Curious - HOW do you call in sick?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I must confess, I really never understood how a teacher can call in sick. That's why I'm sitting here in my classroom, at lunch, sick as a doggie. :(

    On the rare ocassions that I've called in sick, I've known the day before that I was going to do it, so I wrote up plans, organized and carefully labeled any worksheets, materials, manipulatives, books, etc. on my desk in neat piles. If I didn't do this, I don't know how a sub could get through the day. :confused: I suppose that if I had a grade level team and we all did exactly the same lessons, I could put in a call to one of them the night before or early in the morning and they could help with the set up. But if you don't have this, how could you be prepared if you wake up in the morning too sick to work?

    BTW, I do have emergency plans, but they're very generic and I would never use them unless it was a real emergency. Otherwise, it just would seem like a wasted day.

    So, what do you do if you wake up too sick to work? How can a teacher really prepare his or her classroom for that?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    How timely - I had to call out yesterday. If you have a staff manual, start there. If not, start by asking another teacher, or, better yet, the secretary in the principal's office. Secretaries know the secrets of the universe, and should be treated with that kind of respect. They will either walk you through it OR get you to someone who will walk you through it. Most of the time for true illness, generic plans will do. Sometimes we have something better, so we can email it or fax it in. I have even been known to go to work super early, so I didn't breathe on anyone, and run off work packets for my sub, after calling for one, of course. It was harder with blocks of 82 minutes. Sometimes an appropriate video works, with a work sheet. Try to find a few of these things and set them aside, with everything you need, ready to go. Sick today - just try to find something that works, maybe not perfect. Subs will run off the copies for you if you send in the work, which is very nice.

    If you are up in the middle of the night sick, call in if an automated system. Sick the night before? Call then. Makes it easier to get a sub.

    In this situation, tell someone you are sick as a dog. You may stay through the day, but get something ready for tomorrow - or go home early, depends.

    Feel better.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    When I subbed, there were lots of times I showed up to a classroom that didn't have everything laid out for me. The grade level teachers were really helpful during those times and made sure that I had plenty to do with the students. As a teacher, I always had something on standby that could be done in a pinch if it was an emergency and I didn't know ahead of time. In current position, I don't need a sub so I just call to make sure that they know I won't be at work.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I have never called out sick when I didn't have plans all ready. I try to make my copies for the week to go with lessons so my aides can just work on the lessons if I'm not there. If I don't leave anything they can always find things to do so I don't really have to worry about it. I have a lot of binders and books for worksheets, crafts, and activities.
     
  6. 1cubsfan

    1cubsfan Companion

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    I teach at a small private school. I can email my plans to the sub coordinator, who can email them to the sub.

    I teach high school English, so it's pretty easy to come up with last minute plans. They may not be related to what we are doing in class, but they are never a waste of time. I generally have the substitute administer a practice section of the ACT or SAT and then review the answers with the students.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I never really leave anything too complicated for a sub in general anyway, even on days that are planned absences. It's usually just an educational film related to what we're learning and a worksheet to complete on it.

    I personally feel though that these help students learn, so they're not a waste of time (heck, most of what I know came from watching science TV shows--or at least I only remember them because they were on TV shows). Others may beg to differ, but whatever.

    For emergency plans, I have a form letter for Subs that explains how to log into my film-viewing program, how to log onto the computer, and shows which film to show.

    I will email these along with the worksheet to our office staff, and they'll usually take care of the rest.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I use the phone :whistle: Sorry...I just had to do it! :hugs:
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I email plans. Mine are very simple for subs anyways.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have most of my information preprinted. I just have to add activities. I have a grade-level partner who can get things together in a pinch. Typically I just email them.

    Usually I know ahead of time.
     
  11. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I call up a coworker and tell them what I need done for the sub. In a worst case scenario, they could come up with something to give the sub. We take care of each other pretty well.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Sep 23, 2014

    Pick up the phone. Call proper channels. Say, "I'm calling out sick." Don't offer a reason (none of your business). Hang up phone. Turn off alarm. Enjoy a day away (even if you are sick). If you have sub plans ready, don't worry about the rest.

    I have sub plans in the office if need be, but I don't call in sick/take days off because of the lack of subs at my school and the burden it puts on my team. Luckily, I never get sick to the point where I can't get out of bed, so even if I don't feel well, I just go. Also, I don't have any kids or a husband so I don't have to call out to take care of them. Obviously, I don't recommend my methods to others - take your days if you have them.

    Honestly, I am afraid that if I take a day off, I might never go back.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We are human. We get ill. Two years ago, I got food poisoning (I was still a classroom teacher). I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but I went to school at 5am to write sub plans. The next day, I was still sick. I decided to just tell the sub to move forward with the next lessons in the teacher's manual. Additionally, my teammates stepped up and helped the sub with "fillers" that got her through the day.

