How often do you call in sick in a school year?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Jerseygirlteach, Apr 18, 2013.

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  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Apr 18, 2013

    Okay, again, I'm going to sound like I'm complaining about my paras but maybe I just need some perspective here. :blush: In my district, we get 10 sick days and 3 personal days. That seems like a lot, doesn't it? I could never have imagined that anyone could possibly need that many days when we only work 180 days/10 months out of the year. That's one sick day off per month plus 3 extra personal days to use throughout the year.

    I have been a teacher for 3 years (not all at the same district). Over the course of those 3 years, I have taken a total of 6 sick days (5 because my children were sick and 1 because I was sick). I have also taken 4 out of my 9 personal days (none this year although I plan to take at least one or two before school ends in late June).

    I have two paras. One has been out at least 25 times this year. Yes, that's right. I've been keeping a running, mental total. It's approximately once a week. The other has been out at least 12 times. I don't really keep tabs on the other teachers/paras so I can only speak for my paras absences.

    So am I the unusual one? I feel extremely guilty calling in sick (not to mention the mountain of prep work involved). I had severe laryngitis for a week earlier this year and had virtually no voice at all. I still came in to work! (Some of the other teachers yelled at me, though) :lol:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I normally never call in sick, but this year has been an awful one for me in that respect. I was out sick for multiple days on two occasions: once for pinkeye and once for the flu. I've missed a total of 8 days so far, which is outrageous to me. Normally I take zero sick days, so this has been pretty upsetting for me. I hate being gone and planning for a sub.

    I definitely think that 25 sick days seems excessive unless there is some sort of documented medical issue going on. Is the para's supervisor aware of this absenteeism?
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have taken more sick days this year than other. I've taken 1.5 days for various doctor's appointments. I'll end up taking at least one more day for some dental work, if I ever get my insurance straightened out.
     
  5. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Hardly ever. Use them for the children when they are sick. This year I have donated about 4 days to people that have had catastrophic illnesses in my county.
     
  6. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

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    Apr 18, 2013

    We get about 11 sick days per year that roll over and 3 out of those days can be used as personal days. So far I have used about 5 sick days.

    I do not have a problem using sick days if I am sick or if my family is sick--that is what they are there for. I use personal days for "mental health" days because I feel they are very important in our profession. I know lots of people are very proud of the fact that they don't take sick or personal days, but I am not one of those people. It is difficult as a teacher to come to work sick since we are on our feet, talking and interacting with little ones all day long.

    Take your sick days and let your paras have theirs, too. On the other hand, 25 in one year does sound like more than usual--especially if you guys only get 10. She must have something going on that you don't know about.
     
  7. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    This year I think I have used more than I have in all my previous years combined. We get 1.5/month (15/year)... with all my medical conditions, and having to help my wife with her medical conditions, and then a flu/bronchitis bout that wouldn't go away for three weeks... I can see how that amount of time would get used. In fact, I'm taking this afternoon because my arthritis is so bad right now, that I have trouble making it through a whole day.
     
  8. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Apr 18, 2013

    We have about the same number of work/sick/personal fays as you do.

    I call out if I'm contagious. You are nobody's hero if you come in spreading germs.

    I usually use all of my personal days and about 8 sick days/year.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 18, 2013

    I never have called in sick. I did take all of my sick days in the USA for "mental health days" though ;)

    I think you get all those sick days in case of something extreme happening. Like the flu, or food poisoning, or an injury, etc.

    Here, we don't have sick days. If you can't come in, you just don't get paid for that day. And that's it.
     
  10. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Apr 18, 2013

    I rarely have to be out for illness, but sometimes have to use sick days for appointments since I commute an hour both ways and can't make it back to the city by the time offices close.
     
  11. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    Apr 18, 2013

    In Ontario, teachers used to get 20 sick days per year (no personal days, but sick days could be used for personal days) and could bank them. This year, the government passed a law basically imposing a contract on the teachers (no bargaining allowed) that wiped out their past sick days and gave them 10 per year, which do not roll over.

    There's been a marked increase in sick days taken in Ontario - unsurprisingly.

    My wife does take some of her sick days to facilitate travel to meet me in the USA (some times of year the latest flight she can take home on a Sunday is 11:40AM, so she will stay over until Monday). However, she was involved in an accident last week. It wasn't that severe, but she was out of work for two days, and has had to take another 1 1/2 days for medical appointments.

    Also, if you are young and healthy, 10 days may seem like a lot, but as you get older the risk of a longer-term illness increases dramatically.

    Last year I had a pretty bad cold, but I was able to stagger into work, sit in my office and work and sneeze and work and cough, then go home. I wouldn't want a teacher trying to work under those conditions.
     
