How often do you take off work?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mr. Nobody, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2014

    I almost never take off work unless I am extremely ill, have a doctor's appointment that couldn't be rescheduled, or there is something important (like a wedding or funeral) in my personal life.

    I typically use 1 - 2 personal days and 3 - 4 sick days each school year.

    The people I used to work with were the same way.

    Now, I work with almost all new people (some new to teaching, some to the grade level) and they take off a lot more than I would feel comfortable with.

    That made me wonder about other teachers and how often they take off and for what reasons. I am also reevaluating my own criteria for when to use leave.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Typically, I miss approximately 3 days a year due to professional development. I usually use 3-5 sick days a year.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is typical for me as well.

    This year, I'll miss a few more days for PD than I typically do, as I'm part of a group doing an action research project that will involve 4 days off.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Outside of PD, I took off NO days last year for sick or personal. In 15 years, I've taken only 3 sick days.
     
  6. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    I am required to take usually 5 days to compensate for summer school that I will teach. Last year I took less than a full sick day (got to school and just couldn't do it). I don't like to take days off unless I have to.
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Last year was unusual for me. I think I had 2 sick days and 1 or 2 PD days. Then, I ended up having to take 4 1/2 personal days for a combination of a best friend's wedding, the service where we found out where my fiance would be placed for his job (could have been anywhere in the country--kind of a huge deal!), and his grad school commencement. Thankfully, my principal was very understanding, and knew that last year was an exception.
     
  8. TeacherNY

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    I take off if I'm sick or have a doctor's appt. Maybe 2 or 3 times per year. I'm not really sick very often. I get 2 personal days and I have to take them or I lose them at the end of June.
     
  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    In past years I took a ton of days for PD. Had a principal that loved the fact I wanted to take PD so I did every chance I got. This principal not so much. Although I am in a cohort that the school has to have so I do take days for that. As far as sick days and personal days. In the 9 years that I have been teaching I have taken less than 5 sick days.------- Well I just remembered that when my niece was born last year I took those as sick days because she was born with some medical issues and it was kind of unexpected so we used them as sick days in case I needed more days off so I could get FMLA. Luckily she did fine and I came home when I had planned, so I did use 5 days of sick days. Personal days I have taken a few more of those. Especially when my son was in band. I took days to go with him on band trips and other stuff. But as a whole you can count on me to be at school. I have never used a whole years worth of days ever. So I have accumulated some days.
     
  10. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    In my adult school job, I have 3 months of sick leave on the books and that is after donating the maximum I can to the sick leave bank. I probably average 1-2 days a year. For the last few years we can't have a sub unless we are going to be absent for more than 5 days. As a result, I have to be near death to call in sick because I feel it is cheating my students who have paid for the classes. They also won't pay for staff development anymore so I'm not using it for that and my kids are grown so I don't have to take off for them.

    At the preschool I have 3 weeks on the books. I am saving the hours in case I have to help my husband move and for my son's wedding.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    First full year, so obviously I have a small sample space I'm pulling from, but zero so far this year (outside of a 1.5 days for new teacher PD). My hope is to not take any days this year unless I get pretty sick. In my previous jobs I've had, and during subbing, I only called out sick about 2, maybe 3 times over the course of the 8-9 years, about half of which was when I was working 2 jobs of about 50-70 hours total a week. I push through it as much as possible.
     
  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    That must be frustrating -- since you have to spend the extra time planning for subs for those days! Do you at least get paid a bit extra for summer school?
     
  13. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I use about the same number of days as the OP except I try not to use them until Dec/Jan. If I am feverish/have a stomach virus/ear infection then I stay home.
     
  14. otterpop

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    I've taken around 1 a month since school started. Usually I am more reluctant to take sick days, but my job stresses me out so much, they've been days when I just couldn't go in. I see them as mental health days.
     
  15. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    No extra pay at all. Ideally they want us to take it without a sub, but I teach Read 180 and the teachers would be much less than thrilled if they had to figure out what to do with the students for 90 minutes. The ones that teach only Title don't get a sub.
     
  16. Go Blue!

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    Dec 2, 2014

    I have not taken a day off in the past 3 years with this current year being the fourth. I have missed two half-days/afternoons to attend PD my schoo forced me to attend - I would have rather been at work.

    Luckily, during that time, I have not been sick to the point where I can't get out of bed and I don't schedule appointments during the work day. I don't have a husband or kids so that helps. Also, we get a "bonus" every December based on our sick leacve conversion so that motivates me not to miss days.

    That being said, I am very vocal about using your sick days and being unapologetic about it. If you have them, use them and you owe no one an explantion (well, at least not here).
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    When my kids were little, I used all my sick days each year. When they were grown, I usually used one or two each year.

