Getting Through: a guide for middle-school and high-school students affected by cancer in the family
What has school been like for you since your family member was diagnosed with cancer? Some people find that they don’t like being at school because they’re away from their family member. Others find that they enjoy going to school because it is a place that still feels normal and it is a chance to get away from the house.
It is important to know that your experience with school right now is not right or wrong, it is just your best way of dealing with things.
One thing that is fairly consistent with teens with a similar situation to yours is that their grades may drop a bit. This might be because you are missing school more often, or you just can’t concentrate or feel like you don’t care. Learning about history or physics or algebra may seem useless to you if there are more important things going on at home.
Many teens find it helpful to let their teachers and classmates know what is going on at home. Your teachers will probably be very understanding of your situation if you let them know, and will help you make school fit your life better. School counselors are really great supports when you need someone to talk to as well.
Who can you trust at school? List those people.
As understanding as teachers and peers can be, you might find that their understanding has its limits. If you’re teachers are like mine were, then they’ll give you many breaks when it comes to homework, and assignments.
However, eventually they’ll expect you to perform to your regular standard once again (on this point, every teacher is different), and maybe you won’t be ready. Just remember that only you know when you’re ready, and what you’re capable of doing in this situation. If you feel that a teacher is being unfair, don’t hesitate to talk to them or your counselors; and if your grades slip a little, know that that’s okay too.