Sick Days & Non-Renewal

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mariecurie, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Feb 10, 2014

    I posted something last month about this - whether or not using some or all of your sick days is taken into consideration with first-year teacher renewals.
     
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  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    You're a first year teacher and you've been out a total of 11 days, correct (8 sick, 2 personal, and 1 misc)? That's quite a bit, in my honest opinion.

    Are you working on the classroom management issues? Have you taken the feedback they've given you and worked toward improving things?

    Kudos to you if they've given feedback and you've made an attempt to improve! However, if you haven't followed the advice that was provided, that'll definitely be taken into consideration in the renewal/non-renewal process.
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:

    I don't think it matters if the kids were there or not. Pregnant or not. 1st year teacher or not. That's a lot of days to miss.
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    It likely wouldn't matter at my school.
     
  6. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Funny, because I'm always the first one to say (and everyone always disagrees with me) that teachers should be conservative with their sick days. Just because you have a headache or a cold doesn't mean you need to take a day. If a teacher misses a few days and a student misses a few days, it can add up to the equivalent of weeks of missed instruction.

    But, a couple of things.

    1. You're pregnant. I really don't understand the whole "being pregnant doesn't matter." Yeah, it does. It means that you're going to wake up some days puking your brains out. It means you're going to get a cold and not be able to take any meds for it that might make you feel better. It means you might have a doctor's appt. that is very necessary, but impossible to schedule on after school hours. It might not matter to the kids, but it sure the heck matters to you. Does that mean I think you're entitled to take it easy just because you're pregnant. No, not at all. But there are extenuating circumstances.

    2. It aggravates the heck out of me that a teacher would be called into school when the roads have been deemed unsafe for students to travel. Wow, does that make me mad. I wouldn't have any idea about that if not for this forum. I can't bring myself to fault you for not driving in unsafe conditions and it seems insanely stupid and cruel that any school would demand it.

    3. I consider personal days to be, well, personal days. You're entitled to them and they shouldn't count against you if you use them. I almost never call in sick, but I generally take my personal days because if I don't, I lose them. So, I don't think that taking personal days should count against you.

    Now, this is all just my opinion. I wish you luck, though.
     
  7. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2014

    I'd make sure you make your presence seen at as many after school and extra activities as you can to make up for it!
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 10, 2014

    This.
     
  9. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    While I am not out a lot except for all of my district meetings, I don't think that is an exorbitant amount of days.

    I am confused as to why you would bring it up with your principal; they should approach you if there is a concern.

    Have fun when your little one arrives!
     
  10. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    I hope not. I've had strep every month so far and had to use 6 out of my 8 sick days. My admin claims they support me, especially because I will need surgery to get my tonsils out.

    If I have a fever and haven't been on antibiotics for 24 hours, I'm not coming in. I have too many students with compromised immune systems to risk it. I honestly should have taken off more days based on how sick I have been getting but I don't want my kids to get behind.
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I would NOT approach admin to talk about it. What would you get out of it?
    I know you probably want to hear that no, sick days don't matter, and don't worry about non-renewal, but I don't think they can give you that. Admin would probably have to be careful and say something neutral like, everything is taken into considerations, etc.
    However, on the downside, you would bring admin's attention to it, and if they didn't think about it until now, they might be questioning, why is it that you've taken so many days. You can't go back and change it, and I know their answer won't make a difference for future call ins.

    So don't talk to them, if they have a concern / questions, they'll let you know.
     
  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Feb 10, 2014

    If you are sick due to the pregnancy, can use use some FMLA time intermittently?
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You should ask for a copy of that FMLA policy in writing. All the FMLA paperwork I've seen gives you the option of using it in a big chunk or intermittently (or both). FMLA is a federal thing, so your district shouldn't be able to alter the rules on how it is used.

    It is true that you might need to use your sick days concurrently with FMLA. While your district might not have any power over the ins and outs of FMLA, they can control how your sick days get used. Even so, FMLA should protect your job even if you do end up using a lot of sick days. That's what FMLA is for. If you're just using the sick days without FMLA, you might not have that protection. Do you have a union you could talk to?
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Those words are exactly why you probably shouldn't talk to admin...why put doubt in their heads?
     
  15. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Feb 12, 2014

    As a pregnant teacher, I understand the need to miss. I had really BAD morning sickness at first. There was no way I could even drive at that time. That is beyond your control. My principals were very understanding. They know that I am diligent at my job and only miss if I am extremely ill. I actually cried over the phone to my principal the second day of my bout with sickness, and she was so understanding. Same with cancer. I had to miss for that, and my school was so supportive. You can't be at school sometimes, period. If your principal is rational, he or she will understand.
     
  16. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    I completely agree with this. Some people who have never experienced pregnancy don't understand that sometimes you MUST miss because it's physically impossible to teach. And in response to #2, I can't believe that the lives of students are valued at some schools, but the teachers' safety is not. Very disrespectful of those districts, and I am glad my district values my safety.
     
