Mental Health Days

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by YoungTeacherGuy, May 26, 2016.

  1. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Aug 27, 2018

    My two cents: Take the mental health days when you need them. My co-teacher when I taught at Head Start was a lovely woman in her early sixties. Never liked to even take a sick day. Worried about how they'd replace her for the day, because, subs are hard to find. Well. Her cancer returned and she never got to retire. Never got a chance to do all that fun stuff after retirement.

    At the end of our life, no one ever says, "Gosh. If only I'd gone to work more." Spend the time with loved ones. Take that trip. Make memories. Go to that festival. Carpe diem.
     
  2. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 27, 2018

    I'm with Zelda on this one. That's why I'm using 5 of my personal days to extend my Christmas break because the family and I will be traveling.
     
  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have so many days banked up. I rarely take off, but I'm glad to know I have them when I need them. I take off if I'm too sick to work (vomiting, contagious, etc.) I also take off for funerals, etc. if I need to. Once, I took a half day to travel. I also take off once a year for doctors appointments and try to schedule everything for that day. My husband has classes that it's easier to leave sub plans for, so he takes off for things like leaks, broken AC, etc.

    I have no problem being off for those days if I need to be. We are alloted 10 sick and 2 personal days. I'd never abuse them, but I've learned that the world keeps going even if I need a day to be sick.
     
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  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2018

    I certainly respect the responsibility of trying to in the classroom. I once replaced a teacher who apparently only worked in my area because it was close to a number of ski resorts. As a good Utahn I certainly can't condemn skiing and far be it from me to say that love the slopes was wrong, but there can be a discrepancy between taking care of yourself and valuing yourself and doing your job. Making a fervent goal of using all sick days in the presence of a respectable system for handling said days might very well be on the side of unprofessional. But on the other hand, those sick and personal days are indeed part of their budgeted compensation system. It's one thing to have a reasonable loyalty to your work and an appreciation for what you contribute to the classroom. It's quite another to live in fear of the classroom falling into shambles if you're not there every now and then. Frankly, if you're doing your job right, your students should be able to handle you gone here and there with hardly a blip on their education.
     
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  5. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Getting a half day in Friday.
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t understand what this means. Could you elaborate, please?
     
  7. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2018

    I almost never take a mental health day. I've been in education for almost 20 years and what I am trying to work towards is devoting more of my weekend to non-school stuff. An experienced teacher told me very early in my career, "If I wake up and feel like I just don't have the patience today, that I'm going to call in sick." So I do think they have a purpose and are acceptable as long as they are not over utilized.
     
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  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    This is a respectable way to look at this. I agree.
     
  9. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Sep 16, 2018

    They're either leaving early or coming in late Friday.
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Oh, this makes much more sense than what I was thinking. I didn’t know personal days could be used for part of a day, so my guess was they had a minimum day or something and so I didn’t see the correlation between using a personal day and what the poster said.

    Thank you! :)
     
  11. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Sometimes it's done in hours not days. Just depends.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 16, 2018

    I'm with Zelda here. Nobody is indispensable, regardless of how much time they put in at school and how many other activities they supervise.
    So, I use all my earned sick days and personal days each year because I earn them and I have a life outside of school.
     
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I thought teachers were prevented from using personal days before and after school breaks? At least, that’s what I’ve glossed from reading other posters’ posts on here.
     
  14. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2018

    I would disagree with the idea that we "earn" sick days. Where I am, our union negotiates for sick days that we can use when we are sick. We are to use them as needed based on being sick.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    In your own words, “I have a life outside school.” Agreed, we all do, and we all deserve time off, but the keyword here is outside. When I am on campus and on contract, my life revolves around my students’ lives and my students’ needs.
     
  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2018

    :agreed:
     
  17. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Again depends on the district. Mine limits the amount of people that can do it. I always get mine in early.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I see. Understood.
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2018

    Our personal/sick days are used by the hour so I could come in late/leave early and not use a whole day. I have so many sick days though even if my doctor's appointment will be done by 9am I still take a whole day :)
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2018

    My mental health is just as important as my physical health, so I believe that a day to tend to that is a valid use of a sick day.
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I agree with you on the first part. However, what you believe is different than what your employer and contract states. You are given a certain number of sick days and a certain number of personal/mental health days. If one could be used as a substitute for the other, then they wouldn’t have distinct categories.
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I don't think a personal day automatically means mental health day unless it's specified.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2018

    We get two personal days. They are technically UPR or "Urgent Personal Reason." They are for when you wake up and your hot water heater has emptied itself into your laundry room, or you wake up and have a flat tire, or something like that. We also get ten sick/medical appointment/illness of other days. I use mental health days for those.
     
