Feeling Guilty (No sub took job)

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Catcherman22, May 18, 2012.

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  1. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    May 18, 2012

    Anybody else feel guilty when no sub takes your job for the day and your collegues end up having to cover for you?

    Nothing I hate more than having to cover during my prep... almost makes me want to go in anyway... I only took today as a mental health day anyway.

    *sigh*
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    Yeah, I feel bad about it too. :(

    Today we have 13 teachers without coverage, plus a few absent teachers who had managed to get subs. Plus all our administrators are off-campus at some big meeting. I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a nightmare today.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    Why on earth are so many people out?
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    Probably for a few reasons:

    1. Burn out
    2. Teachers are trying to use up their personal days before the end of the year.
    3. One whole department is at a conference in Dallas (but they have known about that conference for months and had plenty of time to put in for subs).
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    We have 70 some people out today in our district. About 5 people did not have subs as of last night.

    I would feel bad, but it really isn't your fault that there are not enough subs.
     
  7. JetShack

    JetShack Rookie

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    May 18, 2012

    I don't mind subbing on my plan. As a coach I know there are days where the stars align and strange things happen. I kind of feel like it makes up for when I'm gone (which is quite a bit in the spring with track).

    We had a day last week where we had 29 absent and only 14 covers.
    That day we had:
    4 out for baseball state
    3 out for track state
    3 out for band
    2 out for soccer
    2 out for debate
    1 out for yearbook

    I think nearly everyone subbed on their plans that day.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 18, 2012

    I called in for a sub last night because I wanted to take a mental health day today. This morning, I woke up and checked to see if a sub accepted the job. I was shocked that the job wasn't picked up. Anyway, I ended up going to work today because I would've felt guilty if my kids would've had to be distributed among the other teachers.

    If I truly was sick, though, I wouldn't have felt guilty at all!

    Side note: Many teachers took today off due to being worn out. In fact, almost every teacher from my grade-level called in sick today!
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Every teacher from your grade level! Wow! It should just tell the powers that be that we all need a Friday off around now.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    The only reason some of our teachers are out is due to senior trip.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    School was closed today (the Ascension Thursday- Extension Friday break.)

    But I cannot imagine teachers in those numbers all calling in!!!
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 18, 2012

    If I ever have to do that, I always ask the teacher if there's a duty I could cover for any of the periods that they had to cover my classes or duties. Since I'm planning on making it up when I can, I don't really feel bad about taking a day off.

    Wow-- I'm shocked at reading how many teachers are burned out and needing mental health days. :(
     
  13. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    May 18, 2012

    Okay, imagine this: we don't get preps during the school day, ever, because we are always either teaching or assisting in another class while school is in session. And the latest cost-saving measure for next year is that no subs will be called to cover for a teacher for the first ten days of each absence-- classes will be covered by other teachers in the building who are "free." In practice, this means that classes will be covered-- for at least the first two weeks-- by a patchwork of whoever is free at the moment. So the students are stuck with two weeks of different teachers coming in and out all day, with virtually no chance of preparing lessons ahead of time. In Primary, in theory any one of us could just open a textbook and teach whatever subject is scheduled for that period right out of the book, but in Secondary, with specialized subject areas that not just anyone can step into, the end result will undoubtedly be lots of missed class time for students.

    Also, we can't take days off without a doctor's note, and it remains to be seen if part of our pay will be docked if we need to take a medical leave of any kind. Between that and not wanting to inconvenience colleagues and have students miss class time, I'm betting that people will be dragging themselves to work with all sorts of illnesses... Add in the impending increase of class size, and things are going to get hairy. Though the Education Minister has affirmed that the quality of education will not be affected.

    I live in Spain.
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 18, 2012

    We had 2 teachers out sick today, and they could not find subs for either. I ended up taking a kindergarten class for a little while. I really didn't mind, but it doesn't happen very often at my school. (This is the first time this year.)
     
