On the Job With Food Allergies- Part 2

Teacher vs. Teacher- Part II

Towards the beginning of the school year, I wrote about how selfish and unkind I had found the science teacher about my food allergies.  This was an attitude she had also shown to me my first year teaching in Italy.  Now, towards the end of the school year, she has been a repeat offender twice, showing her clear lack of understanding and disregard for my allergies.

Since the cookie incident, the next repeat offense was when she was teaching my students about health and nutrition.  There are two classes of the same age group, so she took both my class and the other class into the other classroom to do an experiment about amounts of fat in different foods.  The majority of the foods she used to have my students touch, create with, and then turn into a project, were peanut and nut based foods.  I am glad she at least thought ahead about the classroom, but she did not have the students wash hands, and brought the projects full of nuts and peanut butter (which isn’t even a common food in Italy), into my classroom.  My students at this point in the year were aware of my allergies, and were careful if they ate any nuts, etc. to wash their hands, so they knew after this project to wash their hands, after removing the projects from my classroom and washing the table.  I just could not believe this teacher’s naivety and lack of thought into what she was doing and how it may affect others.

The next and most recent offense was when this teacher wanted to make Roman designs with my students, using beans and other legumes (which I can’t eat, but can be around/touch), as well as coffee beans.  I wrote a letter to my students’ parents for her, asking that the students bring in these materials, but emphasized that no peanuts or tree nuts should be brought in. My students were responsible enough at nine years old to not bring in anything I couldn’t be around, but this teacher was another story!

I was in the classroom grading my students’ reading notebooks, when I realized I was smelling something and feeling a bit itchy and uncomfortable.  I didn’t see any nuts or anything, but I was confused why I was feeling the way I was.  A few minutes later I heard the science teacher say to a student how she had these hazelnut coffee beans that had been in her freezer from America, that she didn’t want to use anymore, which is why they were perfect for the project.  Then I said to her after hearing this, “you have hazelnut coffee beans in here?  Is that what I am smelling?”  She said, “yeah, exactly. Isn’t it nice.”  I said, “hazel NUT.”  She said, “oooh, I didn’t even think about it. Oops!”

So, that my friends is what I am dealing with on the job with food allergies.

One Comment

  1. Have you spoke to the school administrator about these incidents? Based on these stories, it seems like the teacher is purposely taunting you, and perhaps even wants to see what will happen if you come into contact with nuts. It’s like she doesn’t believe you, and wants to see a reaction to have proof! I cannot believe how incredibly insensitive she is!

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