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. wonderingwhat2d

    wonderingwhat2d Rookie

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    May 4, 2013

    I've been sick a few times this year and come to school sick. If I don't come to school sick like a good teacher should, I will be criticized and ostracized. It's our school culture. "You must not be sick. If you are, you are a bad person and a bad teacher. You must not ever be imperfect, and your kids must never act imperfectly. The End."
     
  2. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    May 5, 2013

    I am a TA, and I get about the same amount that you do. I have called out sick a couple of times, but I was legitimately sick with strep throat and then a sinus infection (fevers both times). I think when you first start working in the classroom, you tend to get sick a bit more. I can't stand when people come to work sick, that's what sick days are for. Don't spread your germs! :) Believe it or not, this was WAY more of a problem in the office environment. I used to get sick working my 9-5 all the time because people would simply come in with fevers, throwing up, etc. The adults were worse than kids in a classroom!

    I've used a personal day and a half recently, but those were for job interviews. I'm a certified teacher, and my ultimate goal is to have my own classroom. When principals only interview during the day, you have no choice.

    My grandfather passed away right before Christmas, so I had to use two bereavement days earlier in the year.

    I've always been very honest about my days with the teacher I work with and admin. I have a great relationship with the teacher, and we text each other beforehand if we're sick/not coming in. A lot of times they have me sub for her, since I'm certified, so she'll email me plans or let me know whats going on. I think it's important to communicate with one another, if you can.

    That being said...25 days? Yikes. I almost hope that there aren't serious health problems going on and that's she's perhaps just not making great choices. That is a LOT of days to be out in an 180 day work year.
     
  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 5, 2013

    I call in about once a year and usually it's a mental health day. I don't get sick. Ever. I had a serious flu go through my class this year and I was the only one who didn't get it.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2013

    I rarely call out sick...we get ten sick days per year and I've banked between 110-120 of them over thirteen years in my district.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 5, 2013

    Calling in sick? Maybe 1-2 days per year. We only get 5 days. This year I've used 2 of these days, but they were planned days.
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    May 5, 2013

    I think 8 days this year...I was hospitalized for a serious condition and I was quarantined for several days. I was burned with 2nd degree burns in Feb. I never miss, but this year I have had a rough year.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 5, 2013

    I took a half sick day on Wednesday because I lost my voice the first half of the day. That may have been the only sick time I've taken this year. When you teach from a home office, you tend to work despite the fevers and whatnot.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 5, 2013

    Actual "calling in sick" where you notify the school in the morning or night before that you won't be in, I can probably count on one hand in 19 years of teaching.

    And two of those were from hospital emergency rooms and one was when the principal watched me get loaded into an ambulance. (Oddly, she called my house the next day, asking if I was there).

    Generally, the only "sick" days I take are for medical appointments. A specialist I see is an hour away from our school and very hard to get an appointment with. So they are often in the middle of the day.

    I take a lot of personal days. However, very few of those are for personal reasons. Most are either to do school related things like individual testing where the school provides zero in terms of support or release time.

    Also, they always need a male teacher to go on the 6th grade environmental education trip. This year, they didn't have the money to give me release time, so I took personal days.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2013

    You are too nice, Sarge.what would happen to the testing and field trips if you didnt use your personal days?
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2013

    Yes, too nice!
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 5, 2013

    The fluency testing would not reflect a child's reading ability since they would have to read the passage to me while sitting less than five feet from the nearest student (my classroom is that small).

    And if I had not gone on the environment ed trips, the principal would have needed to drive two hours up to the mountains (twice in the snow) in order to bring home students who got sent home for behavior reasons. But because I was there, we were able to manage the student's behavior enough so that they finished out the week.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2013

    I'd let the P do the driving once to learn the value of having you there.:2cents:
     
  13. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    May 5, 2013

    I can't recall exactly the last time I called in sick but it must be more than 5 years ago and it would have been because I lost my voice.
     
  14. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    May 5, 2013

    I haven't missed any days this year. I've heard that it's pretty much impossible for me to find a sub in my new position, so I haven't tried. I do have the option of not finding a sub and just canceling my classes for the day, but I don't have any time to do makeup classes because all my extra time is spent on National Board. So it's easier to just be at school.

    Last year I was out more than I have been in my combined 6 years of teaching. They weren't sick days though. I was required to take off for several planning days with the grade level. I was also gone two days when my husband deployed and when he came back.

    My days get banked here if I don't use them, so I've been trying to save them for when I have a baby (I'm not pregnant yet, but trying).
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    May 5, 2013

    This is my 2nd year as a full time teacher (I was a long term sub the year before) and I've taken 3 sick days and 1 personal day. We get 10 days a year- 7 that roll over, 3 personal that do not roll over. (But you have to provide documentation for them so you can't just use it for a mental health day. I used mine for a family wedding that was on a Friday.)

    I wouldn't have a problem with anyone using their allotted days. I like having mine to roll over, but to each his own. However going so far over seems excessive. Hopefully administration is paying attention to her absences? There's really not much you can do about it.
     
  16. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    May 5, 2013

    We get nine sick days a year and three personal days. The sick days roll over, but the personal days do not.

