Today is World Diabetes Day. The day was created to increase an awareness of the effects of diabetes and its complications among the general population. The day was established in 2006. Healthy living with diabetes is the theme for the next three years.
I did not know much about diabetes before this school year. I am quickly learning. In nearly 20 years of teaching, I have never had a student with Diabetes. This year in my Kindergarten class, I have two students with Juvenile Diabetes. When administration knew that there were going to be two children with diabetes in the grade, it was decided that they’d be placed in the same class. We have a full time nurse in our room to monitor them. I have permission from their parents to share this. They want to promote awareness.
I did not know today was even a “celebrated” day until one of the boys’ alarms went off in class this morning. Fortunately, he was fine and it was just an alert, but the rest of the class was curious and we were able to turn it into a teachable moment. All of the children in our class know that both boys wear a CGM, (continuous glucose monitoring device) and insulin pumps. The nurse checks them multiple times a day and they get their finger pricked often. For the boys it is all just routine. For the rest of the class, it has become the norm as well. This is a good thing. The boys told their classmates why the alarm sounded. They told them why they needed to wear the pump.
It just so happened that the first time we all heard the alarm was today, on World Diabetes Day. Our whole class became more aware today. These little boys educated us. None of the kids were phased by it. They took it in stride and I am proud of all of them. It is such a great thing when children may notice each others differences, but don’t make a big deal about it. Kids are colorblind, they are accepting of each other. There are no biases when they are young. If only we could all see through the eyes of a child.