Monday, August 17, 2015

What Middle School Teachers can Prepare for a Pediatric Cancer Patient Student

Last Monday, we shared a checklist for what teachers should know if one of their students is also a pediatric cancer patient. In addition to that list, we would like to share with you a checklist that is unique to middle school students.

Lets review general topics that teachers should know when one of their students is also a  pediatric cancer patient .....

1. What type of cancer they had and the side effects.2. Things to watch for medical and emotionally after all you do see the child for a large chunk of hours each day. 3. A plan for absences. 4. As teachers pushing children forward to learn is a big part of what you do, but cancer patients and cancer survivors can’t always be pushed because sometimes its a large issue that is holding them back, its important to ask and see what things effect them so that you know that line. 5. What are signs to look for that the child may need more help outside of the classroom6. Contact information to contact parents with the most amount of ease. 7. What goals/wants does the child want in their education.8. What are any rules and regulations your school/districts have on situations like this, and if they aren’t effective how to make them more effective. 9. Also ask questions you feel may better help you, cancer families at the point of reentry into school have spent 1,2,  or even 3 years dealing with this so they will be very knowledgeable on the patient side.

In addition, this checklist showcases topics unique to our middle school teachers and coping with a pediatric cancer patient ......
  1. Typically, middle school teachers seek to reduce parent involvement to promote student's independence. For Pediatric cancer patients this may be a little trickier to balance as their child is going through an extremely traumatic experience as are the parents. That is why, as the teacher, you may want to initiate an elaborate discussion with the child's parents in order to map out a plan that both makes the parent comfortable all while promoting the student's independence. 
  2. Peer pressure becomes more prevalent in middle school, therefore we would suggest to check in with [all students] but potentially have an extended conversation with a pediatric cancer patient student. Pediatric Cancer Patients are especially prone to depression and loneliness and would benefit from a caring conversation with their teacher.
  3. Middle schools also tend to be much larger than elementary schools, therefore establish the best routes through out the school to ensure that this particular can make it around with ease due to the limitations that cancer can cause on a person's body.
  4. Decide the best plan of action for absences and missed in class activities to ensure that this student is receiving the same amount of enriching education [even if it has to be at the hospital!]

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