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Teaching in a wheelchair

(20 Posts)
MissingHours Mon 27-Mar-17 04:58:11

Was looking for some advice. I've an undergrad in IT and have been contemplating moving into teaching subject to a few health issues improving. One thing that isn't going to improve is I use a wheelchair. So - how achievable is teaching in such a situation?

Aliveinwanderland Mon 27-Mar-17 05:13:11

I can't see why it wouldn't work, the school may have to make some adaptations but they would do so for a pupil in a wheelchair. I could imagine they would give you a ground floor classroom, make sure there is space to manoeuvre around the tests and a whiteboard that is low enough to write on.

If you are serious about teaching then some work experience in a school is a must. Preferably in a few different schools to get some different view points.

ImsorryTommy Mon 27-Mar-17 05:49:54

One of my teachers was in a wheelchair (this was in the mid 90s). We had some inaccessible classrooms so he just taught in the accessible ones. I don't remember there being any other issues.

MissingHours Mon 27-Mar-17 06:16:12

How interesting, definitely sounds feasible!

SofiaAmes Mon 27-Mar-17 06:26:32

Never had a teacher in a wheelchair, but don't see why it should be a barrier.
My ds is a high school student but is taking one of his subjects as an online uni class because the high school couldn't offer a history class that accommodated ds' disabilities. Ironically, the teacher of the online class that he signed up for is hearing impaired so chooses to teach online instead of in the classroom. The online class is not seen as anything less rigorous or prestigious than the in classroom one and it offers the teacher who is disabled and my ds who is partially disabled a perfect solution to learning and interacting. That's not to suggest that you should only do online teaching, but it is just a reminder that these days there are lots of options that are socially accepted and prestigious.

llhj Mon 27-Mar-17 06:28:59

There's a fairly inspirational head of Heartlands Academy in Haringey who's a wheelchair user if you do a bit of googling. Good luck.

Alakazam7 Mon 27-Mar-17 06:33:39

Hi missing, as an ex teacher and now wheelchair user, (quite severe disabilities so perhaps different from you) I would say it depends very much on the age of children. I taught lower primary and was advised that it wasn't practical although of course I could have tried.
As it turned out I'm not able to work now so had I tried it would have been a short term post'

It sounds like you would be teaching slightly older pupils (secondary) so would be less of a problem.

I would also consider the building/access as this might limit your choice of schools. I would imagine that some schools would find it difficult to provide adaptations with the shortages in school funds. I know they have to but in practice ....

Some schools it wouldn't even be an issue though so may balance out. Depends on the area you live I think.

Lastly The Shaw Trust who I believe are national may be able to help and support you as you get back into teaching. Also try one of the teaching unions as they may advise you further. Good Luck

MissingHours Mon 27-Mar-17 07:01:42

I hadn't even thought of the possibilities online could bring, quite hilarious when my IT heritage is steeped in web technologies.

Essentially the way my disabilities develop over the next 12-18 months will make decisions for me. Right now there would be no chance but new drugs could improve things, but wheelchair will remain.

The question has always been IT or music if I progressed into teaching. As playing instruments would cause significant pain (and I doubt I even retain the required dexterity) secondary IT would seem the obvious path.

TheHiphopopotamus Mon 27-Mar-17 07:34:29

One of my kids teachers is in a wheelchair. Can't really say anything else without outing myself, but it's never posed a problem in regards to their teaching.

The school is a primary and all on one level though. However, even at my other child's school, which was built a few years ago, there is a lift etc. and I think it's been built with disability access in mind (sorry if that's not the correct term).

Willow2017 Mon 27-Mar-17 10:06:29

One of the local high school P.E teachers uses a wheelchair. No reason why you couldn't be an I.T.teacher. 😀

booox Mon 27-Mar-17 15:25:45

I knew a teacher in a wheel chair. I think she qualified for extra ta support and obviously all good access classroom wise.

Go for it!

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Tue 28-Mar-17 12:33:31

My dsis worked in a special school as a physiotherapist. She was also a wheelchair user. She did have an extra assistant, but apart from that didn't have any problems. And quite a lot of the parents commented on how positive it was seeing a wheelchair user just doing a 'normal' job.

isittheholidaysyet Wed 29-Mar-17 20:53:07

My uncle managed, it was a degenerative disease and in the end progressed quicker than planned so it wasnt for long. He had been teaching in the school (secondary) for years though, and so already had a reputation etc.

MissingHours Thu 30-Mar-17 15:12:58

Sorry I've not been around, been in hospital for a few days. Have 99% decided to go for it if the health issues resolve. You've given me hope my dreams are achievable smile

Valentine2 Thu 30-Mar-17 15:21:58

I have no advice to offer but I read the title and came here to say your spirit looks amazing. It must be hard work to go trough this but you look like you are so strong. flowers
I have a lot left to do today and I am browsing Mumsnet on a tea break. You have given me new energy. smile

pestov Thu 30-Mar-17 19:11:23

Good for you! I really hope it all works out for you, but do be aware that IT isn't a NC subject anymore - it has been replaced with Computer Science at GCSE and ALevel so you may struggle to train without doing a subject knowledge enhancement course first.

MissingHours Thu 30-Mar-17 20:18:44

Aww Valentine, that was incredibly nice to read!

Yes pestov, I'm actually doing that through OU at the mo!

MissingHours Thu 30-Mar-17 20:20:39

As an aside, I have significant professional experience before becoming disabled, and have been published twice and tech editor numerous times so think I have a lot to offer. Definitely going to push for it.

lljkk Thu 30-Mar-17 20:25:32

DC have had a MFL teacher in a mobility scooter.. she's retiring due to ill health. But her teaching was fine when she was less ill (not so good recently when she fell asleep a lot in class). So the school made it happen; teaching room on first floor, come to think of it.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 06-Apr-17 14:06:02

When my son now 15 was in reception his teacher had no legs and was sometimes in a wheel chair and sometimes would sit on the floor with the kids.

son was very blase about it all. On holiday once a teen boy was chatting with him in the pool and asked him something about school and he said My teacher sometimes goes to other classes to teach music and then we do PE with the teachers with legs. The boy looked puzzled and so I explained the situation.

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