Teacher sleeping during nap time?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Questions, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    When we are passionate about something, we sometimes can get snippy....understood. I've OFTEN done that on here!:eek: I think as teachers we all get very passionate about what we do and the children we teach.:love:
    Having been on this forum for well over a year though, I CAN tell you that those who replied to you are very caring, loving teachers. (not "tired" teachers who don't care;) ) None of them would EVER compromise the safety of the children in their care for a bit of shut eye. Their advice is heartfelt and caring......and after all, isn't that why we post questions on here? To get a point of view that maybe we hadn't thought of before?
    It is great you care so much for those little wee ones........they are lucky to have you, but please take in ALL the advice given here........I think everyone had very valid points.
    From your last post, I can see you understand that, and probably didn't mean to sound so "snippy" to those who replied.:)
     
  2. Questions

    Questions Rookie

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    :thanks: EVERYONE and :sorry: I BEHAVED RUDELY! (KinderKids-you are the voice of reason for me). Even the posts I didn't all together agree with have been helpful.

    So, on a clean slate:

    Thanks for everyones help! You know, I just couldn't let my husband be right. That has to count for something... :crosseyed
     
  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Kinder, you know very well that none of us are any good.
     
  4. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Too late Grammy...........I blew your cover!!!!!!!:cool: :love:
     
  5. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2006

    I teach 7th, but I taught little kids during camp. I would've loved to rest, but I didn't. I would just prop my head on the desk facing the kids so I could take the load off but watch them.....

    I smell a lawsuit......
     
  6. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    For the record -----I have never taken a nap at school. Like someone else stated I am way to busy to even think about taking a nap.
     
  7. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    I think a lot of us see and feel how much effort we put forth. Then, when confronted with someone who doesn't put forth the same effort, we anger easily. unfortunately, not everyone is like some of the people on this site. We have all seen, worked with and (most likely) been fit to be tied with teachers like who we feel. dont take things as seriously as us.
     
  8. Questions

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    I think you've nailed it. Like I mentioned earlier - I got the impression that the teacher who told me was hoping I would do something about it (since I'm an outsider).

    I'll just keep on the alert and I hope it was an isolated or reasonable situation that just felt wrong.

    There is this great saying: Ones perception is ones reality.

    So lets all hope my perception is off this time.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    I know once when I was a first year teacher I was so tired from being sick, but we worked where we didn't get subs, so if I left school the other teachers would have to take my kids so I let the office know that when my kids were at P.E. I was going to put my head down and sleep for 15 minutes. I set a timer, woke up and kept on going...

    The office didn't have a problem and were just thrilled that I wasn't going to leave............

    Kelly :)
     
  10. Questions

    Questions Rookie

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    Well, I had the chance today but didn't mention it. I hope I will see a better side of this teacher...perhaps it was just a particularily bad week for them, that I was privy to. Atleast, that is what I'm now hoping.
     
  11. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I am still confused on one thing. Was the teacher on HER time or was she responsible for the children at that time?
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 7, 2006

    Sometimes it is awfully hard not to nod off if the kids are all resting or you are all watching a movie - I sometimes yawn all through story time because I am getting so relaxed and SLEEPY. But, when you are in charge of the kids, you can't be sleeping.

    I go to work almost every day without enough sleep. It is just my life. I can't stay home every time I didn't get enough sleep or I wouldn't have a job. I have insomnia and there is nothing I can do about it.

    If a teacher is tired or just needing some quiet time with his/her eyes closed, to unwind or get the blood pressure down, how could it be wrong to go to the lounge and rest?? It might be a little embarrassing to actually fall asleep - drooling, etc. :) - but I don't see anything wrong with going to a private place on a break for a rest or quick nap. ???????? But not when you are in charge of the kids.
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Nov 7, 2006

