Fact Sheets/ Articles
Tips for Teachers: Helping the Child with Cancer
• If possible, visit or call the child in the hospital or at home. Let them know you are thinking of them.
• Children will benefit from talking with teachers, parents, or hospital personnel in preparation for the return to school. They will cope far better knowing what to expect, and how to respond. They also need a chance to express their worries and concerns and to know how these will be addressed.
• Be alert to rumours on the school yard and attempt to dispel them as soon as possible. It may be helpful to have a standard response to inquiries, with approval from the family (e.g., “He’s getting excellent care and we are hopeful he will get well.”).
• Work with families and hospital staff to develop an educational program that will meet the child’s needs. Let the child know that you will help them continue with their education and stay connected with their friends.
• When the child returns to school designate a person who the child knows well as a “go to” person. This individual can check in with the child regularly, and be available if the student needs to let someone know they are physically or emotionally uncomfortable.
• Most children who attend school report that they just want to be treated like everyone else. As hard as it may be, try not to be overprotective. Normalize the child’s school experience as much as possible, while adjusting expectations when needed.
• When the child cannot attend for longer periods of time, establish regular contact with the parents or a liaison from the treatment centre. Plan ways that classmates can maintain regular contact with the child.
• Encourage a supportive classroom environment
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer Series- Guidance for school personnel
LIVESTRONG at School program
The LIVESTRONG at School program uses national standards-based lessons to teach your students about the realities of cancer. While it is a difficult subject to talk about with kids, it is important for students to understand what cancer is and how it can be treated. In addition, this program informs your students about ways that they can make a difference and help those with cancer. The downloadable lessons and printable worksheets below make it easy for you to share this valuable information with your class. Questions and Answers about Cancer