First year teaching

Discussion in 'Special Interests' started by bigv, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. bigv

    bigv Rookie

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    Hello. I want to ask because I will be a teacher next year. Let's say for spring break I want to fly to Asia from California. If I was to stay an extra two days I would pay less for a ticket. I read I can have five personal use days along with five sick days. In my first year of teaching this doesn't look bad if I want to use two days for after the break does it? Let's assume for argument's sake that I will be teaching in Modesto City Schools.
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Speaking generally, it’s not a good look to come back late after a break, especially a first year teacher and for the reason being you are trying to save money on a ticket. You have to be professional and be perceived as professional by your peers. Any day you are absent puts pressure on your colleagues and the school to cover your classes. If it’s a genuine reason that’s fine but when the rest of the school has to come back on a certain day and you’ve taken an extra 2 days, that would annoy people. I mean, who wouldn’t want those extra 2 days but it’s the professionalism we have that brings us back on time. Don’t do it. I suspect that the fact you are asking on this forum means you have a gut feeling that it’s not the right thing to do.
     
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  4. bigv

    bigv Rookie

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    Well I read there are 10 sick days and five I can use for personal reasons. I mean let’s assume that including this I have only used 4 sick days. With this information tied is this still a bad look?? Isn’t it ok by some chance? Fyi if you want to know I’m talking about a spring break.
     
  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nope. It’s not ok. It’s even worse to use sick days in this situation.

    Personal leave is for situations that are unexpected that you absolutely can’t get out of or requires urgent attention. E.g. a pipe burst in your bathroom and flooded your house and you need to sort it out. We aren’t a profession where we can just take leave and use everything we are entitled to because we already do get a longer break than other jobs. There aren’t many jobs that give you almost 3 months off every year so during school time, it’s only right and professional that we turn up when we are supposed to.

    Imagine the conversation you are going to have with the P. Can I come back 2 days late after spring break because the tickets are cheaper. I know I’m entitled to personal days and I would like to use 2 of those days.

    Book a ticket that takes you back on time.
     
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  6. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    It's a moot point. You can't afford vacations to Asia on a teaching salary.
     
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  7. bigv

    bigv Rookie

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    Technically you can. Like SF to Cambodia is doable.
     
  8. bigv

    bigv Rookie

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    Well in that case I trust you know I'm not trying to be smart but what if you only used one day or even a half day, like coming back for the last two hours?
     
  9. bigv

    bigv Rookie

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    Better question. What about if you leave early and let's say spring break starts on a Friday. What if you have a sub come in that Friday but you still come back for the first day after spring break?
     
  10. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nope. Go to Asia during summer break. Come back on time. Be professional.
     
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  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We have three personal days and ten sick days per year.

    We have to get personal days approved by the building principal at least 2-3 days before the requested day. There are blackout days. We cannot use a personal day the first or last 5 days of the school year or immediately before or after a scheduled time off.

    When we use a sick day, we have to sign for it. They can request doctor notes. Don't use a sick day if you are not sick.

    There is also the option for taking time off without pay.

    However, if you want to have a professional career, behave like a professional. This means going to work when you are supposed to be at work.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If we are absent immediately before or after a break, we need to provide documentation--doctor's note, proof of transportation delays, etc. Don't try to figure out how to get around things, travel within the time you have.
     
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  13. bigv

    bigv Rookie

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    Look with this said let’s say I tell the principal months ahead within the first week of school. How likely will this help my chances of approval? Also how bad of a look is this really?
     
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I have no idea how likely your chances are. Our building principal has to approve the day, but then it has to go to the superintendent for final approval. I have known people who have had their days approved and some who have not had them approved, and these were on regular days, not blackout days.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    What ever way you spin it, it looks bad for a first year teacher. What is the rush to go over break instead of summer?
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Now I'm curious. What do you, as a 20-something, "get", exactly?
     
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  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    My principal would not be happy. We only get two "personal" days, and they are considered "urgent personal reason" days. I took one for my house closing. She is very understanding if we are sick or have emergencies. I missed 2 days to travel for a funeral, and she was very supportive. But if she notices you are missing a lot, she will talk to you about it. I I would not do it!
     
  19. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    In my district, personal days are not allowed immediately before or after a break. At best, you could take the days as unpaid leave and be docked your daily salary for the days missed.
     