    Otterpop, your district must be very generous to give you so many sick days.

    My husband, on the other hand, has worked for the same company for thirty years and has taken less than five sick days in that time.
     
  18. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    We get 1.5 days off a month, which I think is pretty standard? Now I'm curious what others get. I know of many districts that give out 2 days a month.
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I'm not sure. I'll look on my paystub.
     
  20. Jerseygirlteach

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    Wow...And I thought we got a lot. We get 10 sick days and 3 personal days. I rarely use sick days. This is my fifth year teaching and I think I've used about 6 days total. Only one of those days was for being sick myself. The other 5 were for staying home with sick kids. As for personal days, I either use them or lose them so I do use them for the most part - at least 2 out of 3 a year. For those, though, I've only used them on days when my kids have off from school and I don't, so I have to stay home with them. I've taken off a few days for PD, but only days the district forces me to take. I actually really hate PD days. I have to plan for a sub and that takes me forever and I find most PDs pretty dull.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

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    I've taken two personal days in 22 years. One to take my comps for my masters, and once to go to a concert with friends.

    Most years I'm sent somewhere 2-3 times for PD, and some years I'll have a sick day.

    Three times I've had surgery. Once out a week. Once out 45 days. Once out 15 days. Missed 30 days the year my FIL and Dad both died of cancer.
     
  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    We can do the same with our personal days (I think we get paid at the sub rate for each day that we don't use), so that's definitely a motivation. Our sick leave accumulates and I think I can eventually cash it out at a 4 days for 1 day pay once it is over a certain amount (obviously I'll hold onto them unless I'd somehow lose them otherwise...as pay would increase each year!)
     
  23. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    When I was teaching, as rarely as possible. Now, whenever I feel like it. I get 2 days vacation a month, so even with my 3 weeks of vacation this year, plus the occasional day or days here and there, I still have:

    150 hours of sick leave
    102 hours of vacation
    40 hours for bereavement
    24 hours of professional development
    8 hours of personal time

    The personal time is the only one that doesn't carry over from year to year, so sometime between now and June 30 I'll have to take that off.

    My husband has a boatload of hours built up too. He'll basically take off the last half of this month, and not go back to work until after the New Year. Well, knowing him he will go in, but will technically be on vacation. He took the same amount of vacation I did this year-a week in Jamaica, a week at our lake, a week for our NASCAR race.

    I'm telling you all...the differences in the corporate world and education are VAST...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  24. TeacherNY

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    Our sick time carries over to the next year if we don't use it but not our personal days so you bet I use them. I looked on my pay stub and we get 4 hours sick time every 2 weeks so 8 hours per month. I have over 40 sick hours right now so if I need to go to an appt. or am sick I will take them. I don't feel guilty at all. Sometimes I will schedule a dr. appt. during a break but it seems like everyone wants an appt. then so it's hard. I work year round so I don't get the whole summer off and since I work over 210 days a year I'm not about to waste my vacations at the doctor (unless I'm actually sick then).
     
  25. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    We get 15 sick days and 3 personal days per year. Unused personal days roll over into sick days.

    Most years I don't use any personal days, but last year and this year I took one day to make a long week-end to visit our daughter in Chicago.

    Sick days vary greatly. Some years I use one or two, but a few years I used as many as 9 when my vertigo was particularly bad.

    Last year I was out 8 days for contract negotiations, but that is more than usual.
     
  26. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I get 3 personal days and unused days become .5 sick days. So I def use those 3 every year. In addition, I usually miss 2-3 days for conferences, 2 days for Drama Club field trips and a few sick days. So far, no more than 3 a year, but you never know.
     
  27. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'd guess I take probably 4-5 sick days per year, on average, maybe more in bad year. In addition, I always take a few days, probably about 2-3, for personal reasons (mental health day, extended weekend vacation, or something special I want to do, like go to a daytime playoff game). Whether I put those personal days in the system as actual personal days or sick days varies. I think we get 13-14 days per year. Supposedly two of them are personal and the rest are sick, but they all go into one bank of days. They also carry over to the next year.

    I have plenty of days, and I don't feel guilty using them. The only downside is having to write sub plans. You can be sure that I'm not worried about leaving my kids hanging or anything like that though. I guess I worried about that my first year or so of teaching, but I'm way over it at this point. I also think the sick/personal leave notification policy makes a difference. I was A LOT less likely to take off at my old school than I am at my current school. Previously, I had to call my principal on her cell phone early in the morning if I was going to be out sick last minute. If I wanted a personal day, I had to fill out a request form, submit it to the principal, and wait for her to personally approve it. Now, I enter my days off in an online system. No questions asked. So, I take advantage of my days more often now, obviously.

