mean every time. You send a person to your room 10 times a day that will get old quick. Second, ignore it and possibly get fired for ignoring a directive. I would not do that. Third operate half in and half outside the directive. I would not do that either. Or fifth change the rule and this is what i would work on.
So let the principal know you will need a sub at least 5-8 subs a day. Tell them you will need have the sub almost immediately. Finally show her the real test and explain you have been doing ti for years without issue.
If this does not work out get the association rep involved. Now of course you can do this int eh nurses area but that requires being away from class, breaks instruction and is disruptive. My guess is if you approach it rationally the principal will give in. There cannot be a policy statement about this of issue. Remind the principal if you are waiting you might be going down due ot low BS that you do not know of. I worked with a teacher who collapsed because he did not test. Talk about kids being upset? Ahh yeah.
Here is my last piece of advice. Keep your cool. The principal will better react well too rational discussion before open defiance.
Rick Phillips Ed.D.
I realize I'm late to this party but just wanted to chime in. First, Rick's advice is well-thought out. Especially the calm part. Bottom line is administrators can make life miserable or wonderful for anyone, any time, and for any reason.
I'm in West Central FL and am pretty well left alone.
Curious as to how things have developed.