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  • squawk77

    I am a 31 year old elementary teacher in Canada with MS. I was diagnosed 10 years ago but I was uneffected until a year and a half ago when my son was about 6 months old. I am having a terrible time with my walking and balance. My right leg doesn't pick up (foot drop) and my calf muscles are weak. I have weakness in my right arm and hand. It's frustrating because I am teaching from home now (due to covid) and I'm afraid I won't be able to work normally when the next school year begins. I am on a temp contract to the end of the year and go back on the sub list come September. I don't think I'll be able to handle subbing because every school is different and they might have stairs or a lot of walking. I'm scared also that I'll never get a permanent place..and if I do what do I do for field trips? I use a cane right now but I would be too embarrassed/ashamed to use it ya school. I also worry that my 'disability' will cause principals to not want to offer me positions.
    I love my job so much I am not good at anything else. I don't even know what else to consider as a career if teaching doesn't work. 

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? 

  • golgotha
    As a former US-based teacher, I can honestly say I don't know a thing about teaching in Canada. But with that caveat...

    The good thing is that here in the US (and I'm assuming Canada is the same) there are a lot of alternative forms of education. After burning out on public school teaching (too bureaucratic and regimented IMO) and as my MS worsened, I did a number of alternative school settings -- and loved it. Everything from teaching GED classes for high school dropouts (fun as hell with motivated students) to teaching people forced to take classes because they were involved in the US' massive prison complex.

    So my suggestion would be to seek out alternative, out-of-the-box types of teaching situations.

    My daughter, against my advice :), also went into teaching and was quite successful. But she's now taking some time off to focus on her own kids. She's been thrilled at doing some tutoring and teaching in-service classes for other teachers (anyone outside the district are often considered "experts" just because they're new/different and can offer different perspectives).

    In short, think outside of the box -- education is a very wide field.

    I use a cane right now but I would be too embarrassed/ashamed to use it ya school.

    There often comes a time with MS that you can't "hide" your symptoms. You may have hit that point. (I've definitely hit that point.)

    If so, I say "screw it." You have a legitimate disability. There's no sense or point in being ashamed about it -- it is what it is. For that I can only suggest it's time to change your thinking.

    Changing thinking -- hey, you're a teacher, that should be easy! :)
  • MS_Navigators
    Hi Squawk77,

    We do have some general information here about employment and MS:
    You may also want to contact the MS Society of Canada for specific employment resources for your area: MS Society of Canada

    Jess, MS Navigator