    I've taken more sick days this year than I ever have, four. I've only taken one for myself because I had the stomach flu, the rest have been for my kiddo. If I have a cold or something I just suck it up, but if I'm throwing up, I'm staying home. Subs are hard to come by. At the beginning of the year, our P gave us a speech about how short we are on subs and that he's not telling us to come to school sick, but... :rolleyes:

    I had to take a sick day for DS a couple of weeks ago because he'd been puking all night. I called my P and told him. I got a guilt trip about how they were already one sub short for the day and to make sure I had my plans ready to go. Duh, you think? It really irritated me. I've always had sub plans ready to go and NEVER abuse sick days. End rant.

    Beth
     
  17. bison

    bison Habitué

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    May 5, 2013

    I'm a para. I've missed two days for two different illnesses. One was pink eye that I caught from the students, and obviously the doctor told me I couldn't go in under any circumstances. For the other, I was in awful shape and I should have missed more, but I didn't want to make a bad impression at a new job. Seeing how much some of the other paras I work with miss, I should have taken those days off when I was really sick. Ah well. Gen ed paras don't get subs, but the special ed paras must. I don't really think I would need a sub.
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    May 5, 2013

    The problem with my paras out so much is that when my p/t para is out, they don't get a sub for her which throws everything out of balance. When you have 3 reading groups, 1 para absent, 1 para taking lunch, and 13 very high needs kids, most of whom can't work independently...Well, you can do the math. Plus - and I know I'm going to get slammed for this - but I've had some truly terrible subs. I had one a couple of weeks ago who, when I was going over what to do in math groups, informed me that she doesn't do math. I told her not to worry because it was only 2nd grade level, but she said she didn't understand it even after I explained it to her. :dizzy: I had another one before that that didn't speak English well enough to understand my instructions to him. Even the best subs are limited, because they don't know our routines or how to deal with meltdowns, or issues that arise in special ed. So when my paras are out so much, it really impacts my ability to teach.

    I think I resent it too because they can just wake up in the morning and decide they need a day off but for me it would require a tremendous amount of work. And that's why I've yet to take a single day this year.
     
  19. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 5, 2013

    I think I have only taken one day off for being sick this year. But I have probably taken close to 10 days off total this year for other reasons.
     
  20. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    May 5, 2013

    Not having to call in (we do it over the computer) is definitely a thing of beauty. As I said I've only called in sick 3 days but I might have been guilted out of at least 1 of those if I needed to call in. Yet I was legitimately sick each time and better off staying home. Although I guess it makes it easier for people to abuse it.
     
  21. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    May 5, 2013

    I've been out sick 6 days this year. Most of those were for DD, but a couple times I was sick too. If I am sick, I stay home. DD got RSV and that took care of me for a week. DH and I switched off days home with her, but there was no way I was sending her to daycare not knowing if they could pin her down long enough to give her her nebulizer and unsure of how her breathing was.
     
  22. bison

    bison Habitué

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    May 5, 2013


    Your situation sounds very unfortunate, I'm sorry. I've worked as a special ed para too and it was nothing like what you're describing because everyone (at least at the district I worked in at the time which was really great) knew the demands and wouldn't just dump everything on others. The subs were generally pretty good as well, or they wouldn't have a job. The special ed paras have subs because of legal requirements. X number of adults need to be in the room, students need 1:1 aides, etc. I'm surprised that doesn't necessarily apply in your case. Of course, there are always some bad eggs, but it sounds like something seriously needs to change in your classroom. I wish I had some good advice to give you!

    Edit with an idea! Does your admin know what's going on? If she needs a sub regularly for health reasons, perhaps they can find a good sub (the same one) that will come in regularly and get to know the kids and routines. I worked in that position myself, and had teachers ask for me because they knew I was able to work well with the kids, deal with meltdowns, etc. It's much easier for everyone that way, and it's nice to have repeat jobs as a sub.
     
  23. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    May 5, 2013

    Wow! I am jealous of everybody's sick time. We get 5 days total - sick or personal...doesn't matter.

    This year I called in sick 1 day and even then I wasn't THAT sick, but I had horrible allergies on a day that I had to upload benchmark results and grades, along with other end-of-the-six-weeks stuff...and mind you, I was not going to get my off period that day. I went ahead and chose to work from home. I did what I needed to do and went back to bed.
     
  24. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    May 5, 2013

    we get 10 days/year. I rarely call in sick for myself ( perhaps a handful over the past 20 years)...def. call in sick when my ds is sick if I cannot find someone to watch him. I have over 90 days saved up:)

    I do take a few days every year for travel to see family and to have a fun, educational day with ds where we go to S.F. for art/science exhibits--kind of like a mental health day for us both.

    That said, I am out of the classroom about 1 time/month for CC leadership or ELD leadership meetings and our sub pool is not very strong at the moment so that is another reason I do not call in sick for myself...
     
  25. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 6, 2013

    I usually only call in once or twice a year. It's such a pain getting ready for a sub, I'd just rather go sick. I don't have as many days as I could, though, because I've donated a lot of them. (I've donated around 40 - 50 days.)
     
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