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My Epilepsy does not affect my ability to teach. I love teaching and develop a strong bond with each class I teach. I work in a large multicultural Infant School and have taught children from 4 to 7 years old. I am qualified and could teach children right up to 11 but I find younger children the most rewarding. Having Epilepsy makes me more sensitive to the needs of children that are different for what ever reasons. I try to be a positive role model and answer questions honestly. Children sometimes mimic the way my eyes flutter and ask why I do it, I normally try to explain that there is something wrong with me that makes my eyes do that but it is not nothing to worry about. I encourage the children to talk about the things that they have wrong with them, this works well because children soon learn that we are all different and that is OK. Just because someone has something wrong with them, it does not stop them from being a popular member of the class.

I was in my second year of teaching when I had a tonic clonic seizure in the classroom while I was teaching. I am proud to say (and so to were the members of staff when they told me afterwards) that instead of a classroom of hysterical children (they were 5 & 6 year olds) a small contingency party went to the office and said that their teacher was not feeling well and had fallen over. The class were taken into the hall and were read a story by the head teacher. Parents asked me if I was OK but nobody questioned my ability to continue to teach my class. Another year, when I was rushing to go to a staff meeting (I hate being late!) I sat down and had a tonic clonic seizure. Again I was looked after by 1st aiders and the meeting carried on in a different room.

Each classroom has a 'help needed' sign and if a situation arises the children know to take it to the school office to get help quickly. This is the same for each class not just because of me. As a safety precaution I don't take groups of children outside of the school building alone, for school trips I have my own group of children with me but I always stay within the sight of another member of staff usually a first aider. It is not a problem and is safer for both the children and myself. I am sensitive to flashing lights and I am very aware when a florescent light strip needs changing and if necessary I turn that particular light off. I am always aware that if I am sensitive to it then there could be children that are sensitive also, that have not been diagnosed with Epilepsy. For the same reason, when the school photographer is in, I cover the glass of my classroom door with paper, to reduce the flicker of the camera flash.

My story so far...

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photo for my 1st seizures
Photo for School Days
Photo for Teacher Training College
Pupil drawn teacher picture
Pupil drawn computer picture
My Wedding Photo
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My first seizures...
School days
Teacher Training College
Epilepsy and my career
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