The Easy Way To Introduce 260 Students to a Big Change

So, the adjustments are underway at work and we’re attempting the chair during the day. Physically it’s a relief (I’m still knackered, but I think it’ll take time to earn back my spoons). Mentally, not so sure and I’m avoiding the onslaught of questions by giving each of my classes this.

Yesterday, with my sixth form classes it worked well. They came in, most questions answered and aside from suggesting I add nitros we just got on.

Dear students,

You’ve probably noticed that Mrs Geek has evolved wheels & you might have a few questions. Our lesson isn’t the time for this, but you can always ask me questions during break / lunch! Until then, here’s the biggies:

What happened?!
Not much really. I have a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I’m using the wheelchair to stop me from hurting my joints & getting too tired to mark your homework! People use wheelchairs for lots of different reasons. I love teaching you & this will help me to stay teaching you for longer 🙂

Can you walk?
Yes. Don’t be surprised if you still see me standing up. Or getting my chair out of my car. Or using crutches. Or walking like I used to. My evolution into Dr X is taking a while…

Why do you sometimes have other bandages?
You might see me wearing various different neoprean supports. I can damage my joints very easily & these help. Lots of you have noticed my knee brace (yes, you may call it Roboleg. I do!). Sometimes you might hear my joints cracking or pop – don’t worry!

What do I do if I need your help?
In some rooms it’s hard for me to get to you, but you can come to me & I’ll take control of your screen. We’ll keep using Google Classroom & that should help us lots! If you are at all worried that you’re not getting enough of my attention,  please come and talk to me.

Is it OK to ask you questions about your chair?
I don’t mind you asking outside of lessons. I can’t promise I can answer them all, but being with someone disabled isn’t something to be scared of. Even adults aren’t always sure what is ok to ask.

Can I have a go in your chair?
No. I rather need it 🙂

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4 thoughts on “The Easy Way To Introduce 260 Students to a Big Change

  1. You’ve handled this beautifully. Lucky kids, to have you in their lives.
    Just in case you ever doubt what you mean to these students, here’s a little something: All three of our kids had a number of amazing high school teachers who made an enormous impact on their lives; teachers who, even now that our babies are in college and beyond, they still look to as touchstones and mentors. I’m so thankful for those people in their lives. And you’re being that person for your students. Awesome.

    Like

    • This is day 2 of using it and it’s putting both me and them at ease. So far the only questions have been about whether I need help with doors and where am I going to put me tea! (That’s easy – I’ve added a drinks bottle holder to the foot rest 😉 )

      Like

  2. Pingback: Introducing Students To Disability- Year 2 | The Hippy Geek

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