  15. SandyCastles

    SandyCastles Companion

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    May 18, 2012

    It is like this for me, too. There is no substitute system here, so even though we are allowed 15 sick days each year, there is no one to cover them. It has worked out to my subbing on off periods almost every day this school year with all the absences.

    We also have to go to the doctor and get a sick note for every single absence in order to be paid. No note- the day is docked. I understand it is there to limit abuse, but the last thing you are able to do when you are truly sick is go wait at a clinic to be seen. This often leads to absences of more than one day as the first is spent in the hospital gathering the documentation.

    I don't think I'd mind covering a class here and there if a sub wasn't available. And I really like the idea of offering to cover something for the teacher who helped out. But it is really draining to have to do it continuously. Sometimes I feel like I know other teacher's students better than my own.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 18, 2012

    Is that why I've been getting so many calls lately?

    Before I took my intern job, I was a sub, and I still haven't yet found out how to remove my number from their autodialing machine. I was called 15 times today during class (on vibrate of course)! D:
     
  17. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    May 18, 2012

    Yes. We had staff out this week and there was no one to cover for them. There just may not be enough substitutes to go around. I have never been asked to cover during my prep for a teacher who has been out and didn't have coverage. But, my day will come I am sure.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    It's very disheartening to work in a place where people are so unhappy that they just don't come in. It's also frustrating for the people who have to cover classes instead of getting a much-needed prep period to, you know, prep. We have a few teachers who have a few periods of special work, without students. These positions are like work experience coordinators, some strategists, graduation initiative, etc. Those poor teachers end up always being pulled from their special assignments to cover classes, so their other work falls by the wayside.

    It's also frustrating for the students who end up with 6 subs throughout the day. No learning happens. By the time they get to my class, they've had hours upon hours of social time, cell phones, food/candy (because the subs rarely enforce school rules--this isn't meant to be a general statement about all subs, but more of a commentary about what I see at my own school), so they're wired and they don't want to work. I feel bad for them, but I also have a responsibility to help them learn my content. "Can't we have a free day?" "No. You've had a free day all morning. We need to get to work."

    The admin hasn't been treating the staff very well in recent years; this year seems especially bad. I don't blame my coworkers for their awful morale--I feel it too. I just wish that they'd have some professional courtesy and understand that when they drop the ball and don't put in for subs on time or at all, it means that the rest of us have to pick up their slack.
     
  19. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    May 18, 2012

    In our district, it isn't the teacher's fault if there is no sub available-everyone puts in for one on time. We do not have enough subs. Period.
    Unfortunately, the subs we do have are NOT certified teachers. They are people who hold a 4 year degree-in ANY field. To our frustration, most of them admit to thinking that by subbing, it is easy money, like babysitting. :(
    We have been treated poorly by admin in the past 3 years, and morale in our district is low. Personally, I took a personal day today because I am tired.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2012

    Nope. I don't feel guilty when I'm out...I'm very rarely out. Only used one of 3 personal days this year and one of ten sick days.

    My colleague across the hall was out today...allergy induced asthma...the sub who came could only cover the morning. She brought her teenage daughter with her:dizzy: and seemed to need a lot of help. we had a para who can sub cover the afternoon. The sub who was there in the morning won't be back...and she only as herself to blame:(
     
  21. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 18, 2012

    At a previous school this would happen with some regularity. Drove me nuts! Especially when it was 1 particular teacher. She would go way over her sick/personal days. She would take days unpaid. She would go on vacation with her husband, her mother, her sister etc. We got 10 days a year, she always used every day & then some. One year she took unpaid days before her maternity leave, fmla/personal days on her maternity leave, came back & still took unpaid days to go on vacation. Extended her holiday breaks too.

    So, when she did this, instead of 27 kids (or whatever) we would have 5 or 6 extra kids. Sometimes with only 5 min. notice if even that. Frustrating.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  22. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    May 18, 2012

    I honestly have never had a situation where I didn't have a sub during an absence. Maybe we're just well-stocked with subs in my district.