    Last summer, I worked at a day camp type thing, and I almost always had my afternoon duty in the media room (we were supposed to rotate, but the other adults hated it in there). There weren't enough chairs, so we all sat on the floor with the lights out watching movies. One afternoon I nodded off (not even for a minute, but enough to scare me). The rest of the summer I made myself stand in the back of the room if the lights were off! ;)
    What I'm trying to say is, although I don't think it's ok to sleep while you're responsible for your group, it can be hard when the lights are out and everything is quiet!
    (I did nap sometimes when I nannied, but I'd usually hold Danny in my lap while he napped, so I could doze off. But I'm a really light sleeper, and I think that is a completely different situation...)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Well I'm from a district where PROFESSIONALISM is valued. Yes, we have couches and a TV in our lounge. The TV is only on when there is some ground-breaking news that we must see on a break away from children (political announcments, 911 come to mind) I've only seen ONE teacher ONCE reclining on the couch- she was not feeling well and did not come to school the next day. It's important for teachers to eat well, sleep well and stay healthy. If ABSOLUTELY necessary on a RARE occasion maybe I would go put my feet up for 15 minutes. But bottom line my 'breaks' are PREP periods. That means I am 'prep'-aring for my next teaching session, or planning, or responding to district email, or meeting with colleagues. I am not watching TV, I am not sleeping...
    The original situation sounded like the teacher was sleeping while the kids were sleepilng and still under her care. That is negligent. I wouldn't 'rat her out' but would express my concerns to her in something like the following manner:' Susie- if you are ever tired and need to rest let me know- I'll keep an eye on your class while you go get some fresh air, take a walk, revive....'
     
  15. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I've worked both in daycare settings and in elementary schools and I just thought I'd add that I think there is a major difference between the two when it comes to this issue. If I saw a colleague at the school where I work sleeping during a break I would definitely think it was odd. Our breaks are used for planning and other things. However, at the after school/summer program (daycare) where I worked it was not out of the ordinary for someone to grab a beanbag chair and take a nap in another room on their lunch break. We had no planning, grading or any other responsibilities during our lunch break and many times we would eat with the children so there would be nothing to do during that time. I'm not saying that one group of people is more professional than the other, but the responsibilities are just different. I'm not a "nap" person really so I never slept, but I know many people that did and I never thought it was a big deal.
    Again, they were never responsible for any children while they were on break and sleeping.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it's hard for us to say what's right and wrong, not knowing the full circumstances.

    I think we can all agree that a teacher who sleeps while responsible for kids is being negligent at best.

    But as to breaks: none of us knows exactly what' going on with this person at home. She may be in the first trimester of pregancy, when your body just CRAVES sleep. She may be taking care of a dying parent-- trust me: you simply do NOT sleep for days on end. She may have a newborn at home-- remember those days of feedings every 3 hours??? She may be in the midst of a horrible divorce and worried about her future. One of her kids may be awaiting a diagnosis. No one, not even the original poster, knows the exact circumstances.

    Again, sleeping while responsible for kids is just wrong. If that's the case, perhaps the OP can ask if there's any way she can help-- cover the odd class until things settle or something?

    But sleeping during breaks: I've never done it, but there have been lots of times when a nap would have been the best thing in the world for me. If it's during a break when the kids are with someone else, what's the harm?

    Edited to add: I do have one more concern: the teacher who told you that someone else had been asleep. If there was a real cause for concern, shouldn't THAT person be the one who goes to the director? After all, presumably, SHE has seen the problem. You're going on hearsay: someone else's comment and a yawn & stretch. Tha't circumstantial at best. Unless I'm misreading your post, you didn't actually see the person asleep; your colleague did. Perhaps she's the one you should talk to-- she could fill in some of the gaps for the director.

    It sounds as though she is just trying to stir up trouble. If she were really concerned, she would go to the director, not to a new teacher, for help.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I couldn't care less what other teachers do on their breaks, personally.
     
  18. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    I am the Director/Teacher of a Preschool. (I teach two classes of 15 children). My number one responsibility is the safety of the children. If teachers fall asleep and sleeping/waking children are not supervised safety is an issue. This needs to be addressed with the teachers.
     
  19. angilline

    angilline Rookie

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    I just wanted to add my own two cents to this situation. I am a teacher and have a medical condition which is considered a disability. By law the school must accomodate my disability if I would choose to pursue it by allowing me to take a nap during the day whether it be at "prep" time, lunch time, or another time during the day.

