Notes from the Hospital Schoolroom

November 19, 2009 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Post 8 - Jack and Lorri, BCCH Teachers
Jack & Lorri in the Schoolroom

Even for kids who aren’t as conscientious as Paige when it comes to their studies, the responsibility for keeping up with schoolwork while undergoing treatment at BC Children’s Hospital can be a real challenge.

Luckily for patients at the Hospital, two dedicated teachers, Jack Duncan and Lorri Taylor, provide ongoing educational support to school-aged children and youth while they or their siblings are staying in the hospital.

We thought you’d like to meet Jack and Lorri and find out more about the great work they do through School Services, so we asked them for the inside scoop. They were kind enough to answer our questions. Here’s what they had to say:

Tell us a little about your day, working as teachers right in BC Children’s Hospital.

Being part of the team of professionals at BC Children’s Hospital who provide support to school aged patients, their families and their communities is a highly rewarding and enriching experience for both of us as teachers.

Each year we work with over 700 students who are either admitted as inpatients or outpatients, or who are siblings or family members to someone who is under treatment in BC Children’s Hospital or BC Women’s Hospital.

We have had students from all over BC, the Yukon, other parts of Canada, and even from other countries. We work with patients from kindergarten through to grade twelve and focus on mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies.

Why is it so important to have teachers on staff at Children’s?

We are often told by children, youth, and their parents or guardians how valuable they find our services, as we provide the link to what they view as their normal lives. We keep students connected to their teachers, peers, school community, and even the community they live in.

Coming to our Schoolroom, which runs in the morning, or having us come to an isolation room or a treatment area in the afternoon, gives patients a break from thinking about their health issues. For part of a day, each of them has a chance to be what every other person their age is: a student in school.

What responsibilities do you have at the Hospital?

We contact teachers and support our young patients in completing schoolwork from their home classrooms. In some situations we even provide the school program. We also make arrangements to supervise exams so that those who are able to meet requirements for course work are not penalized for being ill or requiring surgery.

What makes teaching sicks kids different from teaching their healthy peers?

We both appreciate the lessons we have learned from the children and youth we serve and their parents. Some of the students we serve have been coming to BC Children’s Hospital several times a year for each year ever since we started working at the Hospital. We feel privileged to have the great relationships we do with both patients and their families.

We’d also like to share a word specifically about Paige.

Paige is an inspiration to other patients and to those of us who work at BC Children’s Hospital.  She first came to our Schoolroom dressed in a beautiful fluffy robe and slippers. She was also wearing a smile and a willing, school focused, attitude. Her parents were right beside her and were relieved to see Paige settle into the activities that made her happy and proud. The focus and joy that was evident when Paige accomplished school work brought smiles to all of our faces!

Paige has checked in with us throughout her treatment and whenever she is at the Hospital. She has an incredible ability to adopt a positive outlook in the most challenging of situations and to recognize and acknowledge the gifts of others.

Paige is a natural ambassador for BC Children’s Hospital, as she is a remarkable young girl who appreciates the many services she receives from the staff at the Hospital and she knows first hand what is essential to meet the needs of the wonderful children who are patients in this incredible facility.

Have you or someone close to you ever had to use the School Services at Children’s? If you have, please share your experience here. We’d love to hear from you!

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Entry filed under: At the Hospital, Foundation, Paige. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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