You may need help from your teachers.
'I needed help with my homework. I told my teacher why. She was super helpful. She put together a study plan for me. I also sometimes stay after school to do homework with her.'
But you may feel uneasy about talking to them.
‘You don't want to feel singled out—almost like you've got this neon sign above your head. You can feel that when they walk past. They look at you differently.'
Start by only sharing what you want to.
'Don't feel that you need to say everything. It's okay to say, “I couldn't get the assignment in because Mum's in hospital”. That sort of thing.’
And don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.
'One of my teachers didn't believe me. I failed a test and she didn't believe why. It took time but now she does believe me. She even helps me explain it to other teachers.'
But also remember not everyone knows about carers.
'My teacher put me down once. Mum gave me brochures to put on his desk the next day. Turns out he had no idea about carers. He changed overnight.'
Find someone to help you if needed.
‘If you feel like you’re not heard, seek the support of someone you trust. If you’ve got a teacher who’s been good, they could talk to other staff and explain where you’re coming from.’
And know your rights.
‘It's actually illegal for teachers to discriminate against me because I'm a carer. Once I had a teacher call me a slacker. They can't do that. I didn't know it at the time.’