Author Topic: I can't help sounding this way  (Read 4757 times)

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Shea

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 08:52:44 PM »
Where work is concerned, I think how problematic your migraines are really depends on the age you're hoping to teach. If you want to be a kindergarten teacher, I think that's something you'd definitely have to disclose to your employers, for the safety of the children under your care (not that a stutter is a serious problem, but the "freezing up" might be). I don't know how that would potentially work. If you're hoping to teach high school, then it would probably be much less of a problem, since high schoolers are less likely to wander off and stick their fingers into a light socket if you take your eyes off them for a couple of minutes. I'm sure there are people out there with epilepsy or atypical migraines like yours who manage to teach or do other high-responsibility jobs (I know a girl who has epilepsy and is currently in her last year of nursing school, but I don't know how she manages the possibility of a seizure while on the job). Maybe you could find some of them and get advice.

For your personal life, I'm glad your stepmom apologized. I think that it might be a good idea to have some business card-sized things printed up for when your migraines happen in public and people get worried about you. Since you can't speak well, having a pre-printed card might help you communicate what's going on, and let people know you don't need an ambulance.


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Kendo_Bunny

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 09:21:11 PM »
I'm hoping to teach high school, and I'm less worried about them wandering off than the possibility of losing control of the classroom. I may be underestimating just how well most kids will behave in case of an emergency, but I think it's different with a substitute vs. the teacher they've had all year.

As for why it's an issue, it's a pretty severe stutter, and it can be hard to make myself understood. There's also sometimes an issue where I forget words (and not complex words, very basic ones), or where I can not speak at all. I can get through to my friends and roommates with charades when I can't speak at all - I can still write when I can't speak, and they know to bring me a piece of paper, or my cell phone when I give the sign that I can't speak.

Mental Magpie

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 09:28:26 PM »
I'm hoping to teach high school, and I'm less worried about them wandering off than the possibility of losing control of the classroom. I may be underestimating just how well most kids will behave in case of an emergency, but I think it's different with a substitute vs. the teacher they've had all year.

As for why it's an issue, it's a pretty severe stutter, and it can be hard to make myself understood. There's also sometimes an issue where I forget words (and not complex words, very basic ones), or where I can not speak at all. I can get through to my friends and roommates with charades when I can't speak at all - I can still write when I can't speak, and they know to bring me a piece of paper, or my cell phone when I give the sign that I can't speak.

If you're in a classroom, you have a board to write on, right?  Just a brief explanation at the beginning of the year like I suggested earlier.  I really think you're worrying too much about this.  I understand it impacts you a lot, but I don't think it will have much of an effect on your teaching.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 10:01:10 PM »
I remember a TV movie, based on a true story, about a teacher with Tourette's syndrome.  When he started in a classroom with middle school aged kids, he explained to them what Tourette's was and what kinds of things would happen.  The kids adapted very quickly and had no issues at all.

I'm wondering if the same approach would work for you?  Let them know from the get go that if you suddenly have trouble speaking, you'll write on the blackboard/whiteboard/on the computer with it projected - however you can manage to communicate with the kids.

I don't think the kids will have any issue with it at all if you are upfront with what's going on.  IME, kids get more upset when they don't know what's going on.
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Kendo_Bunny

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2012, 12:09:49 AM »
For your personal life, I'm glad your stepmom apologized. I think that it might be a good idea to have some business card-sized things printed up for when your migraines happen in public and people get worried about you. Since you can't speak well, having a pre-printed card might help you communicate what's going on, and let people know you don't need an ambulance.

That has been another thing that has concerned me. At a previous job, my only co-worker was a close friend. She knows I hate having a fuss made over me when I'm not feeling well, and so when I had a migraine while she was doing a photo shoot, she excused herself, helped me into the office, and closed the door. She tried to explain to the customers that I would like to be left alone, but one of them was a nurse, and wanted to see what she could do for me. The nurse was horrified that in her eyes, I was being shut in a back room, to prevent the store from being embarrassed, where my friend was being sympathetic and not letting strangers watch me.

I've had people try to call ambulances, try to lie me on my back, or try to persuade me to go to the hospital when I want most to be left alone until the worst has passed. It's very kind of them, and I truly appreciate the Good Samaritans who truly want to help the girl they are convinced is having a stroke or an epileptic seizure in front of them (I've been tested for every neurological disorder they could think of and had my brain scanned - it's definitely just atypical migraines). It can be hard to explain I neither want nor need help, especially because I look and sound much worse off than I actually am.

PastryGoddess

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2012, 03:35:10 AM »
For your personal life, I'm glad your stepmom apologized. I think that it might be a good idea to have some business card-sized things printed up for when your migraines happen in public and people get worried about you. Since you can't speak well, having a pre-printed card might help you communicate what's going on, and let people know you don't need an ambulance.

That has been another thing that has concerned me. At a previous job, my only co-worker was a close friend. She knows I hate having a fuss made over me when I'm not feeling well, and so when I had a migraine while she was doing a photo shoot, she excused herself, helped me into the office, and closed the door. She tried to explain to the customers that I would like to be left alone, but one of them was a nurse, and wanted to see what she could do for me. The nurse was horrified that in her eyes, I was being shut in a back room, to prevent the store from being embarrassed, where my friend was being sympathetic and not letting strangers watch me.

I've had people try to call ambulances, try to lie me on my back, or try to persuade me to go to the hospital when I want most to be left alone until the worst has passed. It's very kind of them, and I truly appreciate the Good Samaritans who truly want to help the girl they are convinced is having a stroke or an epileptic seizure in front of them (I've been tested for every neurological disorder they could think of and had my brain scanned - it's definitely just atypical migraines). It can be hard to explain I neither want nor need help, especially because I look and sound much worse off than I actually am.