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  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Some districts have policies about tacking on personal days to breaks. And those who don't have policies don't necessarily look highly upon such practices
     
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  21. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  22. TrademarkTer

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    I am also 20-something (for at least 11 more months!) We work what, 183 days of the year or so? Around 50%. This leaves PLENTY of space for balance and vacation without having to get into gray/murky areas on your first year on the job. This is especially true if the reason for doing so is simply to pay less for the ticket.
     
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  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    As one of the older teachers, my advice was given based on my experience and my knowledge of how such requests are considered in my district. It also was based on my opinion (and that of my two 20-something children) that when you have a job, you need to honour the commitments and requirements. Finding balance is essential, but that doesn't mean trying to find ways around rules or guidelines to do so.
     
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  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You remind me of someone else that I know. When given the correct answer, which doesn't justify what you want to do, you just keep asking the same question over and over with tiny modifications to see if somebody, anybody, will support your plan.

    Here's the answer - every school I have ever worked in has a policy that prohibits teachers from taking time off immediately before or after the breaks, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and yes, the Spring break. Even the teacher's union can't help you if you break these rules. Look bad for a first year teacher? I'll go you one better than that - it looks bad for any teacher! As a first year teacher it sends the message that you don't follow rules, don't value the school's administrative policy, and you don't care one bit that all the other teachers arranged their "breaks" to honor the rules but you feel that what you want supersedes rules based on reasons you obviously haven't considered.

    Take your trip. Plan to return to great displeasure with your admin, and many of the teachers who will resent your flagrant violation of the rules. Worry for the rest of the year that should admin need any reason whatsoever to delete you from the roster of teachers for the following year, you have given them that reason all wrapped up with a big shiny bow on it. This is the kind of thing that could even impact what kind of LOR you get after termination, since this kind of rule breaking shows you are not committed to your job, nor are you a team player - you think you are better than all of the teachers who followed the rules.
     
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  25. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I've worked in a couple of districts, and in both districts there were hard and fast rules about extending breaks. In one district you could do it but it needed to be approved and it cost you double (two persona/sick days instead of one) and in the other you just flat out couldn't do it without a documented emergency of some kind - and there were clear guidelines about what qualified as an emergency. Even in the district where it was allowed, it was heavily frowned upon and other teachers and TA's absolutely noticed, talked about it, and thought poorly of it. I know you don't like it but trust what experienced teachers are telling you and either pony up the extra money to come home on time or wait and go over the summer. Or do what you will but understand that yes, it will most likely be looked at poorly.
     
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  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I can — I have about $4,200 in disposable income each month. I just don’t want to go to parts of Asia besides South Korea and Japan.
     
  27. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get that you're a rich sonofab. There's enough threads about your wealth, no?
     
  28. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  29. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I involuntarily laughed out loud from this post. Thanks. xD
     
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  30. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    My advice, honestly, do it.

    You can spend all your time worrying about whether something "looks bad" or not. It's up to you to decide whether the risk of not being asked back the next year (1st year teachers are usually probationary) is worth it, but if it were me, now knowing what I know, I would do it.

    I accrued over two months of PTO that I never used when I was teaching and it's gone now. We aren't compensated for time not used either. I guess I didn't mind much, because I would have rather spent that time in my classroom with my kids anyway, but I do wish I took more mental health days than I did, instead of coming in sick to my classroom because I was stressed about what would happen if I didn't.

    Here's the thing: admin aren't supposed to ask you in most cases what you are spending your PTO on anyway. You could technically use it for whatever. Just don't tell other teachers because they're liable to gossip.

    I was lucky that I worked in a school where admin was super cool (I loved my admin and I perpetually miss them) and teachers could outright openly say "I'm going to be *imagine double air quotes here* "sick" on this day, while I take my kids to Disneyland." But we worked in a great environment where we all knew that even if we used our days for things like this every now and then, every teacher always put in 110% into our job and doing great things for our kids.

    So it's up to you. If you're worried about how it will look to admin and afraid that it may affect your chances at being rehired, don't do it. But it's definitely an option available to you. It's no one else's business what you do with your PTO (depending on your contract).

