Mental Health Days

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by YoungTeacherGuy, May 26, 2016.

  1. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 26, 2018

    I haven’t taken any. The closest I’ve gotten was taking a personal day during my DH’s spring break once and taking a personal day to Christmas shopping with my BFF once.

    I’m on district petit jury this year, so I am out one day a month for that.

    I find making sub plans a PITA. I’d rather go to work.

    Usually I only miss for serious illness. That’s not even that common. Last year I missed a week when my mom had cancer surgery, and I was out once with her for chemo.
     
  2. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t take any personal (mental health) days ever, nor do I take any sick days off. I always gift mine to my colleagues — who actually use them — as you can’t cash them out at my private school. You can save them up, but there is no point for me to collect them since I never plan or want to use any of them.

    To me, my numerous vacations are my personal days and they’re good enough (I get like 3 months in total).

    Each year, we are given two personal days and six sick days. If I got zero for each, it wouldn’t bother me any.
     
  3. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Aug 26, 2018

    Great strategy!
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Technically, couldn’t you use one of your sick days for a doctor’s appointment? All you would have to say is that you were not feeling well and show your admin your doctor’s note upon your return.
     
  5. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    It works out nicely to have three day weekends. And I usually wait until further in the school year ago that my students are trained. They know that even if I'm out on a Monday, their homework and quiz from last week are still due on Monday.
     
  6. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Meh I could but most of my doctors appointments are related to my leg and I honestly don't usually feel like jumping through the hoops xD
     
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  7. TrademarkTer

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    I thought you were better than that with your money ;) If you can get paid the same amount of money to work for 178 days as you can to work for 180 days, why wouldn't you take those personal days you are entitled to? I was more cautious about using them as a non-tenured teacher, but after getting tenured, I'm use the days I am entitled to. I always plan to take them on days when there is not much going on (i.e. a quiz day or day where a lot of my students will be out on a trip or something) so as not to have to leave behind busy work.

    We aren't allowed to take personal days the Friday before or Monday after winter or spring break. (And possibly Thanksgiving, not sure?) The district fears too many people would take advantage of that, and there'd be too many teachers out.
     
  8. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Mine does limit the amount that can do it... Good news is I've already got mine in ;). They'll only let a handful of people do it, heh.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    How exactly do you know you will never use any sick days? For many years I never used any sick days. Then I had serious complications from gall bladder surgery followed by an allergic reaction that shut down my kidneys. I missed over 40 days that year. I was not expecting to be hospitalized four times in a semester. I save sick days because (a) I do get paid for them when I retire and (b) I might need them one day.
     
  10. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2018

    My 3 personal days don't roll over from year-to-year. I use 'em because I've earned 'em.

    You're definitely an anomaly as far as never getting sick. Consider yourself lucky, though, as many (most?) of us have gone through unexpected health events. Chances are that you, too, will one day use one or several days worth of sick time.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I've always been told doctor's stuff, even if you aren't sick or afflicted, still count as sick days.
     
  12. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Eh for mine, they like to try and say that it's "voluntary" medical use, rather than "required". Which I could try to explain to them that well my leg hurts and it's time for a new prosthetic because it's not fitting correctly... Which leads to a conversation about how can a prosthetic leg no longer fit correctly. And while I could take the time to explain all of that to them and all, personally I just don't because really it's none of their business in my opinion. So I'd rather use a no explanation needed personal day as opposed to a sick day.
     
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  13. John Lee

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    Aug 26, 2018

    I've usually taken 2 a year, same days only because it is a getaway tradition. I'm happy to say I've never really felt the need for taking a mental health day. Don't get me wrong, by March I'm worn to the bone and ready for summer.
     
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Aug 26, 2018

    I've never taken a mental health day; like Ima, I hate being out of the classroom. I did take one day to allow for travel cross country for a sibling's college graduation, and one so I could drive a few hours to a mentor teacher's (who is hugely a part of who I am as a teacher) services. We're paid out for any we have over 5 (we get 3 per year), so I just keep a full swath of 5 each year, and get paid out for 2 or 3 of them.

