What did your teachers do that was helpful.

I am learning about Bipolar Disorder in my graduate school class and I had a quick question.  As former students with this disorder, what in particular did your teachers do for you that was helpful?

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I have dealt with my mental illness since I was in 6th grade, so I have had quite a few teachers, and they have handled it in a variety of ways… Some teachers have handled it better than others…  I think the teachers who handled it best were the ones who were patient with me and didn’t push me too hard…

I was always missing classes, either because I was in school but having to go to the guidance counselor or someone else to get through a difficult time, or because I was in the hospital (I spent a lot of time in the hospital…) I was even in a partial program in high school… So the teachers who worked with me were the best… Not all of the teachers worked with me, either… I liked the teachers who got some work together for me while I was in the hospital and let me work on it at my own pace (within a reasonable amount of time, of course…) When I was in partial, the better teachers were the ones who outlined the work they did and sent it over for me to complete… And some of them would even stay after school if I needed them to and help me with some school work…

In college, I was still in and out of the hospital. My first year, I went to a big university, and it was obviously a lot more impersonal… It was hard to keep up with the work in some of the classes that attendance was mandatory… But again, the professors that really helped the most were the ones who let me make up the work and didn’t balk about it… Especially at the end of
that year, when I was no longer able to stay on campus and had to do my work from home (which was an hour and a half away…) I really appreciated the professors who let me take my final at a time different from the rest of the class so that I could drive down and take all my finals over two days, instead of over a whole week…

When I went to the local community college, I had one professor that really worked with me, too… She was very lenient with me… I continued to miss classes because I was in and out of the hospital, and she worked with me to make sure I got all my assignments in… She was always upbeat and positive with me, and didn’t really complain when I made all my excuses…

So, I’d have to say the thing that teachers did for me that was best was having them work with me, and get work compiled for me for when I couldn’t be in class and give me time to work on it at my own pace… Of course, the teachers couldn’t be too lenient with me to the point that I slacked off… They had to push me at the same time… We would set target dates for work to be finished by… And if the work wasn’t finished in a reasonable amount of time, I would get zeros… The teachers expected a certain standard of work, and I tried to live up to that when I could…

God bless!!!

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