  17. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I was pregnant last year, I found out right after I had finished my internship and was given the open position at that school. My pregnancy was NOT like my other three, I had to be put on Zofran because my morning sickness was so intense. I had morning sickness until my THIRD trimester, I was so exhausted I wanted to curl up under my desk and sleep all day, when the Zofran wore off after 8 hours, I was pulling over to the side of the road puking on the way home. When I ran out of Zofran (insurance only allows 21 pills per 30 days), I threw up at school.

    With that said, I only missed days that I had an appointment scheduled. I came in when I had colds. Now I wouldn't have come in if the roads were unsafe, but I was there. I did end up missing 6 or 7 days, and I was renewed without a hitch.

    I think they most certainly will take your pregnancy and extenuating circumstances into consideration.
     
  18. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I was pregnant last year, I found out right after I had finished my internship and was given the open position at that school. My pregnancy was NOT like my other three, I had to be put on Zofran because my morning sickness was so intense. I had morning sickness until my THIRD trimester, I was so exhausted I wanted to curl up under my desk and sleep all day, when the Zofran wore off after 8 hours, I was pulling over to the side of the road puking on the way home. When I ran out of Zofran (insurance only allows 21 pills per 30 days), I threw up at school.

    With that said, I only missed days that I had an appointment scheduled. I came in when I had colds. Now I wouldn't have come in if the roads were unsafe, but I was there. I did end up missing 6 or 7 days, and I was renewed without a hitch.

    I think they most certainly will take your pregnancy and extenuating circumstances into consideration.
     
  19. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    When it is health issues, there are some things that cannot be avoided. I don't think that you would have a problem being renewed. For the last few years, I have missed over my allotted days and my check has been docked. At the end of the year evaluation, my old P would say that he would like that to improve, but he did not have grounds to let me go.
     
  20. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    In my school, our P would not renew a non-tenured teacher that took 11 days off - I'm sure of it. We have enough staffing issues and having a teacher out one day per month would drive Admin crazy. We have no subs so all these absences fall on the shoulder of your teammates. Also, if you take 3 or more days off in a year, it is marked down on your annual evaluation and you lose points. 11 days would be 8 over the limit.

    I'm not saying your reasons for taking off are not valid, but if you are not tenured, you would be gone in my school.

    Good luck though.
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    In my school taking off that many days would probably not get you non-renewed if all of your evaluations were up to par. However,since we don't have subs either and I could see how it would get to the point of our co-workers being just "done" with you after having to cover for you each time you were out. There are a lot of sympathetic administrators out there but I think it would be within their rights to take your absenses into account. Even though you did not know you would be sick that many days you still took a job as a first year teacher being pregnant. That might not have been the smartest path to take but you did and you just have to see how the chips fall. Hopefully they will fall in your favor.
     
  22. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Feb 13, 2014

    I'm really surprised at some of these responses. First year teacher or not, you can't help it if you were sick. I hope you get a return contract. If not, rest easy knowing there was nothing you could do about it.
     
  23. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    :yeahthat:
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's true that if you're sick, you're sick. It's also true that your contract might not be renewed if your bosses think that you're not reliable because you're frequently sick. It stinks, but it's how things sometimes work.
     
  25. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    What if someone has to take off 2 weeks for surgery? Would they get non-renewed as well? It just doesn't sound fair. I could see why it might seem that one day here, one day there could be avoided, but chosen not to, but any principal should understand what happens with pregnancies. I did not call in 1 day when I was pregnant, in fact I worked up to the last day, but that part was my choice and I was lucky. Not everyone is.
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not suggesting that it's fair, that the OP will definitely get non-renewed, or that I would support a principal non-renewing a teacher for taking time off because of a difficult pregnancy. I'm saying that it happens. Two weeks off all at once or two weeks day-by-day over the course of the year--it's still a lot of time off and it still means that the students might not be getting the quality instruction that they deserve. That does seem like it could be (could be, not "is") grounds for a non-renewal when the teacher is a first-year, non-tenured teacher who hasn't proven herself yet.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2014

    Caesar, I wasn't responding directly to you, but in general.
    The funny thing is that in San Diego, alternative ed took an unfortunate turn, all by the commands of the superintendent. Those schools are year round (detention centers, court and community schools, where students are obligated to attend school during the summer). He made intersessions, where the teachers would follow a traditional calendar, and subs would be teaching in the summer months (as well as winter break, thanksgiving break, spring break). The summer is the worst. These subs don't even have to have credentials, and they can work one week, or some days, they're not even assigned the whole term (but they can be though), however, even then, the students are in the charge of a sub who's not qualified to teach yet. Everyone was outraged, but it didn't matter. I left and moved here in last March, and this took place in the upcoming summer, so I wasn't there to experience it, but heard enough of it.
    So to me, 2 weeks in a year sounds unfair.
     

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