I'm new but this is amazing!

So, I have been out of touch with both the internet and the diabetes community as a whole for a while now. Yet in my discoveries, trying to reconnect with the world and fellow diabetics, I ran into this fantastic website. I signed up immediately and what is the first thing my eye jumps to? Teachers with Diabetes! How cool is this? I literally just started grad school to pick up my teaching certificate and eventually my Masters for grades 7-12 social studies. Since I began to think about teaching I have been a little curious about possible problems with my diabetes. I guessed that I would just figure it all out on my own and I never in a million years imagined that there would be an internet group devoted to such a topic. I guess you can find anything on the internet. Looking forward to talking to everyone!



we're glad to have you, dan :o) very glad you found us.

Hello Dan, welcome to our group. I taught math in a community college, for 34 years. Now I am retired. I taught 1963-1997. The way I handled my diabetes back then would not help you at all, things were so different then. I am sure you will adjust to teaching with your diabetes. Since you will be teaching grades 7-12, your students will understand if you have a problem during class. They will even be able to help you, if needed. I advise you to tell them about your diabetes, just in case.



Thanks for your reply. Teaching brings an interesting dilemma that you addressed a little. In previous work I have made sure to tell all of my coworkers that I am diabetic. However, some teachers I know are very hesitant to tell students anything about their own private life, because students will contort and twist and almost use it against you. I know it sounds childish but I would hate to loose a classroom due to diabetes. So my question is what has your experience been with telling your students that you are diabetic? Should you tell them right up front on the first day or wait until you know your class better? Have you been able to use diabetes as a learning experience for your students? Is it better to leave the room to treat lows? Any feedback would be great. Thanks again.


Dan, I do wait at least a week before telling a class that I have diabetes. I think I would wait even longer for a seventh grade class, but a community college class is much more mature and understands my situation very easily. College level students seem to be well aware of diabetes now, but that has not always been the case. I did not tell my students in the 1960s and 1970s, unless I was having a hypo at the time and had to stop eat something fast.

In more recent times, I would put a problem on the board and have them work at their desks, while I recovered enough that I could continue. I always treated lows in class. I suspect that leaving the classroom could cause younger students to misbehave while you are gone. Some may even use the opportunity to leave the room and skip the rest of the class.

I did not start using a pump until after I retired. If I was teaching now I would use a temporary basal that purposely caused me to run above 100 until my teaching for the day was done. Then I could reset my basal to normal delivery. That is one of the many advantages of pumping. I could take a correction bolus after my last class or activity and have my control back on schedule before dinner.

Do you use a pump, Dan?

Even though I was in elementary classes, I always told the class I was diabetic. I noticed it a learning opportunity for the younger students as they liked to ask lots of questions. They wanted to see what my pump looked like (the machine part, not the infusion site). If the students asked (I never volunteered), I would show them how I do a blood test. In my case, I noticed this lead to less distractions when something came up and I needed to test or treat because they already knew what I was doing and why. With the younger kids, I kept it very very simple and just explained the basics. With the older kids, I went into more depth and talked to them about what causes diabetes. Again, I wouldn't go into detail unless they asked the questions. I felt like the kids and I had a better rapport because I shared with them stuff about my personal life (not too much, obviously), but enough to let them know they could talk to me and I would talk with them.

Hi Dan....first of all welcome to the group!!  I teach sixth grade and have a master's degree.  I have been teaching for 14 years now......I ALWAYS tell my students about my diabetes.  I consider my classroom, including the students, my family.  I tell them that we are a family and they deserve to know about my diabetes.  I explain to them the high symptoms and the low symptoms....and they really help me out.  I am fortunate in that I can feel lows and I treat with smarties or sugar tabs.  I usually share smarties with them, that way we all get a little treat and a little "break".  I don't get lows very often, but when I do they can usually tell.  They are very supportive and cooperative.  I rarely miss any days and rarely have to leave the classroom because of my diabetes.  They cannot use your diabetes against you if you just be honest with them and try to maintain good control.  I am also fortunate to work with my husband just a few doors down, so he checks on me often!  You should share with a coworker/s about your diabetes just in case.......

Diabetes should not be a problem in the classroom.....it hasn't been for me!  And I consider myself a veteran:)

I have had a few issues while teaching, but nothing horrible. Nice I was being observed by my principal and I started to get low. I picked up a juice box off of my desk and kept on going! My students didn't think anything of it, so it was not even the least bit distracting!

I teach high school 9-12 English. I have found that talking about my diabetes is not a huge issue. I usually get it out within the first week because SOMEONE is going to ask if i am wearing a pager on my hip....lol....(pump) I usually talk to them a bit about what diabetes is and it's really interesting to see that a few students will tell you that a family member or friend has it. =) i also let me know what i go through when i am high and low and how they can help if they choose. i keep a mini frig in my classroom and my students know that i keep oj or apple juice in there. i have actually had a student walk to my mini frig, grab an oj, and told me to check my sugar...."You don't look so hot Ms. Johnson".........sure enough I was at 45. I thanked him, took the OJ, sat down, and the class worked independently for a few minutes while I had my moment. =)

It's really not that bad to share the personal stuff, not all of course, but this is a huge part of who you are. I think it would be better to share than have a fluke accident happen where you bottomed out and the students had NO IDEA what was going on. That to me is when you will lose your classroom.