    At my site, we've had teachers who've not shown up to work due to a child vomiting in the car on the way to school or another early morning emergency. In those cases, they call the sub system. However, if a sub doesn't pick up the vacancy, I step in and take over the class for the day. Yes--it puts me behind on my work, but I think it's better than splitting up the kids and farming them out to different classrooms.

    I guess my bottom line is that if you're sick--stay home. If your family is sick--stay home.

    My principal and I always tell teachers that your health and family come first. The kids will still be there when you return and the show will go on while you're away.
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've written sub plans the night before, when I'm feeling icky & think I might not make it the next day. I rarely used them, but I always felt better knowing that they were there.

    When I was in the classroom, I made sure that I left my copies on the desk each night. I also would make sure that my schedule was posted before I left. I felt prepared when I left at night & if I had an emergency, everything was easily accessible.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I've only had to do that once, but I e-mailed plans that only required generic supplies, and then explained in the plans where they were (paper is located on the table under the yellow bulletin board, etc.) Sure it's probably not the most useful day for the kids, but neither is having a teacher who is sick coming anyway and spreading germs around.
     
  16. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I think it might be easier for the office or a teammate to pull something together for you on the fly if you're a secondary teacher with one, two, or even three preps. When you teach elementary, and you have an entire day to fill...I just can't imagine someone making copies and all that for me in the morning. It takes me about a half an hour to set everything up for an entire day when I have a planned absence.
     
  17. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Sep 23, 2014

    With small children at home and a husband who travels a lot, I over prepare. Every day when I leave, I leave all papers ready for the next day and the day's lesson plan and schedule on my desk. It keeps me prepared for the next day, but is also ready for someone else to come in and take over. I also have a sub folder with routines for each day detailed out. That way, if a child throws up in the night -or worse-I can feel fairly confident that things will be covered.
     
  18. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I can always think of something to pop up on Blackboard for the kids to do. I teach seniors, so that helps. Also, I typically have all copies ready for each unit, and have all materials on BB. Usually they can do at least a modified version of what I had planned, or I'll switch days. I've had health issues and been hospitalized plus had a family emergency and still managed to have stuff ready to go with less than 5 minutes prep needed (mostly access to BB).

    All else fails, someone in my department would handle it.

    If you are sick, you are sick. If not having plans would be enough to keep me from going in, I'm probably not sick enough to have to call in anyway.
     
  19. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Sep 23, 2014

    At my school we have to directly contact subs to cover. I've never called in sick but have had to be out for PD days. I think in extreme emergencies the admin will take care of finding a replacement.

    I'm a worrier when I'm out. It drives me crazy. I have to have everything planned, labeled, and ready to go for the sub. I would feel horrible if the sub had a rough time in my classes. I have my kids pretty well trained to know that when I'm out they should be on even better behavior than when I'm there. Of course with High Schoolers they will still occasionally have a bad day.
     
  20. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Just curious - what happens if you are truly sick and can't find a sub? There have been a few times when I have really felt sick, and the last thing I would want to do would be to talk with other people in an effort to get them to sub. And what happens if you can't find a sub? Our pool this year is extremely small, and I am sure that there will be some days when we are short.
     
  21. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    How valued your teachers must feel.

    We've been told to come in no matter what.
     
  22. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I get sick days and plan to use them when I need to. No sense in having them if you can't use them!
     
  23. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    We earn 10 sick days per year and they can accumulate. I know people within the district who have like 270 sick days all together.
    We don't specifically 'call' in. We report to subfinder, and email the principal and the principal's secretary.
     
  24. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    If we just cant find a sub, teachers give up their planning and cover those classes. I covered 3-4 classes last year because of this.
     
  25. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Last year, I would have to give up my plan for entire weeks at a time because teachers were out sick and Admin "couldn't find a sub" or because teachers quit and the LTS would not come every day.

    I've already had to cover a few times this year ... :mad:
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    It's rare that we are asked to cover if a sub isn't available, but if we do, we are always paid back the time--usually within a couple of days.

    We are supported and encouraged to take the time off if we or our children are sick or if we have appointments that can't be scheduled outside of school hours.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If I think that I might be starting to get sick, I make sub plans and leave them on my desk just in case. So far I haven't had a situation where I didn't know the day before that I was going to be sick, but if that happens I have a big tote bucket full of files with generic, anytime activities.

    I teach a foreign language, which is really challenging for a sub who doesn't know it to teach. Even when I am prepared for a sub, my plans rarely (read: never) involve actual teaching on the part of the sub. Instead the students do review activities or continued practice of whatever new concept we are learning.

    I hate it when people come to school sick. While those people might feel like it's too much of a hassle to just stay home, I feel like they are terrible people for knowingly subjecting me, and therefore my family, to their illness. Just stay home.
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Amen to that! Keep the germs at home, and help coworkers stay healthy.
     