    If I was an administrator and someone reported to me that they heard about a teacher sleeping at an inappropriate time, then they stated that they saw them stretching and yawning, I would view that person as unprofessional for not knowing all the circumstances before bringing the situation to me. I teach my first graders that just because someone tells them something about another doesn't make it true. I also teach them that they should first try to resolve a problem on their own before bringing it to me. So, please don't go by hearsay and maybe go directly to the source of your concern. Maybe that person has a logical excuse such as a medical condition.
     
  20. MissWull

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    I agree with Dzenna. Children need to be supervised at all times, even when they are sleeping because ANYTHING can happen at anytime. I don't think it's appropriate for anyone to be "sleeping on the job" and that's technically what they would be doing!
     
  21. tracieann

    tracieann Rookie

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    I used to work at a daycare/preschool setting where several of the teachers (almost regularly) fell asleep in the classroom during nap time. It was disturbing to me, but the other classroom teachers did NOT leave the children otherwise unattended. It's not fair to make the other teachers take the responsibility when that time (not on break) should be spent prepping.

    On the other hand, after a car accident 2 1/2 years ago which has made a full night's rest impossible for me, I totally understand the feeling of needing a nap, especially with my current sweet but VERY demanding class of 3's and 4's. They can be exhausting. (I work 7:30am to 4 pm!) However, I chose this profession and LOVE IT! I need to rise to the needs and my own expectations for my class.

    Someone who sleeps every day and yells at their class is burned out and needs to consider a new job. Preschool and daycare can be exhausting and strenuous but SO important to the children's future and well-being. Someone who yells is not setting a good example and sets a neative tone for the classroom.
     
  22. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I worked in a cup factory for 13 years, on third shift. If anyone was caught asleep, even on break, they were walked out and their employee badge was confiscated. I only remember one person being given a second chance, and they blew that, too.

    This should be a no brainer where children are concerned.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The thing is, though, that the teacher wasn't caugh asleep. She was caught yawning and stretching. At least that's how I understand the original post.
     
  24. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Also, it may have happened only one time. Once when I worked at a day care I fell asleep with the two yrs olds. It only happened once and there was always two of us in the room. I had a sinus infection but didn't know it. The director was the one that finally said she thought I may have a sinus infection. She didn't fire me. She just told me to got to the doctors. The next day I went to the doctors after I woke up and couldn't even lift my head. Now if the person is sleeping every day, that is another story. But if it happened once and she was on break, well give her a break. Now I couldn't even imagine sleeping at school.
    I have had a couple of students fall asleep during DEAR time (my first and second graders).
     
  25. Troods

    Troods Rookie

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    As a therapeutic nursery supervisor I applaude your suggestion czacza. The approach is sensitive, nonblaming, and creates good will between a teacher and her peer in situations where a person needs to get some cold water on the face or take a breath of fresh air. In fact, when our classroom teacher is without a co-teacher, my co-supervisor or I will sometimes sit in for a teacher while she/he takes a much needed 5 minutes.

    Of course, if any problem behavior is repetitive, the director or supervisor should know. My co-supervisor and I meet with the teacher, find out what the circumstances are and then do some problem solving. We also raise it as a topic in staff meeting (without mentioning the staff member's name) and everyone can problem solve together. HOWEVER, and I do stress this......my first obligation is to the children. If a staff member is physically or emotionally unable to do the job and keep the children safe, then I have to deal strongly with it. This is not a paper pushing job (I know sometimes it feels like it). If you lose a memo it's rough. If a child is hurt by our personal situations, it is disaster.

    We, by the way, do a lot of staff training to handle the situations which result in teachers' anger being unleashed at the kids. Training and practice are the most important solutions to how we react in the classroom. I definitely prefer it to firing :angel:
     
  26. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Well said Troods.
     
  27. Troods

    Troods Rookie

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    Thanks so much Jamie Marie. Happy to be here around good, dedicated and smart folks.
     
  28. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    The thought of an adult who was responsible for the safety and welfare of my children, even THINKING SERIOUSLY about nodding off while on duty, makes my skin crawl. I can't think of any good reason for it, and if someone has a disability that requires a nap, then that person has no business being put in charge of little children.