  12. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Apr 18, 2013

    This is my eighth year of teaching, and I have not taken a sick day yet! (Knock on wood...) I do know that many people have very legitimate reasons to use them, between their own health and that of family, so I am thankful not to have needed one yet. I also find getting ready for a sub to be so much work that it would take a lot for me to use a sick day or a personal day.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Apr 18, 2013

    In our school, anything over 2 days in a row requires a doctor's note and if you have more than 5 total, you need to document with a doctor's note for each day after that.
     
  14. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Yes, 25 is certainly a lot. I usually take between 1 and 3 each year, and usually use my two personal days. So, more or less 5 days off of our 182 days with students. In my team of teachers I'd say we're all pretty much in the range of 0 -7 days off in an entire year. My husband is a teacher too and in March was told that he was the only teacher in his school with perfect attendance. I have never had a perfect attendance year as I always get sick with something each year where dragging myself in would just be ridiculous.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I take about 3 sick days, 1-2 personal days, and 1-2 professional days.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Apr 18, 2013

    Usually one, maybe two. Some years none.

    However, one year I was out a week due to emergency kidney stone surgery. Another year I was out 30 days because my FIL and dad both died of cancer. I helped take care of my dad his last week alive. The worst year I was out 45 days due to a near fatal allergic reaction.

    I don't take my personal day. It rolls over to a sick day.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2013

    Jersey...
    I get 10 sick, 3 personal as you do. I take less than 3 sick per year...I've got nearly a years worth of sick days banked which as you know our governor would like to take control of.
     
  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 18, 2013

    Maybe twice. Sometimes three times a year. I normally come in when I am sick. I have to be super sick I cannot even get out bed sick to not come in. I have not been sick this school year. Well, I did get sick butit was over Christmas break, so I have not had to take any time off.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 18, 2013

    I've been sick probably around 4-5 times this year (first full year teaching so I'm catching EVERYTHING), but I've only taken one sick day. We get 10 sick leaves, and no personal days.

    I second the notion that having to plan for a sub is a lot more stressful and tiring than simply coming to work sick.
     
  20. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Apr 18, 2013

    We have 15 sick days (can bank up to 110), 1 personal day (can bank up to 5), 1 business day (use it or lose it), and 5 family illness days.

    Oh trust me...we have staff members who blow through that in no time! It's ridiculous!!! Ironically, it's our staff members who don't have to worry about writing sub plans who take the most days off. Gee...if I didn't have to write sub plans, I'd take more days off too!

    As for me personally, I usually take 1-2 sick days (if I absolutely have to) and I always use my business day because I lose it! This year I took 3 family illness days for my dad's knee replacement and I had a few professional days as well.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've taken three sick days this year and one of two given personal days. I'll use the second one soon. I don't feel bad about taking sick or personal days, even if it's a mental day (although that hasn't been necessary this year).
     
  22. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Apr 18, 2013

    I have probably taken 10 in 10 years - mostly for kid stuff. I had so much accrued I donated a month's worth for teachers with serious illnesses who have run out of sick pay. It makes me feel good we can do that.
     
  23. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Apr 18, 2013

    Pre-kids, I think I called in sick twice and used two personal days I would have lost if they weren't used (this was over the course of five years). Post- kids, I take about 5 per year, and that is splitting the time with my husband. I do usually use at least one personal day every year now-- it's just harder to get through May some years without needing a mental health day!
     
  24. FourSquare

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    Apr 18, 2013

    I have taken 2 this year. Both were just mental health days, and both after January. (One just this past Monday, actually!)

    I can usually plow through January and then I get tired. Now I am doing this extra project for the district that has taken up my past 3 Saturdays. Monday came too fast! :|
     
  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    These are my feelings too. We get those days for a reason. I am not too proud to take a sick day when I need it... whether for physical or mental health reasons. I also use my personal days. We don't get to choose vacation days the way our friends in the business world do, so I don't hesitate to use my two personal days for a "fun" day or travel when something arises during the time school is in session. I put in plenty of early morning, late evening, and weekend hours, and I'm of the mind that allowing myself rest when I need it only makes me a better teacher.

    25 days does sound excessive. I think you would know better than us whether or not your para truly needed those days. My para has missed about 13 days this year... and she didn't even start working with us until mid-November. However, she is fabulous, hard-working, and reliable when present at school. There is no doubt in my mind that she truly needed those days off. She has had pneumonia, strep, and some other nasty bugs. This is her first year being in a school setting full-time, so I'm not surprised. While it was tough to get through the days she was out (no sub to fill her job on most occasions), I don't hold it against her one bit. Now, if she was unreliable and a slacker when present at school, I might have a different opinion regarding her absences....
     
  26. Cicero

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    Apr 18, 2013

    I haven't had to take any sick days this year, but I honestly haven't been really sick (which is good news considering being new I don't have many sick days to use up).
     