  29. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I had to do this 3 days in a row last year. I was really sick in March with tonsillitis, bronchitis, and laryngitis. I didn't have a voice, and I felt miserable.

    Every night when I leave I make sure my room is ready for the next day. All of my materials are by my computer, and my lesson plans are on top. We have to put all of our lesson plans in Google, so the secretaries have access. If I wake up sick I just take a few minutes to add a little more detail to my plans, and the secretary prints them out.

    I used to always go to work sick, but last year I said enough is enough. It's important to rest and recover.
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I have emergency sub plans made just for this instance. the students and the office know where they are located.
     
  31. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    My school has 1 teacher who handles the calling of subs and scheduling subs. I can call her or text her the night before or the morning of before 6am. I send her my plans via email and she or the secretaries will make copies for me. (I hate generic emergency plans so I have them, but I never use them)

    If I'm sick and need to go home, I can talk to my P or the subbing lady and they will find subs in-house. We have an in-house subbing list (every teacher covers 2 periods that are their preps- it's rare that the on call list is used) to cover for sick teachers who need to leave early or only teach a period or two during a school day.
     
  32. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    We are a small Catholic school of 100 students, one teacher per grade. We have very few subs. When a teacher can't find a sub, we work it out. The principal has stepped in. I am the sped teacher so I have often walked in to the bldg. and been sent to a classroom. Our teachers are all very dedicated but things happen. My principal believes that if you are sick, stay home and if your child is sick, stay home. It isn't perfect when we can't find a sub, but it works.
     
  33. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    This is my 32nd year teaching, and it's only been in the last 5-6 years that I've felt comfortably calling in the day of an illness. Post a sheet in your room stating where essential items are, what reliable kids to ask if you have a question, any medical needs the students have, etc. Have a few extra sets of worksheets ready. Call or text a close co-worker to step in in case the sub doesn't know what to do. Then go back to bed and feel better! :)
     
  34. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I've never been able to call in without going in to write up something. Not because of the school, but because of me. Lol :rolleyes:
    Sometimes it's not the best of plans, but I can go home and collapse knowing that something is done.
     
  35. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Besides what you mentioned, having emergency sub plans, there isn't much else you can do. Everyone gets sick sometimes and if you're sick it's better for you to be at home, resting, rather than pushing yourself to be in the classroom or spreading your germs to all your students. The day is never going to go as smoothly or be as meaningful for the students as it would with you there, but that's just a fact of life. As long as you're not doing it all the time it's not the end of the world. You might have to spend a little extra time cleaning up, organizing or squeeze in a little extra work to make up for the "lost" day when you get back, but in the end it'll be fine. I rarely get sick, but when I do, I call out. It's for the best.
     
  36. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    That's true-- but when I would sub I always had a few activities in the back of my pocket to fill time if I needed to. A good sub will have that. If not, well the truth is, it's not my problem. I'm sick. The sub is getting paid to be there and keep my class busy, safe and hopefully learning throughout the day.
     
  37. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    In 18 years, I've only called off twice- the first time for my dad's funeral, the second: for my mom's. I suppose my immune system is pretty on-task, but I've never had to call off sick. But for those two occasions, I gave vhs tapes to the subs, and asked them to stir classroom discussion, like I would. It's the easiest way to go; at least for me.
     
  38. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I have a co-teacher, so she would have the class on her own in my case. But for other teachers in my school the class gets split on that floor. So each teacher on the floor ends up taking in 4-6 extra kids for the day. It can be annoying especially when its the same few teachers doing it. If you call last minute you don't get a sub usually. So it's the same one or two people who always call out at the last minute. Or it happens a lot at the end of the school year when the school doesn't have anymore money in the budget for subs. At that point it's not terrible. But when its March and you're trying to prepare your class for state tests and you have 5 1st graders in your room it can be very annoying.
     
  39. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    We've just got a new (to us) phone in system this year (AESOP)... I haven't been sick yet... I've booked a few days off for appointments.

    We can e-mail the plans through AESOP, but I also always have a plan done up on my desk before I leave work. It may not be super user-friendly, but it should be enough to give the sub a decent idea of how to proceed.

    My dad always said "the cemeteries are filled with indispensable people"... Obviously, if I'm well enough, it is best for me to be there as their every day teacher for consistency snake, but stuff happens, and the world goes on.

    I actually used to have trouble taking time off, but after convincing my sick wife several times to stay home rather than go in to school, I realized there was wisdom in my advice to her, and I should heed it as well when I'm sick.
     
  40. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    I have only had to call out of work the morning of twice. The first time I was incredibly ill and had to be hospitalized, so my team graciously put together plans for my sub.

    The second time, I e-mailed my plans to a teammate and they printed and left them on my desk for the sub.

    Since then, I keep emergency substitute plans in a binder on my desk. The principal also has a copy of my emergency plans.
     

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