In early December 2017 we ran a CFSmart Facebook competition asking parents to nominate outstanding teachers who have gone out of their way to provide health and educational support for children with cystic fibrosis (CF).
The nominations that parents entered highlighted the amazing things that teachers all around Australia are doing to not only provide an excellent education but to also ensure that the student with CF feels comfortable and truly supported in terms of their health needs in the school environment.
We couldn’t choose one nomination over the others as they were all so good, so we had to do a random draw in the end. The winner was Mrs L from Glengarry Primary in WA, who won a $200 voucher to spend at the online Teacher Superstore. We wish we had a voucher for all of the teachers though!!
We think it is really valuable to read just what teachers are doing around Australia so we have included all the nominations that appeared on the CFSmart Facebook page here:
Miss D from Lane Cove West NSW
Miss D has been the most unbelievable, supportive and caring teacher. We’ve had issues with my son’s eating and drinking recently. Miss D asked if she could implement a rewards scheme for him when he’s at home- if he eats and drinks well. Totally above and beyond her responsibilities as a teacher! A beautiful person.
Mrs B from Tullamarine Victoria
Mrs B is the head educator at my son’s kindergarten. To say she’s gone above and beyond to learn all she could about CF is an understatement. She contacted CFV herself for more info, attended a teacher’s training day at RCH and downloaded resources from the CFSmart website. She does all she can to include my son in ALL activities all the while being mindful of what he can and can’t do. He has never felt out of place or different and it’s all thank to her!
Miss C from Mindarie
Miss Clarke has made my son so confident and resilient about having CF. She has encouraged my tween son to do his physio for news in front of his Year 6 class, show his classmates how he does his Tobi inhaler, encouraged members of his class to join in the CFWA Halloween fun run and participated herself. This year when he has been unwell he has begged me to let him go to school. This is a testimony to how much he feels supported by his teacher. Miss C is definitely CFSmart.
Miss K from Gatton Queensland
Miss K is such an amazingly supportive teacher who’s made allowances to compensate for my daughter’s health while still pushing her to reach the best of her ability. She’s had procedures changed that I was previously told couldn’t happen, to give my daughter the best chance of maintaining nutrition at school on top of all the other wonderful things she’s done this year.
Miss D from Pearsall Primary School Western Australia
Truly an amazing teacher, who shows compassion, empathy and has gone above and beyond. She organised teacher and class education, she also did hospital bags with the whole class for sick children at PMH. She coached my son through difficult times when he was unwell with a PICC line, Baxter pumps and still attending school. She informed his friends so that he didn’t get so many questions, so felt less stress and he always felt comfortable with his peers and they have looked out for him. Miss Douglas co ordinated a tutor and OT from Ronald McDonald House who came to the school once a week to assist my son with different learning issues and catching up on school work from lost time in hospital. Hygiene was always taken seriously with antibacterial gel at the door for all students. I was also notified if any bad bugs were going around class and extra precautions were taken with letters sent home with students advising their parents that they had a high- risk child of picking up infections in class.
Mr K from Woodleigh Junior school, Minimbah Victoria
I would love to nominate my son’s teacher who has really transformed him and supported his identity. My son got very sick with pseudomonas this year. His teacher did a lot of art therapy and taught him to embrace CF. His creative ideas helped find ways for my son to communicate when words are too hard. Despite being sick my son went from below the standard to above because he finally felt comfortable with who he was, how to tell others and that he had a community behind him. Mr K came and ran in the Melbourne Great Strides and supported not only my son with CF but also myself as a mother and teacher. I love that he fought hard for my son to be his very best advocate. As my son puts it “he is a dream come true”. Thanks for helping my son to see that he is so much more than CF.
Mrs B from Winmalee, NSW
Mrs B was my daughter’s teacher in Year 1. When my daughter went in for her first ‘tune-up” the following year, since starting school, Mrs B made the 2-hour return drive to visit her while she was in hospital.
Miss P from Mango Hill, Queensland
Miss P keeps a very close eye on my son in case he is dehydrated and gives gastrolyte and extra salt after he’s been playing outside. She reads everything I give her about CF and researches if needed. My son has also been diagnosed with dyslexia this year and she has been amazing at putting things in place for that too. His writing has improved so much. She is caring and would have to be the best teacher we have ever had.
Mrs C from Empire Bay Public School
Mrs C goes above and beyond what is required, out of the kindness of her own heart xx. She is an extra pair of mother’s eyes looking out for Ruby. She has a “chill out” corner set up where Ruby can rest when needed. She did her own research on CF before this year started and even washed the classroom walls to make sure there was no mould. We love Mrs C.
Miss N from Ararat
Miss N goes above and beyond for our daughter, where do I start?
After attending the CF teacher’s seminar at RCH earlier in the year, Miss N changed the way she had initially set up the classroom to make it more hygienic for our daughter. She has incorporated an extra snack in the afternoon so that our daughter can have those extra calories, as she understands how important her nutrition is.
Miss N has also created a visual diary through an app for our daughter to interact with her classmates whenever she is away in hospital, so that she can stay in close connection, also because she knows how important it is for kids with CF to maintain good relationships with their peers. So grateful to have had Miss N as a teacher this year. The school in general is just amazing.
Ms L from Glengarry Primary in WA
Ms L has gone above and beyond for our daughter and has ensured the wet areas were re-tiled and a leak in the roof was repaired just above their classroom. And while the leak was happening she took the kids into the library to keep our daughter safe from any stagnant water. She has also been AMAZING with keeping the kids on track with their hygiene in the classroom. And while our daughter was in hospital she dropped off a few gifts for her at our home with the most gorgeous card. Absolutely love you Ms L. You take the health of our daughter as seriously as us which we are so grateful for.