    ETA: I am out a ton of PD days during the year - so many that I don't even want to attempt to count them. My district goes overboard on getting subs for PD. It's required. I typically have no say in it, so I don't count those days against my "days off" total. I especially hate writing sub plans when I'm out for district-required PD.
     
  28. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    Rarely call in sick, usually just out for PD and elder care for my dad, as well as when my son is ill.

    That said, I usually take a couple of longer weekends once or twice a year for family fun trips. Last year, I took a week after winter vacation to go see my niece compete on the VOice in Europe...another year, my son and I went to Hawaii for 3 extra days after spring break:)
    Mental Health days are a MUST in the life of a teacher, IMHO.
     
  29. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Do you get to use your sick/personal leave to extend your spring break and winter break? Our policy prohibits teachers from using leave to extend a vacation. Without special approval, we get docked if we take off extra days.
     
  30. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    I usually use my personal leave days first and then use the on-line system to log in sick but have a sub already lined up. Only done it twice in my twenty years of teaching:)
     
  31. live

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    I've used two sick says the past 2 years. This year, I've taken some half days off for doctor appointments, which have been accumulating.

    After my maternity leave is up, I have a feeling it'll be very hard to fight the temptation to use personal days to stay at home with the new baby.
     
  32. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We get 1.25 sick days per paycheck and we have 24 pay periods per year. I have about 22 days banked right now. I take 3-5 sick days each year. They're mostly nasty sinus infections, though last year I had food poisoning and missed two days.

    We get three personal days. I usually take at least one.
     
  33. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I miss tons of days due to mandatory sped PD. I've already been out for PD 5-6 days this school year. This is my 5th year and I haven't been legitimately sick since my first year. Last year I took 2 personal days around Easter to go visit my parents in another state. We didn't have the same spring break (they're teachers also)and my mom was going through a rough time, so I thought it was important for me to go home for the holiday. Preparing everything for a sub is a ridiculous amount of work for sped, so it's just not worth it to me to take any "mental health" days or just take a personal day for fun.
     
  34. OhThePlaces

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    Last year I took 3 sick days, two when I needed my gallbladder removed and one when my toddler had a fever and couldn't go to daycare. I took half a personal day in late May, when a co-worker and I took the afternoon off on my birthday to have a nice lunch and go shopping.

    So far this year I've taken one personal day. My son is in kindergarten this year (at my school) and I took the day off to chaperone his field trip. No sick days yet.
     
  35. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I take 2-3 mental health days each year.
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Our pd days don't count against us... My school encourages pd, so despite at least 6-8 days off for pd last year, my count showed zero days 'off' because I never called in sick or used a personal day.
     
  37. kcjo13

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    This is another thing that I find vastly different in corporate vs. education worlds...it's almost expected that at least on the day before an extended vacation that office people will be out. Not as much the day after, but even the week leading up to a vacation is pretty empty in the office area.

    The office manager of one of the departments I work with closely has so much vacation, she is out until after the first of the year. Nice for her, but it isn't quite as handy for me!
     
  38. DrivingPigeon

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    I miss 1 or 2 days a month for curriculum work and other meetings.

    I take a sick day when needed (usually 2-3 per year).

    We have to pay for the sub if we take a personal day, so I only take one when I really need to.
     
  39. horned_Frog89

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    I want to edit this to say the differences between corporate and the educational world completely depend upon where you work.

    I'm in corporate world. We have 12 days or 96 hours PTO. That's it. No sick days and personal days, just 96 hours PTO. I took a vacation to Mexico this year. It was expected that I take my computer and reply to any emails I received.

    If we don't use our PTO it doesn't roll over, nor can we cash it in.

    I received a Job offer that was a FT Salaried position with NO paid leave the entire first year and went up to 5 the second.

    Teaching is a whole different animal than corporate, but sometimes, I get mad when people think that I sit at a desk all day and browse the internet and leave the office right at 5pm every day - all with infinite days of leave and amazing healthcare benefits. Because that's the EXACT OPPOSITE of my situation.
     
  40. Backroads

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    I actually do aim to use the days I've given... mostly because the administration expects it. However, I think we get somewhat less than other schools in the state, so it works out.

    It's professional to be at school, but I do think occasional family events as well as sickness can be also important.
     
  41. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Fair enough. Just like schools are vastly different, so are corporate policies. I should have said in my experience, this is what I've seen. I'm sure geography plays a part too.

    The part I bolded is kind of like when people say all teachers do all day is babysit and play games. And leave at 3:00, with 3 months off.
     

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