I think I screwed up...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by interzone0, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. interzone0

    interzone0 New Member

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    Dec 1, 2014

    I am a first year teacher and I called out today because I am not feeling well. It is a bad day to call out (report cards due - but mine are done already) and I don't have the principals cell phone number so I couldn't call her cell. I did however leave a message on her work phone and emailed her, as well as emailed the secretary to let them know I am sick and cannot come in. This is the first sick day I have taken and I have been sick for weeks now. I know it looks bad being the day after Thanksgiving break (which apparently I will not get paid for - great).

    Anyway, I called my principal again and finally got a hold of her in her office (right as school was starting). She told me she never got my email or voicemail and was mad I didn't call her cell - she pretty much reamed me out. I have sub plans on my desk just in case so it's not like I wasn't prepared. I'm really scared about this. I feel even more sick now as a result. I just don't think she likes me - anyone ever been in a similar situation? My boyfriend is saying she might not hire me back next year now. Is it not ok to take a sick day??
     
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  3. AlexaD

    AlexaD Companion

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    Dec 1, 2014

    Don't let the principal's reaction make you feel sicker. You did what you had to do if you didn't have her cell. She will get over it and you concentrate on getting better.
     
  4. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Seconding AlexaD. Don't let the principal make you sicker. You informed her two different ways PLUS let a third party know, and it's not your fault if she didn't check voicemail or email. If it comes up again, I would just politely ask for her cell phone number so you can call her on the correct phone next time you get sick.
    It's ok to call out, especially if you're sick. Take time to recover because teaching when you're sick is bad for you and it's not giving the kids your best. I hope you feel better soon!
     
  5. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Dec 1, 2014

    Don't feel bad. If you are sick you are sick. I drove all the way to school today only to be sent home because I was still running a fever. Take care of yourself!
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I hope you feel better soon, OP and Ms C.
     
  7. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Dec 1, 2014

    We don't plan on getting sick so honestly it is what it is. P was probably having a bad morning. I'd get her cell number and maybe ask her to check her spam folder to make sure your emails aren't going into that folder. Feel better!
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The only way I'll ever miss the day before or after a break is unless I am so sick I'm literally debating calling for an ambulance. Any other day I take off if need be, but those dates... unless I have a darned strong doctor's note...
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Not that it matters, but is this a private school or a school without a union?

    When my teachers call in sick, they use Smart Find Express, which allows them to enter the times/dates for their absence(s). Each morning, my secretary gives me a printout that shows who's gone for the day (or a portion of the day) and the name of the substitute who's filling in for them.

    Once someone calls in their absence, it's not my job to ask questions. My biggest concern is that a sub picks up the vacancy.

    Bottom line: If you're sick and you've got sick days to spare, use 'em! Don't think twice about staying home when you're ill.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 1, 2014

    Do you have a specific policy that you have to call the principal? We have a policy and specific numbers were given to us so we can call (we don't have subs to call). Make sure you have the principal's number for next time.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It's not your fault, but from experience with picky bosses, if my call doesn't go through to a person in charge, I regard it as it not having been made at all. I need to call someone and hear a human voice on the other side, and have them assure me they'll take care of it, otherwise, I'd probably just end up going in. Again, not your fault, just something I learned from my experiences of having called in sick at other (non-teaching) jobs. I almost got fired once because of that from a grocery store job.

    It's technically their responsibility, but they will never take it.
     
  12. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Dec 1, 2014

    This is an issue that varies a lot between schools. I think ultimately you should look at your employee handbook for the fine print -- that is supposed to be your bible, and if it doesn't say to call the principal's cell (especially if you didn't have her number), you did nothing wrong.

    The only thing I would have done differently if I were you would be to speak over the phone with the secretary, rather than email her. You could also have double-checked with her about the protocol.

    Some schools truly have a hard time finding subs, and need advance notice. My old school didn't even bother with subs most of the time and would split classes between teachers (ugh...), so other teachers always seemed suspicious and resentful of your sick days. On the other hand, some schools have aides on staff or have a database of subs who can be called in at a moment's notice.

    I would hope your principal doesn't consider it that big of a mistake -- it sounds like you tried. Don't let her conversation get to you. It's hard being the new person.
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Dec 1, 2014

    At a previous school we were to call the secretary if we were going to be out. Her policy was until we actually talked to her, plan on going in. No leaving a voicemail or a message with someone else.

