Discussion in 'General Education' started by mrsk2014, Sep 3, 2017.
Sep 3, 2017
Are you tenured yet?
Is it common in your area for vacations to get approved? It is not common in mine. There could be repercussions if you ask about the dates, do not get approved, and take them anyway. We had a teacher get non-renewed last year because she called in sick on a day she had been denied a personal day request. It happens.
Two years ago I took a week in the spring to take my child on a trip to look at colleges. Our spring breaks were different weeks. My P approved it (verbally) and there were ways to take the days that met my contractual requirements. I also arranged for a very good sub (retired math teacher) to take the days, so the impact on learning was mitigated. I already had tenure when I took this week.
I would advise not to use sick days for a planned vacation because you don't have extra personal days. Sick days are for when you're sick. Or maybe for extenuating circumstances such as family illness or death in the family. Admin would tend to understand usage then. But for travel and vacation time? Probably not a good idea.
Just as I expect students and their families to take vacations during breaks, I expect teachers would do the same. But there are some extenuating circumstances. I think a free vacation to Hawaii, when you don't get to pick the dates yourself, qualifies. But, I am not your principal. At my school you apparently get to take off multiple weeks for full family vacations, planned during those times to avoid crowds. I find that extremely unprofessional.
I would ask and get email confirmation for any approval. I would not risk my job and try to sneak anything.
I would just lay it out with your administration and see if anything can be worked out.
But don't sneak around.
Don't lie. Ask for your personal days. Take deduct days for any others.
We can take days without pay. That's what usually happens if something like that were to come up. The board has to approve them but they almost always do.
Ask to use your personal days. Take the others without pay. Do not jeopardize your job. Only do all of this with approval.
If you do end up taking days off without pay, be sure to research your district's policies about that. In my district, this can affect your retirement contributions, retirement eligibility dates, insurance payments, and more. I had to take a few weeks of leave without pay after I used up FMLA for a medical situation, and I had to cover what the district normally pays for my monthly insurance coverage. It wasn't a big deal, but it could have turned into a nightmare if I hadn't known that and ended up without coverage for a period of time.
Do not use sick days. That will not end well. Be honest with the principal and hope for the best.
If you can't go, that's part of the job you accepted.
I just read on another post you got this job at the end of last year. There were already questions about your commitment based on your grad program choice. I would not think of asking to take the trip. Thank your sister for the offer but say you can't go.
For sure ask your supervisor.
Do remember though, it's easier to ask for forgiveness if you haven't asked for permission. That is, if you plan on finding a way to go no matter what your boss says, then don't bother asking. Only ask if you are ready and willing to hear "no".
I suspect your plan will get you fired. You cannot go to a Doctor in Hawaii to get a medical note. If you did that you would need to be able to prove that you intended to be back at work on time. You would have to show the paid flight with the itinerary returning on time for work, the cancellation of that flight, the rescheduled flight on the next day, the cancellation of the second flight and the rescheduled flight for the next day. You would also have to find a Doctor in Hawaii that actually believed you were too sick to fly. Even if you managed all that and were okay with lying to your employer, your employer would have reasonable grounds to be suspicious and would likely investigate your claim. I know of a teacher who got fired for doing exactly this.
I would plan not to go. Even if you can get unpaid time, your trip isn't going to be so free after you lose pay, have to cover the costs discussed in this thread associated with the unpaid day, etc. If you still want to go you need to ask if there is an unpaid option. If there isn't, you just can't go.
On this, I would disagree with TrademarkTer. Not knowing your contract does not mean you can't be fired for lying to your employer. The teacher who I know who got fired did exactly this: they called in sick while on vactation. The District was able to prove that they were on vacation. They asked for copies of their flights and when the teacher submitted tickets with the dates blacked out the District followed up and was able to prove they had no intention of being back for work on time and they fired them. It isn't just the end of the one job. It is a huge black mark. Getting hired after committing fraud against one's previous district is not a place you want to be in. Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you figure out a way around the rules. I'm saying under no circumstances call in sick from Hawaii.
Note--I am not saying I would advocate doing this. All I am really saying is only ask if you are willing to hear and listen to the "no".
Yeah, if I understand correctly, you are just beginning this new job during this current school year. I'd be hesitant to ask for so many days off even after being tenured, but there is NO WAY I'd make that request at a job I just started within the last month. Just accept that you can't go with your sister, thank her for the offer, and move on.
As tempting as it sounds, I think you should pass on the trip.
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