Taking a personal day here and there...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by MathGuy31, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    Do you all find that it is okay to get a sub to take a personal day here and there? I find that it is sometimes useful and revitalizing but curious to what others think. In general, I try to be honest with my principal and say I'm taking a day to do something useful for my license but I feel like I'm lying. What do other teachers on here state when they take a personal day. Just curious..
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    In my district we get 3 personal days per year. They may not be used to extend a break, but when we do use them we do not need to give a reason. I don’t always use mine (they then roll into sick leave), but when I do, it is usually to attend an event with one of my daughters. We also have to schedule them 3 days in advance.
     
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  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I’ve never taken a personal day off and don’t feel like I need to or should (for me only) because I teach classes and oversee clubs that would be difficult to fill. For example, I teach AP Stats, AP Calc BC, and Calc 3 and I’m also in charge of Robotics Club and now Technology Club. Plus, I recently was asked to consider teaching AP Computer Science A since the teacher who is teaching it now is retiring.

    It is difficult enough finding someone who is competent to fulfill all of the roles I carry out, so I don’t think it would be appropriate to have my admin try to find a replacement for everything I do.

    I’ve also been told that no one can teach Calc 3 when I asked around and very, very few feel comfortable with rudimentary Computer Science, let alone AP Calc BC.
     
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  5. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Personal days are just that. You shouldn't feel the need to justify what you are planning to do. I am taking one in March to attend a conference, but I will probably take a couple more before the end of the year. I usually take one in later May when conditions are right to put my garden in.
     
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  6. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    We get 4... you take them whenever you want. No questions asked.
     
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  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don’t do it, but I don’t care if others do or not. I only care if I have to cover a class or prep their stuff for them. Otherwise, not an issue.

    I only take days off for major illness, meetings, or illness for parents. We get three personal and ten sick days a year. The personal days will roll over to sick days.

    We can cash out unused sick days at retirement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  8. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    These are good responses.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I get 2 personal days and 6 sick days. You can accumulate sick and personal days, up to a maximum. In fact, I always gift my personal days and sick days to my favorite colleagues because I’ve never used either and have an excellent immune system and my doctors frequently comment as such.
     
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  10. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    I like that!!
     
  11. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    That’s extremely giving and thoughtful!!
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    For all of the great benefits that my private school offers, where it is lacking is that it doesn’t pay out for accumulated days and so there is no point in me collecting days that I will most likely — it’s possible I might — never use.
     
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  13. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I think it's foolish not to use them. Our sick days roll over to the next year, but our personal days do not. I think not using them is equivalent to giving away free money.
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    My school does not payout for unused days so, in my case, it is certainly not giving free money away. And as I am on a salaried contract, I make the same amount of money.

    I know some, not all, public school districts DO pay teachers for unused personal days/sick days so using them IS equivalent to giving free money away.
     
  15. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    That depends on the district.

    I prefer not to use them - to the extent possible (I've taken two days over the course of my career - one for a funeral of my mentor teacher who shaped who I am today [and even then, I went and helped in the classroom, before the funeral, of one of the teachers I used to sub for a lot], and one for my sister's graduation which was out of state and on a Saturday morning) - but we also get paid out for them. We can hold up to 5 at any given time (3 per year added), and can cash out others as we want. Obviously, those who don't get paid may have more desire to utilize them.

    To the OP: I think in general, a good rule of thumb is to feel free to use what you're given in a reasonable way that makes sense to you based on your particular situation. Everyone has a different situation, different personality, and as long as you're leaving quality sub plans and being smart with those days (i.e. following the requirements the district has around setting them up), then there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. And that's coming from someone who hates taking them :p
     
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  16. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    We get paid for unused sick days, but the personal days disappear. It is giving away free money because time=money in my book. If I make $70,000 for 180 days and I make the same $70,000 for 178 days, a simple math calculation shows I end up with less pay per day if I let the days go unused.

    That said, when I take them, I am always sure to take them on a day I can leave something easy for a sub, like a quiz or a review/practice day. I try not to take them on days where I acctually have content I need to deliver.
     
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  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    When I was in public school, I never had a problem using the personal days I earned. I worked 100% and more when I was there, so taking a day off for me a couple of times per year help rejuvenate me and rest up some. They never had anyone qualified in my classroom to replace me as a sub, so I just provided good plans that allowed the students to review necessary skills.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Agreed. Mathematically, that does make sense.
    And good strategic thinking about when you plan to take a personal day off. I just will never use mine as they serve no purpose for me.
     
  19. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    I think it is good to use them, but I rarely do. At my school, we have to request them 2 weeks in advance. We get paid a little for unused days, but it isn't a lot. I have taken off just 1 day this year so far because I am looking for a job and hope I have to use some days later on in the year for interviews.
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    What grade do you currently teach and where do you want to transfer to? Is your current placement not a good fit or is about the pay? Both? Else?
     