    I haven't taken any sick days, but prefer to play it safe: one can't always predict what will happen in the future, and I want to be covered in case, without burdening others unnecessarily.

    Jumping through hoops with leg issues is probably not the best idea, anyways. ;)
     
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  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Through some stroke of genetic luck, I hardly ever get sick. In fact, I’ve been sick maybe two times in the last 8-10 years. I’m young (26) and am in excellent health. Until such time that I am not, I will take absolutely zero personal or sick days.

    I don’t ever want to take a day off when I’m on contract. I don’t feel comfortable doing so. When I’m supposed to be working, I should be working with virtually zero exception, regardless if I was invited to a family function or not.

    At my school, I’ve taken on a lot of duties (which I enjoy). For example, I tutor students every lunch period and dozens and dozens of students come to each session for help for a variety of math and science courses; I am one of the two people in charge of Robotics Club, Science Club, and Mu Alpha Theta; and I am also a class advisor, so I’m pretty busy most days. Not to mention, I am the only person who can teach my Calc 3 class (based on what my fellow math colleagues tell me) and I teach multiple AP classes (two classes of AP Stats and one class of AP Calc BC) in addition to hosting SAT Math prep sessions after school twice a week. Plus, I am the go-to sub for the science department when they have need of one as I have an extensive science background. As you can see, it would be highly disruptive if I were to take a day off.

    Plus, I will be taking on the AP Computer Science A class next year as my colleague who has taught it for the last 19 years is retiring. I’ll be busy preparing for that this summer and teaching it next year on top of everything else.

    Finally, it would be incredibly difficult to find a replacement and so I feel it would be irresponsible of me to do so when so many people are depending on me for my help and services. It would negatively affect many student’s and staff member’s day(s) if I were to take a leave of absence. The only way I can see myself taking one is if I truly had an emergency, like my life was in imminent danger and I needed immediate medical attention. Otherwise, I’ll be at my school until said duties are performed and contracted hours for the day are over.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  16. TrademarkTer

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    I think they would survive if you took a day off ;) If the world is gonna crash with you outside of that classroom, I guess you can kiss your dreams of being an administrator good bye. Who will replace you????? After all, you won't be able to do all that other stuff once you're an administrator.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t get to cash them out at my school. I can only collect them. For instance, a much older colleague of mine (who is 54 and has never taken a day off in her entire teaching career of 30 years) has the most saved personal and sick days of any staff member. Yet, she never uses them and I admire her for that. Such dedication on her part and I intend to follow in her footsteps. I say this because my school invests a lot in us teachers and so I have no problem giving back to it in kind.

    And should I ever be prevented from working like you were for health reasons or what have you, I have significant savings ($40,000+) to bide my time. So, assuming I have health problems like you years down the line, I should have multiple hundreds of thousands in the bank (based on my current saving trends) to weather the storm, so to speak. That, along with health insurance I’ve never used, should be enough to take care of me for at least a few years minimally.

    Personally, I don’t see the need for sick and personal days (for me not other people) as I am of sound mind and am a workaholic. I like working and doing things that are productive and don’t mind being “worked to the bone” so long as I’m paid handsomely for it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    At my school, some of the VP’s teach a class or two and advise some events outside of their administrative work. I plan to do the same.

    Specifically, I plan to teach Calc 3 and AP Computer Science A and advise Robotics Club and Science Club. It is doable and it would be less work that I’m doing currently.
     
  19. TrademarkTer

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    According to your description, you do a lot more than teach a class or two and advise some events. It's so detrimental for you to be out of the classroom for a day, God forbid they move your day to primarily administrative work ;)
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    True, I would have to give up some things, but I’ll manage. I always seem to find extra time for things no matter what job is heaped on top of my already large workload. I’m that dedicated to my students and school and care deeply for both.
     

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