If that is the case then you definitely need to let your bosses and possibly your students know ahead of time. It might also make sense to have the school nurse in the loop as well.  Even if it's just to get people to back off and give you some space while you recover.

rashea

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2012, 08:31:55 AM »
I think having a card that explains what's going on will help you. If only so that people don't call an ambulance. I used to carry one because if my knee got bumped I could pass out. And more than that, had to take a few minutes to get the pain under control. EMTs couldn't do anything, and neither could the ER, so calling wasn't helpful. Having a card to hand to someone with some quick information and instructions on what they could do to help (a glass of water, something to grip, bring my purse, etc.) and things that wouldn't help (calling the ambulance, trying to get me to my feet). It definitely helped.

I think it's worth warning the kids too. Just a head's up so that they don't get scared. Stuttering is fine, but if it was a change from normal, I'd be concerned you were having a stroke.

And don't underestimate the ability to teach an entire lesson by writing on the board. Or, see if you can assign a student to lead part of the class for a short while. When I was a TA, I had a bad pain day very unexpectedly. After running out of the classroom (okay, wheeling as fast as I could) to throw up (pain reaction) I had the students work in small groups to formulate solutions to the problems we were working on, and then present them. It worked so well, we did it more frequently after that.
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Jones

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2012, 11:05:49 AM »
I had a teacher throughout highschool who had diabetes. She would start out the year explaining it a bit, and if she had to she'd disappear to the faculty lounge for a snack. She'd try to keep it between classes but, well, who can eat a snack and walk up and down a large school in 5 minutes or less? We knew to go into class, sit and work on whatever assignment she'd written on the board for the day. There was always an outline on the board we could follow on our own initiative, in case she couldn't be there to give the assignment right away. She always came back once she'd taken care of herself and we'd be ready for her. Teenagers do have the ability to adapt if they are made aware of a situation.

Sharnita

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2012, 03:56:16 PM »
I'm hoping to teach high school, and I'm less worried about them wandering off than the possibility of losing control of the classroom. I may be underestimating just how well most kids will behave in case of an emergency, but I think it's different with a substitute vs. the teacher they've had all year.

As for why it's an issue, it's a pretty severe stutter, and it can be hard to make myself understood. There's also sometimes an issue where I forget words (and not complex words, very basic ones), or where I can not speak at all. I can get through to my friends and roommates with charades when I can't speak at all - I can still write when I can't speak, and they know to bring me a piece of paper, or my cell phone when I give the sign that I can't speak.

I've taught that age and had some pretty nasty migraines.  The kids in my room were sometimes the toughest kids imaginable.  We are talking some kids on tethers due to criminal activities.  I found that they were actually better when they knew I was having a migraine.  They would kind of police each other and remind each other that I was in genuine pain.  Even the kids who were behavior problems at other times would do their best.  They tend to recognize genuine suffering and try not to make it worse.

O'Dell

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2012, 04:35:06 PM »
I'm hoping to teach high school, and I'm less worried about them wandering off than the possibility of losing control of the classroom. I may be underestimating just how well most kids will behave in case of an emergency, but I think it's different with a substitute vs. the teacher they've had all year.

As for why it's an issue, it's a pretty severe stutter, and it can be hard to make myself understood. There's also sometimes an issue where I forget words (and not complex words, very basic ones), or where I can not speak at all. I can get through to my friends and roommates with charades when I can't speak at all - I can still write when I can't speak, and they know to bring me a piece of paper, or my cell phone when I give the sign that I can't speak.

I've taught that age and had some pretty nasty migraines.  The kids in my room were sometimes the toughest kids imaginable.  We are talking some kids on tethers due to criminal activities.  I found that they were actually better when they knew I was having a migraine.  They would kind of police each other and remind each other that I was in genuine pain.  Even the kids who were behavior problems at other times would do their best.  They tend to recognize genuine suffering and try not to make it worse.

That is sweet!! You restored some of my faith in humanity with that post. :) (I mean that sincerely!)
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: I can't help sounding this way
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2012, 05:14:17 PM »
I'm hoping to teach high school, and I'm less worried about them wandering off than the possibility of losing control of the classroom. I may be underestimating just how well most kids will behave in case of an emergency, but I think it's different with a substitute vs. the teacher they've had all year.

As for why it's an issue, it's a pretty severe stutter, and it can be hard to make myself understood. There's also sometimes an issue where I forget words (and not complex words, very basic ones), or where I can not speak at all. I can get through to my friends and roommates with charades when I can't speak at all - I can still write when I can't speak, and they know to bring me a piece of paper, or my cell phone when I give the sign that I can't speak.

I've taught that age and had some pretty nasty migraines.  The kids in my room were sometimes the toughest kids imaginable.  We are talking some kids on tethers due to criminal activities.  I found that they were actually better when they knew I was having a migraine.  They would kind of police each other and remind each other that I was in genuine pain.  Even the kids who were behavior problems at other times would do their best.  They tend to recognize genuine suffering and try not to make it worse.

That is sweet!! You restored some of my faith in humanity with that post. :) (I mean that sincerely!)

My mom used to be a teacher, and she too had some great stories about how nice and sweet a lot of the "bad" kids were to her (she didn't mention tethers, but at least one of her students had to sit out a field trip because she wasn't allowed to leave the state  :(). One story that gets retold in our household every year is about a student who got pulled into the principal's office because he'd brought a bunch of small paper-wrapped packages to school that they suspected were drugs based on his history. When my mom saw what was going on, she was able to clue them in to what was actually in the packages--homemade Christmas ornaments for his teachers  :).