  24. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Sep 17, 2018

    We get 3 personal days to use however we want each year (they are 3 of the 12 sick days we get each year). We can carry over 2 days to the next year (and have up to 5). Any days we don't carry over we get paid 1/2 time for. We are never able to have more than 5 personal days in a single year. I try to use my 3 so I continue to have 5 each year.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2018

    I don't get personal days. We have 10 sick days/year as well as other days that are designated for things like bereavement, moving, convocation. "Personal illness" is the only category I can use to care for my mental health.

    I am very comfortable with the fact that my employer would have no issue with my use of my designated days.
     
  26. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 17, 2018

    Even though I've never been on the teaching end (i.e. classroom teacher taking the sick day) of this (colleagues have, as well as those I have subbed for), sometimes that can be nice as it allows you to have two adults in the room, which can aide in getting through 1-on-1 assessments you'd have a hard time to do otherwise, or do some small group work!
     
  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Gotcha. Thank you for clarifying.
     
  28. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2018

    We have sick days and then we have personal days. Sick days are just that. You wake up sick or your kid is sick or in this case you wake up and just can't do it. I have very rarely used sick days. My personal days we have to "book"5 days in advance. Those are my mental health days. I use them to do Mom stuff, like go with my daughter and the band to football games, or go with her to tennis matches. We are allowed 5 of those per semester and I have never used all of them. Last year we got a huge candy bar if we missed less than 10 days, I got one. I also very rarely asked to leave early but some reason this year I have all ready asked 3 times. I always wait until my kids are gone but we still have almost an hour of contracted time left. I felt bad for asking this morning but since I don't take advantage of me needing to leave very often she very happily said whatever you need to take care of.
     
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  29. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2018

    We get three personal days, which we can use for whatever we want as long as it's not during a restricted time. We get 15 sick days a year that are for when we're sick, when we have doctors' appointments, when a family member is sick, etc... I'm a big believer in mental health days. Usually when you need one, you're much better taking one and feeling refreshed than to just keep slogging through. Our principal feels the same way.
     
  30. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 18, 2018

    Three days?! Migod, we accrue 3.33 hours of vacation / personal time and 2 hours of sick time every pay period. RIght now I've banked almost three weeks' worth. That being said, I don't get a summer break, so I need that down time when I can take it.
     
  31. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sep 18, 2018

    We are off tomorrow for Yom Kippur! Much needed mental health day.
     
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  32. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Three days isn't as bad (at least when thinking about the traditional schedule; I know this doesn't fit you as well) when you consider the fact that there are a decent number of breaks interspersed throughout the year. I think, when looking at our calendar, the longest without some kind of multi-day break (i.e. excluding 3-day weekends) is about 10 weeks (beginning of the year, September to mid-November...and technically, we have conferences mixed in there).
     
  33. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You don’t get a summer break?!

    You take as much personal time as you need.
     
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  34. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I haven't taken any yet but I don't think it's wrong to take the occasional mental health day. However, the friend I posted about before, already took her first sick day (she wasn't sick) just because we had accrued 1.5 days! We only get 2 personal days so sick days can also be used for doctors appointments. At orientation, they kept talking about how the best thing for the kids is to have a teacher in front of the room, etc. and how you shouldn't take off unless you really need to. They also said that if you take a sick day and a colleague sees you out and about they WILL tell. It honestly seemed a little unprofessional...
     
  35. TrademarkTer

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    That would imply the colleague was also out and about when they should've been working....
    With the crew you've got this year, you deserve a mental health day or two!
     
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  36. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I agree!! I may take one after our first benchmark assessment this month!
     
  37. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's what I was thinking. We are allowed to use sick days for appointments so obviously if I have a doctor's appointment or 2 on a given day I will be seen out and about. Good grief! People are just plain bonkers!
     
  38. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I never thought I would use my sick days, I've been here for over 5 years. A few years ago I thought about giving them away to this teacher that was out for months, but then I got sidetracked and never got to do it (she ended up quitting). I'm glad it turned out this way because last year I was out for 5 weeks and used up a lot of my sick days, and otherwise it would have been unpaid.
     
  39. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    In the last 2 weeks I had my dog attack me, had to put him down, my grandpa died, and someone got my bank account information and drained my account. So yeah, I took a mental health day and don't feel sorry about it.
     
  40. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I’m so sorry for your losses and extremely unfortunate luck. That is completely horrid. Don’t feel bad about taking a day off at all.

    And were you able to recover the money stolen from your account? I hope so.
     

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