Accommodating Students With Allergies

With allergies you come to learn that some people get it and some just don’t. Usually my teachers are fairly understanding and willing to accommodate but sometimes what they think is accommodating is actually just frustrating! Let me explain…

In my health science class we are doing a unit on nutrition. Tomorrow (Halloween), we will be doing a calorimetry lab where we will be burning a variety of foods and testing the temperatures to determine the number of calories in the food. Of course right away, the word food in class makes me nervous. As well as burning because I am airborne allergic. My teacher is aware of my allergies and when explaining the lab to the class told me I just didn’t have to come that day. I have been given an online worksheet to do in the library instead, but hey maybe I wanted to participate? The class was told they can bring in any foods they want to be burned as long as they are nut free. But as usual no mention of my allergens. Why is okay to burn one food and not the other, when I am just as allergic as some one with nut allergies. Why couldn’t my teacher have asked me to help her bring in foods to burn,that way we could control it. Why do teachers always think they are accommodating by saying don’t come, don’t do it, don’t try? What teachers really should be doing is asking to speak to you privately to discuss strategies on how we can make it work. Even if you decide in the end to not participate, at least they tried. I am sure we can all agree that I would understand the concept much better from the lab than a work sheet.

Definitely a frustrating situation when your someone who is interested in learning and experiencing! Especially on halloween, I want to see everyone’s costumes in class! But for my safety and health I would rather go the library than a classroom with burning food.. Sigh


2 thoughts on “Accommodating Students With Allergies

  1. I agree completely with your assessment. The teacher isn’t being accommodating. There are plenty of foods that can be burned that will be safe for you to be around. Accommodating your allergies would actually be easy. And if no one in the class is allergic to nuts, then what is wrong with burning nuts? It seems to me that there is a lack of understanding and perhaps fear of the unknown. I think this teacher has some learning to do! Don’t take it personally. I wonder if you offered a list of “safe” foods and told the teacher you would like to participate, if that would work. Although it’s probably too late for that. Tell him next time you would like to work with him to find a solution so that you can also participate. Good luck!

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