Thursday, July 26, 2007

Too Much Responsibility

It's often said that teachers wear many hats. Over the last ten years I've adjusted to most of them. We serve as guides, counselors, parents, coaches, etc. However, a training this morning pushed me over the edge. I felt as though my responsibilities as a teacher were too much. I was trained (along with my entire team and some specialists) in administering a shot in the case of diabetic students going into insulin shock. It seems there are two diabetic students in fifth grade, neither in my class, and all of us need to be prepared.

I dated a diabetic for several years in college and felt like I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. I have an idea of what to watch for (which is a challenge since it varies so greatly by individual) and how to help if a student's blood sugar is dropping. The shot we learned about is only for extreme emergencies; the student would be unconscious before we use it. It is rare that school personnel ever have to administer it. However, by the end of the training as we were jabbing syringes into sponges to practice the procedure I felt like it was getting harder and harder to breathe. Somehow, this training in something that I was highly unlikely to ever need reinforced for me how responsible I am as a teacher.

Parents entrust their children to us seven hours a day, five days a week. They expect us to teach them reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and such. But, even more basic, they expect us to keep them safe. I've laughed at Tree because she keeps her classroom door locked at all times, just in case. Maybe she has something there...

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