    We are to text our P. That's one of the first numbers we get every year.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    There is no better way to use sick days then when you are sick. You didn't make the P, teachers, or others sick today since you stayed home and away from them. Glad you made the right choice. Hope you feel better soon.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    How you handled the situation sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
     
  16. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Dec 2, 2014

    I would find out what the expected procedure is and follow it in the future. At one job we have the sub line, but at the other we are required to call various people until we speak to someone directly. Leaving a message or an email isn't enough because we don't know someone actually gets it. It must be a small school if the principal is in charge of subs? In our area, that is either the responsibility of the secretaries or vice principals.
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Dec 2, 2014

    Exactly. Our AP (acting P) is the only one we can call if we're calling out sick and he "does not do vociemails" for things like calling out.
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Honestly, if the policy for calling out sick at your school is to call the principal's cell, then it was your responsibility to make sure you had her cell number. If that wasn't the policy, then she's being unfair. However, I have to say that it is your responsibility to know the policy.

    For my school, we just put in for a sub in AESOP. I've yet to call in sick at this school, but if I did, I probably would also leave a message on the principal's voicemail. However, putting it in AESOP is enough to cover myself at my school.
     
  19. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    We call the secretary. I have never had to call a P or VP to call in sick. We do use AESOP but for whatever reason we don't really use it. Our secretary calls our subs and then she puts into AESOP. We do live in a small district and so subs are very few and far between so maybe if they talk to a person they have less of a chance of saying no.
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Dec 4, 2014

    I wish your P would have been more supportive of you - especiallly since she knows you're new this year and this is the first time you've called out. Now that you know the procedure, make sure you stick to it. And hopefully the P was just having a bad morning and she decided to take it out on you (which is wrong).

    At my school, we actually can call/text the morning of (and call/text or email the evening before) to a teacher who has a paid position to interview/hire and call subs for my school. Each teacher also has 2 "on-call" periods that we would sub if emergency coverage was needed or if the teacher who called out only had 1-2 periods that day to cover. So I don't ever have to talk to my P unless I'm leaving early for an emergency or illness (and even then my P let's us talk to the subbing person sometimes too).

    When you're sick, you really shouldn't have to go through so much drama. :(
     
  21. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Dec 4, 2014

    This is ridiculous on the part of your principal--especially if you were contagious. He was way out of line, no matter what day it happened to be on. Sometimes people do get sick on days adjacent to holidays.
     
  22. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I haven't read all of the replies, but I guess I don't even understand why you would call your principal. When I'm sick I find a sub, put my absence in Aesop, and relax. I don't get ahold of the secretaries or principal. They print the Aesop reports for the day when they come in, so they see who is absent then.
     
  23. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Dec 7, 2014

    You are a first year teacher and mistakes happen when you are learning.
    Whatever the requirements for getting a sub/reporting an absence are, it is your responsibility to make sure you have all phone numbers, websites, etc. in order to get a sub/report an absence.

    It would be one thing if you were in the hospital or unable to access a phone or computer. I've had that happen and unfortunately had to let the principal know at the last minute. It was pretty bad and took a long time to undo what went wrong. I took responsibility for it and made sure that any other situations like this were covered. That's about all you can do at this point. Learn from it and move on.

    Do you have a mentor or seasoned teacher you can talk with? It helps to be prepared for problem situations before they come up. That's what I did. We have all kinds of emergencies and problems in special ed that I've learned to be prepared for.
     
  24. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Teachers in our district do not call or find their own subs; that is the school/Admin's responsibility.

    I think this has a lot has to do with the school having to pay the sub; if a school doesn't want to pay a sub, they don't bother to find one.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Hmm...I've never heard of a teacher not having a sub. I guess it must vary by state/district. In my district if the teacher is not there, a sub fills in. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!
     
  26. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Dec 7, 2014

    I've had the same experience with no subs. This was at a Title I school in a district lacking funding as well as substitute teachers. Definitely not the norm, though.
     
  27. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    It's depends on the district. I don't have to find a sub. I put the absence on the sub-line either by phone or website. A sub can look at the available jobs and pick up the job. If I know I'm going to be out well in advance then I can make arrangements with a sub I know and put that sub in the system, saying that the sub has agreed to take the job. It doesnt matter that I put the absence in the sub-line. I still have to call or email my P and leave a message.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Dec 7, 2014

    I worked for a principal that made us call her personally and explain why we would be out and what we had done about it if it was an emergency (we would have to say I e-mailed so and so and they're printing my plans and putting them on my desk), even though we got sick days from our contract and used an online sub system. I definitely feel like it was a way for her to get people to take less days because they would be too intimidated to call and explain themselves to her (she was not a reasonable person).
     

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