    I've also never been asked to cover a class during my planning period. I would be very miffed if asked to do so.
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    We don't have subs at my school. If a teacher is out our class is covered by an extra floating aide (i already have 3 aides) or a specials teacher or another floating staff member. I would never feel guilty about taking a day off unless I was excessive about it. So far I have not taken a day off and I've been at this new school for almost 6 months.
     
  24. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    May 19, 2012

    I would feel guilty if I had known well in advance and waited until the last minute to post for the job. But if I woke up with a fever or I needed a mental health day or an emergency occurred, sometimes It can't be helped.
     
  25. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I view taking a day off for any reason other than sickness as unethical. It negitively impacts student learning and colleagues.






    Favorite Teacher Blogs:
    http://ed-is-life.blogspot.com/ and http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 20, 2012

    • If it's a personal day, stay home and paint your toenails if you wish.
    • If you are to the point that stress is causing you to feel sick to stomach or your heart is doing funny little dances, stay home.
    • I have taken a sick day for my dog and didn't feel the least bit guilty as he's my child as much as any being ever will be and depends upon me for care which I will never refuse him.
    I don't consider any of these circumstances unethical at all.

    As to the original question, I do hate it...but I don't feel guilty. I feel more frustration at 1) the number of subs who rarely accept jobs, and 2) that our district doesn't encourage more to enter the pool of substitutes. I recently had to be out for a special training though I most certainly did not want to be absent for this particular event. But, as directed, I put in a sub request two weeks in advance and it was turned down well over one-hundred times. Never was picked up. Not my fault.
     
  27. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 20, 2012

    Are most of these instances in HS/MS? Because I don't know that I've noticed this happening in ES (hard time finding subs), but I've seen it in HS for sure.

    It is interesting, because I always wondered why at some schools, they would thank you profusely for coming and subbing that day at their school. As if I did them a huge favor (and not because I needed the $100). I always wondered why they would do that... and this I guess highlights possibly why.

    How would you explain it? Is it a sub shortage? Or are people simply not snapping up these jobs? On our system (aesop), it does seem like most ES jobs get snapped up quickly, and HS jobs tend to linger.
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    John, we know how many people refuse a sub request. I work in a very small district yet a sub opening for my middle grades classroom has been refused as many as 154 times (I think it was). People register as subs and then rarely take jobs.

    In our district, there is no training to become a sub...
     
  29. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    This runs counter to my understanding of a personal day. In our district, it's for doing something personal, like seeing an attorney, that can't be done on the weekend. I was in the staff room when a teacher told the principal that he was going to take his birthday off as a mental health day. She told him if he did, he'd be docked a day's pay. She was right. It's not for relaxation.

    Think about how this looks to someone critical of teachers: we take a day off to paint our nails and get paid for it. It makes us look bad and it causes harm to our students and colleagues. In my mind it's unethical.

    Taking the dog to the vet fits in with the rules of a personal day in our district.




    Favorite Teacher Blogs:
    http://ed-is-life.blogspot.com/ and http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    In my opinion, a personal day is a personal day (personal= it's no one's business why I'm taking the day off).

    Although I've been teaching for seven years, this was my first year teaching at the middle school level. I was given an incredibly tough group of students and I took a few personal days because I was really stressed out. I didn't feel guilty about it for one second. I needed time off. Period.

    I'm going to agree to disagree with you. :2cents:
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have taken personal days to go on an extended weekend trip for my hoosband's birthday. I've taken personal days to recover from a midnight movie premiere. I've taken personal days to just chill out at home and enjoy a day off.

    My personal days are mine to use. I set my students up with meaningful activities in my absence. I don't feel that I've violated any sort of ethical code.
     
