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NerdTeach NerdTeach is offline
Joined: Aug 2017
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 153
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:41 AM
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I know I'm a little late to this thread, but I wanted to encourage you.

I think you should be open and honest about your Tourette's. I think you'll find that students of all ages can be very accepting if you're open. If you try to hold in your tics, you're potentially harming yourself as well as your relationship with your students.

Firstly, you will have students that also have conditions like Tourette's or MS or fibromyalgia. You will be doing them a HUGE service by being open and showing them that success comes from who are are, not by what you get diagnosed with.

Secondly, for students who do not understand chronic conditions, you are creating a wonderful and open discussion about how to understand people who are different. This is a great opportunity for you and for them!

Thirdly, I assume you're protected under the ADA. Your Tourette's should in no way affect the way people see you. I would probably tell your AP and P though, in case students or parents have questions. Their job is to protect you. (I would also join a teacher union if you haven't already---they can offer you even more protection and advice).

Lastly, I would like to give you advice on how to introduce this to the students. I wear compression stockings (you know, like the old diabetic men in Walmart wear?) I am 26 years old, and I've been wearing them for 13 years. When I started teaching, I was nervous that the students would make fun of me for wearing them, or think I was weird or something. Here's what I did:

On the first day of class I always give out a student survey of general info about the kids. Favorite movie, what motivates them, what they like in a teacher, food allergies, etc. I take the same questions (plus some extra, like college info) and answer them for myself on a PowerPoint. I included in this PowerPoint information about my stockings and the accident I had that makes me have to wear them. I answered all their questions about circulation, blood flow, and how they come in different colors. I was open, honest, and let them ask their questions. When that slide was finished, I just kept going with everything else I had planned for that day. It was never an issue. Some questions would come up from time to time, and I would answer them honestly.

Teens and even younger children are generally very open if you're open with them first. You'll do great, just be honest, and pretend like you've done it all before.
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