  21. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Yikes...those seem to be complicated math classes. I teach elementary math...lol
     
  22. Teacher234

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    I am allowed to use 10 days for personal circumstances, which includes illnesses. I am allowed an additional 5 days where I am required to come in to work, but am not in my classroom. I deter from taking personal days because my students have specific needs that the classroom teacher specializes in and understands how to address their needs. On ill days, my teacher aide usually takes over and the substitute teacher kind of does "teacher aide" tasks.
     
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  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Not really, haha! I make it fun and my students find my lectures/activities engaging, though they tend to still moan and gripe. They’re so dramatic!
     
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  24. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Wow....I am definitely glad that this is the case. I find higher level math scary. That must be why I teach elementary.
     
  25. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    I'm looking to move into administration. Nothing is wrong with my current place of employment, I am just ready for the change.
     
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  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    That’s wicked awesome. I’m jealous!!!

    I’m looking to move into administration eventually. Currently, I still have to take the CPACE, but once I do, I will start as a VP, work my way up to a principal position, and then eventually head on to a district office if given the chance. Ideally, I want to be an superintendent eventually because they make bank. For example, the superintendent in my home town was hated by certain teachers in the district because she made $270,000/year, which was more than what most doctors and the Governor of California made at the time.

    However, I idealize her and think she is absolutely brilliant. She is a math major like me and she’s very eloquent when she speaks. I admire her power and everyone looked up to her, even though they despised her salary package. She ended up working as the superintendent for 7 years, the longest ever for a superintendent in that district. She could have kept working, but she was eligible to retire making that and so there was no point for her continue working as she was maxed in pay. I hope to be just like her one day. She’s my hero, haha!
     
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  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    You shouldn't have to explain your personal days. We just request them and take them if approved. I don't get paid for unused days and they don't roll over to the next year so I definitely take them all.
     
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  28. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    I don't explain any days I take, I just take them when I want to........like next Friday.
     
  29. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Wooooow! #jelly
     
  30. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    How many do you get? What are you going to do on your day off?
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Everyone is replaceable. Life goes on in your absence....if one needs a personal day, take it. The ‘accepted’ reasons in my districts are personal, legal or family matters that cannot be handled outside school hours. We don’t get more specific than that.
     
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  32. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    We don't have any difference between sick or personal days- they're all "annual leave" days. Our contract states that leave days are supposed to be used for illness or for things that you can't do during off work hours (i.e. appointments, a house emergency, etc.) but we don't have to give a reason for taking the day off and can just enter our own absences into the sub system. Admin is not allowed to ask why we took the day off. The only exception is if it's a PD day or a day directly before/after a regular school break- those we need special permission for.

    Most years I do take a couple of "mental health" days. This year I haven't yet. Partially because I don't want to write sub plans and partially because I feel a little guilty- I already miss a lot of student time due to required meetings for my job. I also now tutor 3 days per week after school, and we don't get paid for that time if we're not there. I'm sure I'll end up taking a day at some point.

    Currently, our annual leave days roll over from year to year. There is a rumor going around that the district is planning to get rid of that starting next year, which I think is a horribly dumb idea. If the days become "use them or lose them" people are going to take way more, if not all of them! We get 12 days per year. The only year I even came close to taking that amount was last year when a close family member passed away and I had to go back to my hometown for a week and I got the flu in the same year. Most years I use maybe 3-4 days.
     
  33. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t really feel that I *need* a personal day. A personal day — for my life only — is more of a want than a need. As such, unless I am dying, incapacitated, involved in a motor-vehicle accident that prevents me from commuting to work, or stuck in a traffic jam, then I will dutifully show up every contracted day without fail.

    And according to all of my superiors (VP’s, P, CEO, and school board members), they worry if I ever take an extended leave of absence [1+ day(s)] because it would be crippling to the math and science programs. That is why I said what I said. For instance, I jokingly floated the idea of leaving last year just to see what would happen and I was later approached by the CEO and told, “You can’t leave. What can I do to get you to reconsider?” I laughed out loud because I was only kidding, but I still leveraged the situation to get a few added perks out of it. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  34. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I took three sick days last week, which was my only days missed this year besides jury duty. When I asked for an excuse through Friday, the doctor just smiled and told me to come back in Monday for another one. Sounds ominous. :eek:
     
  35. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    2 personal days. :(

    Probably get a nice meal, clean and sleep.
     
  36. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    We get three personal days a year and do not have to state a reason when we request them, so I do not. There are years I don't use any of them (they roll over into sick days) and some years I use 1 or 2 of them.
     
  37. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That said, given you have a schedule of all AP classes, those are the classes that can definitely afford a day or two with a sub as most of them are self-motivated and able to work without a teacher for a longer period of time.
     
  38. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Maybe one day, two days tops. But for my AP Calc BC and Calc 3 students, not beyond that, except for some of the more motivated/child prodigies I teach.
     

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