  32. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I teach in an elementary and we very rarely have subs. I'm fortunate that since my admin knows my sped hours are legally documented, they've never tried to pull me. However, our poor 4-5 title 1 teacher ends up subbing probably 30% of the time rather than actually doing reading groups. She was literally pulled to sub every day last week. The job market in my area is pretty good, so those that want full time jobs tend to have them. We've never had a sub that I know of that was really trying to "get their foot in the door" or still seeking FT employment if they wanted it. The subs we have tend to have spouses who work full time or people with a lot of money who just do it as a "hobby" or something they consider "volunteer work." More often than not in the winter, they'd rather be skiing. We frequently have people sign up for the job and then don't come because it was a "powder day" (the best snow for skiing). Now that it's getting towards the end of the year and people are using up their days, almost every day we have someone over the loudspeaker in the morning explaining who will be covering who because x,y, and z teacher don't have a sub. When they've used up all of the "extra" teachers, they start combining classes. Since I'm not a classroom teacher, I'm not even allowed to put in for a sub even just to see if someone will take it.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I agree with both of the above. As I stated earlier, I'm rarely out with a sick or personal day...only used two days this year. My district has the right to ask what your personal day is for, but rarely does...in cases of abuse of such days though...going over one's limit, excessive absences on 'suspcious' days (Friday before a long weekend, Monday following a vacation, etc), they have asked those teachers.
     
  34. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 20, 2012

    But you aren't blaming sub teachers, are you?
    It's supposed to be one of the perks of sub teaching--to be able to pick and choose your jobs as you please. You make an income level that can qualify under federal poverty guidelines, and as you correctly state--there isn't really a training program.

    I'm actually in agreement with Tyler B. that, if not unethical, it's a bad reflection on teachers in this day & age.
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    In my district, personal days are for whatever you like. Each year I take one personal day to come to school and do something I should get paid to do...I do it because I care and work my freaking butt off for my students. I could be bitter that I have to take a personal day to do it but I'm not. My one other personal day I receive a year will be used as I see fit. One year it was honor a fallen soldier in our community. Another time was when we were building our house. No one asks; no one cares.

    As far as what others critical of teachers think about my two personal days a year...well, I really don't care.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    As I said, I primarily "blame" my district for not creating a larger pool. But, yeah, I do believe if you register as a sub you should...uh, sub.

    By registering, you are saying you are available for work. If you time after time after time refuse jobs, I think you should be cut. The district sees a certain number in the pool and assumes they are, for the most part, able and wiling...therefore they don't open it up to more because they don't want make it a tough situation for subs by not having enough openings to employ them all.

    I'm not saying after three or four refusals...I am saying that after a sub refuses the majority of the jobs.
     
  37. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I had a friend who use to sub for a large district. They were not allowed to sub for anyone else, medium sized city, no suburbs. If you turned down a job or didn't answer the phone x number of times you were automatically removed from the sub list. I think the number was 3 or 4, I don't remember, not more then 5. I do believe that you could call and say that you were unavailable on such & such a date, but those times had to be few & far in between and there may have been a limit on that number also.

    They expected that if you signed up to sub you would be available.
     
  38. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    kpa, a nearby district does the same. A few days for which you can "pass" and the freedom to put in advance notice of being unavailable, but after a few refusals you're cut.
     
  39. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Almost all of the subs we do have hold a teaching degree. The thing that upsets me is that I know so many people who would love to sub for my district (recent college grads), but they never open up the sub list. And then we run into days like Friday when we need 2 subs for sick teachers, and there aren't any available. So frustrating!!!
     
  40. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Every other professional job that I know of gives its employees personal days, and they can use them for whatever they want to. Why should teachers not be allowed to take off a day for no reason at all if they want to? Is it frowned upon for doctors or lawyers to do the same thing?
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I am sure some people argue that we have breaks off for personal business or needs...which is just laughable. As though the world revolves around our schedule. As though all our friends and family get married during the summer to suit our schedules and have babies then as well. And as though we can't become truly overwhelmed by stress because during the school year since we should reserve those instances during the summer as well.

    Silly. :rolleyes:
     
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