Mental Health Days

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

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2018

    I've always been told doctor's stuff, even if you aren't sick or afflicted, still count as sick days.
     
  2. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 26, 2018

    Eh for mine, they like to try and say that it's "voluntary" medical use, rather than "required". Which I could try to explain to them that well my leg hurts and it's time for a new prosthetic because it's not fitting correctly... Which leads to a conversation about how can a prosthetic leg no longer fit correctly. And while I could take the time to explain all of that to them and all, personally I just don't because really it's none of their business in my opinion. So I'd rather use a no explanation needed personal day as opposed to a sick day.
     
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  3. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 26, 2018

    I've usually taken 2 a year, same days only because it is a getaway tradition. I'm happy to say I've never really felt the need for taking a mental health day. Don't get me wrong, by March I'm worn to the bone and ready for summer.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Aug 26, 2018

    I've never taken a mental health day; like Ima, I hate being out of the classroom. I did take one day to allow for travel cross country for a sibling's college graduation, and one so I could drive a few hours to a mentor teacher's (who is hugely a part of who I am as a teacher) services. We're paid out for any we have over 5 (we get 3 per year), so I just keep a full swath of 5 each year, and get paid out for 2 or 3 of them.

    I haven't taken any sick days, but prefer to play it safe: one can't always predict what will happen in the future, and I want to be covered in case, without burdening others unnecessarily.

    Jumping through hoops with leg issues is probably not the best idea, anyways. ;)
     
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  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Through some stroke of genetic luck, I hardly ever get sick. In fact, I’ve been sick maybe two times in the last 8-10 years. I’m young (26) and am in excellent health. Until such time that I am not, I will take absolutely zero personal or sick days.

    I don’t ever want to take a day off when I’m on contract. I don’t feel comfortable doing so. When I’m supposed to be working, I should be working with virtually zero exception, regardless if I was invited to a family function or not.

    At my school, I’ve taken on a lot of duties (which I enjoy). For example, I tutor students every lunch period and dozens and dozens of students come to each session for help for a variety of math and science courses; I am one of the two people in charge of Robotics Club, Science Club, and Mu Alpha Theta; and I am also a class advisor, so I’m pretty busy most days. Not to mention, I am the only person who can teach my Calc 3 class (based on what my fellow math colleagues tell me) and I teach multiple AP classes (two classes of AP Stats and one class of AP Calc BC) in addition to hosting SAT Math prep sessions after school twice a week. Plus, I am the go-to sub for the science department when they have need of one as I have an extensive science background. As you can see, it would be highly disruptive if I were to take a day off.

    Plus, I will be taking on the AP Computer Science A class next year as my colleague who has taught it for the last 19 years is retiring. I’ll be busy preparing for that this summer and teaching it next year on top of everything else.

    Finally, it would be incredibly difficult to find a replacement and so I feel it would be irresponsible of me to do so when so many people are depending on me for my help and services. It would negatively affect many student’s and staff member’s day(s) if I were to take a leave of absence. The only way I can see myself taking one is if I truly had an emergency, like my life was in imminent danger and I needed immediate medical attention. Otherwise, I’ll be at my school until said duties are performed and contracted hours for the day are over.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  6. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Aug 27, 2018

    I think they would survive if you took a day off ;) If the world is gonna crash with you outside of that classroom, I guess you can kiss your dreams of being an administrator good bye. Who will replace you????? After all, you won't be able to do all that other stuff once you're an administrator.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t get to cash them out at my school. I can only collect them. For instance, a much older colleague of mine (who is 54 and has never taken a day off in her entire teaching career of 30 years) has the most saved personal and sick days of any staff member. Yet, she never uses them and I admire her for that. Such dedication on her part and I intend to follow in her footsteps. I say this because my school invests a lot in us teachers and so I have no problem giving back to it in kind.

    And should I ever be prevented from working like you were for health reasons or what have you, I have significant savings ($40,000+) to bide my time. So, assuming I have health problems like you years down the line, I should have multiple hundreds of thousands in the bank (based on my current saving trends) to weather the storm, so to speak. That, along with health insurance I’ve never used, should be enough to take care of me for at least a few years minimally.

    Personally, I don’t see the need for sick and personal days (for me not other people) as I am of sound mind and am a workaholic. I like working and doing things that are productive and don’t mind being “worked to the bone” so long as I’m paid handsomely for it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Aug 27, 2018

    At my school, some of the VP’s teach a class or two and advise some events outside of their administrative work. I plan to do the same.

    Specifically, I plan to teach Calc 3 and AP Computer Science A and advise Robotics Club and Science Club. It is doable and it would be less work that I’m doing currently.
     
  9. TrademarkTer

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    Aug 27, 2018

    According to your description, you do a lot more than teach a class or two and advise some events. It's so detrimental for you to be out of the classroom for a day, God forbid they move your day to primarily administrative work ;)
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    True, I would have to give up some things, but I’ll manage. I always seem to find extra time for things no matter what job is heaped on top of my already large workload. I’m that dedicated to my students and school and care deeply for both.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. whizkid

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    Sep 16, 2018

    Getting a half day in Friday.
     

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