  27. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    We get 11 sick days, 3 personal days, and 1 family illness day each year. I do take a few sick days between my son and me, and the family illness day is use it or lose it (the others carry over into sick days). I haven't needed to take that many sick days this year, but I've had medical problems in the past that have really depleted my days. I've easily used over 25 days in some years due to lengthy hospital stays and surgeries. But they were long stretches, not a day here or there.
     
  28. Ms. I

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    Now, considering that I have every Monday & some Fridays off, I took 2 sick days for the first time of the school year at the end of Feb. Then, I took a personal day the other day to attend a job fair.
     
  29. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is my first year, and I haven't had to take any sick days yet thankfully. They do roll over. I am taking my very first day off tomorrow to go to a Kagan cooperative learning conference (not paid or sponsored by my school or anything).

    I will say that paras' attendance tends to be worse than teachers' attendance in my experience, especially if the paras are part time.
     
  30. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I save mine for when I really need them...funerals, serious illnesses. You never know. I didn't take any this year, and I was sick 1 day last year. I probably average 1 sick day and 1 personal day a year. I don't get as many sick or personal days as when I was in a public school.

    I do take a few days for professional development, but as you know those don't count.
     
  31. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Paras don't have to write plans and deal with issues when they get back. Teachers are less likely to be out because off this.

    Personally, I haven't been sick yet this year (knock on wood!)
    I HAVE been out for a total of 16.5 days so far.
    1- Interview committee for new AP (district paid for sub)
    3- Family trip to the beach (P approved it)
    2- NCSTA conference. I was a presenter. (district paid for sub)
    5- Orton-Gillingham training (district paid for sub)
    4- Went 'home' to Michigan for my 30th birthday and my cousin's baby shower. Spring break was originally scheduled for that week. P approved it when they moved it.
    1.5 days of staff development (district paid for sub)

    I will still be out:
    .5 day for staff development
    2 days for upcoming job interview
    1 day for air conditioning repair next week.


    I've never been out as much as I have been this year. I have like 30 days in the bank, and I plan on leaving after this year.
     
  32. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    In the last 15 years of teaching, I have never called in sick but...yesterday was the very first time I left work sick.

    If we don't use our sick days then we lose them.
     
  33. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Considering she has taken 15 days more than allowed I would assume she has a medical condition that the higher ups know about and you do not. I try not to question how many days other use. We get the days for a reason and if someone uses all their sick and personal it doesn't make them less of a teacher.

    Is she just your para? That would be frustrating to you that she missed that many days and won't share why, but I assume she doesn't have to. Even if she seems healthy they could be for doctors appointments.
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I have had some TAs that called out sick a lot but we get a sub usually if they are out so it doesn't bother me too much. I personally have not called out at my new school after working there for a year and a half but I take planned days off every 3 months or so (appointments usually or a personal day here or there).
     
  35. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Incidentally, the principal of the school where I taught last year would tell us that we were restricted from using sick days to stay home with sick children. Sick days were only to be used if we, ourselves, were sick. Instead, we were allowed to use our personal days to stay home with sick children. He said that if he "found out" that we used a sick day and it was our children rather than ourselves that were sick, he'd see to it that our pay was docked. He never mentioned, of course, what were supposed to do if we didn't have any personal days remaining. Obviously, he did not have children.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    What an ...!
     
  37. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    :yeahthat: ^


    Add another day to my total. My air conditioner died. I had to wait home for the repairman. And I took a SICK day ;)
     
  38. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think I've called in sick 2 times in 5 years. Once I had bronchitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The other time I woke up at 4:30 in the morning with food poisoning. There were a few other days that I probably should have called it, but I didn't want to go through the trouble of getting a sub. :/
     
  39. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Up to this year, maybe four total. This year I missed a whole week in November and a few days in January. In November I was hospitalized and quarantined. The January was for followup and dental surgery. Each was only a day at a time. Also in February when I got 2nd degree burns---but I only missed one day and the doctor told me to stay out for a week. If I hadn't missed earlier in the year, I might have stayed out for the week. The pain was awful.
     
  40. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I get 10 a year, and they roll over. I usually end up taking 4 or 5 a year. 2 of them are usually mental health days... actually, out of the 3.5 days I've taken this year, only the half day was for illness (ok, doctors appointment I couldn't get after school). The others were for family in town.

    But about three years ago? Holy cow. I had sinus infection for two months, accompanied by tonsillitis and strep and laryngitis. I think I took about 10 days that year.
     
  41. lbradley1718

    lbradley1718 Comrade

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    May 4, 2013

    We are given a total of 10 days off...5 sick and 5 personal, but you may use them how you wish. I've been absent 26 times this school year.

    16.5 days - Professional Development
    6.5 days - Sick
    2 days - Personal
    1 day - Comp. Day

    By the end of the school year in June, it will be 28 days. I still have one day of PD the week after next and I have to take a personal the week before school ends.
     
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