    I would just make sure that you have a great lesson plan available for your sub so your kids don't lose any learning on those days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The consequences are often contract dictated monitored by non-millennialS #justsayin #consequences #readyourcontract
     
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  32. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    As a millenial, I hate when people generalize that our generation is lazy. I feel like this sort of reasoning only justifies their generalization.

    OP, I wouldn't recommend it. Every district I'm familiar with has these as blackout days for this exact reason. A pricier ticket to return on time seems like the safer route.
     
  33. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  34. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Where I currently work we get three personal days. And they are really picky about when we can use them. The day before a break or right after a break is outright forbidden. They will not approve it. Also, they do ask what you're going to use it for before they'll approve it. We've been told it better be important and something we cannot do outside of our working contract time. Someone just hired on with us would have no idea until opening day when this is all laid out on the line in detail by admin.
     
  35. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Sorry, not what I meant. When I was referring to people I didn't mean you. I was referring to the stereotyping of millennials as lazy or coddled. I just think it reflects poorly on 20 somethings if we unnecessarily miss work days because it only plays into how other people view us. Because that's the problem with stereotypes, if just one person does it, we all do it.

    At my school if a parent found out we took two days off for a vacation they would be calling administration. I was speaking to a coworker last week who had a parent trying to get her removed because she has missed 7 days this year (between her kids having the flu and her mother in the hospital). If parents can get mad about that, they definitely won't understand time off for leisure. And depending on the parent, it could then play into the negative stereotypes of teachers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  36. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'm one of those "older teacher" then. I'm 47 with 25 years of teaching.

    I know how my district restricts use of time off. I know the requirements of my career. I have 185 days in my contract which leaves a darned lot of time for vacations. I have a work/life balance that's quite nice. It's not like I'm giving up my life if I don't take an extra day or two off of a scheduled vacation. I'm not at all against taking days off when I need them, like when I'm too ill to work/contagious or when I've needed to take off for parent illnesses. I have even taken a few (maybe 5 ) personal days during my career. Last year I took one personal day to Christmas shop with my BFF, also a teacher. I think I had two or three sick days. This year I have missed maybe a dozen days and may miss more because my mom has terminal cancer.

    I don't consider working my required contract being chained to my desk. Chained to my desk is going in on weekends or working during a scheduled break or working in the summer or even going in extra early or staying extra late.

    We have spring break the first week of April. Five days off. We have lost that break due to excessive snow days and flu days. I supposed all of the millennials will be gone anyway because, darn it, life is too short and rules were made to be broken. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  37. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yuck.

    I guess that underscores that it really does depend on your school and your contract.

    For example you might be given 10 personal days to use as you wish (i.e. as sick days, mental health days, slight vacation extension, etc.) and they may stipulate in the contract that admin are not to ask you what you are doing with them. In my experience, I've never been asked to have anyone "approve" my absences. I could just not show up one day. As long as I had a lesson plan prepared and everything it was no big deal, (though if you know beforehand it's always a good idea to let your admin know if you're going to be out).

    In other cases, you are given specific "sick days" and specific "personal days", and they may have particular uses.

    As others have said, read your contract.
     
  38. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yikes. The reality is, you probably will be missing many of your students. It's not a millennial thing, but rather families schedule vacations and such during these breaks and count on them to happen.

    This is nearly exactly what happened when I took off a few days to go to a trip to Germany with my family (well my husband's family, but they are really my only family now). I didn't feel guilty one bit, because family comes first. If I was able to reschedule it I would have but everyone who was going on the trip would have had to reschedule too. [Full disclosure, I actually stressed out a lot about this, and wanted to not go, but I was strong-armed into it by the family and I was super glad I did it, even though I left earlier than they did, and did the whole trip in 3 days as opposed to 7. Flew back in around midnight and had work the morning after with a TON of jet lag!]

    Life is short. And you're more likely going to regret not seeing more of the world and spending time with your loved ones than you will regret not going into work one or two days. But to each their own. :)
     
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  39. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Like my mom always told me growing up...there is no harm in asking!
     
  40. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Actually, we don't typically have much difference in attendance on those days. Our area is used to missing a lot of days, and we all know that spring break is not guaranteed. Most people will not make plans that can't be cancelled.
     
  41. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Ah. Gotcha. Every place really is different!
     

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