    You blink off for thirty seconds, and a little child can climb out the window and sit down in the highway. And it would be your fault, entirely.

    This whole topic creeps me out. Why would an adult, in charge of children, feel entitled to nap while on duty?

    On the other hand, a teacher whose break was spent completely out of the sight of children, might understandably doze for a few minutes. Just be sure to set your alarm, and get your yawning and stretching out of your system before anybody sees you.

    A work day is just that: a work day. If you require a nap, get some other job.
     
  29. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Well, I think in MOST jobs....that is grounds for dismissal! I guess in teaching it isn't???
    :rolleyes:
     
  30. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Accomodations

     
  31. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I agree. Personally, and this is just my opinion, anyone who required a nap every day to function properly is not fully capable to being responsible for the children and would not get hired by me. I consider that an unsafe situation and when you are talking about the teaching profession, it's impossible many times to accomodate something like that. I would not consider it reasonable, IMHO.
     
  32. sdj284

    sdj284 Rookie

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    Sometimes this may happen but a teacher shouldn't plan to sleep in the room with the kids and when you are at work you shouldn't be sleeping. I have taken a nap when I get home . Little ones can make you very tired.
     
  33. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    some people have suggested that it would frowned upon to go to a director...to tattle, if you will. Personally, I think that it is the directors job to know what is going on at their center. So, I don't feel the need to go and report whatever or whoever. But, I do have to question why anyone would feel, as a director, that someone going and giving the information to the best of their knowledge is wrong. We teach children to use thier words and to confront the problem with the correct people. It is not the op's job to sit down with the employee and discuss whether or not she was sleeping, that is the directors job. So, if she/he had gone into the directors office, stated the facts, not his or her opinion, then what would have been the problem?
     
  34. MissWull

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    There should be absolutely no excuse for sleeping...in any setting, in any job...! You take the job you choose or in some situations you just need it, but regardless it is a no brainer (as was mentioned above)...people should not sleep on the job under any circumstance. We all work long hours, etc. at some point in our lives, but sleep is for home...not work.
     
  35. angilline

    angilline Rookie

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    I have been diagnosed recently with Narcolepsy and believe me it is hard and not fun. I did not choose this disability and it did not appear until after I was in my senior year of college. Like many of you, teaching is a calling for me. I would love to make more money doing something else but I would never love anything as much as I do teaching. My narcolepsy is completely manageable with medication and a strict sleep schedule. "Reasonable accommodatations" would be to allow me to take a nap if needed during a time where I am not responsible for students. I find it unbelievable at some of the responses and feeling of being personally attacked.

    It would make my skin crawl even more to know that some people as insensitive as some of those in this forum would be responsible for my children!

    I am not only a GREAT teacher and responsible for first graders all day but I am a mother of two young children (ages 4 and 2). I AM FULLY CAPABLE of being responsible for children and take offense to the above comment as well as a few others.

    Just to clarify the situation further for those who would like to know, I do not sleep in the room with my class. I rarely take naps because I just have too much to do but often need to before going home. SO, if I decide to shut the door and take a nap when they are at lunch or recess then I do not see why that would be a problem.

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Exactly how I thought it sounded as if the other person was trying to stir up trouble.
     
  36. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Nobody is attacking you. I'm sorry you feel that way, I truly do. :sorry: It's just people's opinion (in a general statement too), which everyone is entitled to have. It's not a belittling or attacking opinion, it's merely just a general opinion. Nobody ever said you were a bad teacher. My whole point is the safety of the children, and to be honest I had something much worse in mind before you explained yourself. My cousin is a great driver, and she has epilepsy. Does that mean she should be allowed to drive? Unfortunately she refuses to give up her license and has gotten into 5 accidents in the last year because of it. Luckily nobody has been hurt YET. Does that make it safe for the others on the road? I put that on the same level. It seems like your condition is manageable, which is great, but if it disrupted your job and was not manageable, as a director/boss I would categorize it as unsafe. (ETA) I'm sure you would agree that if you found yourself falling asleep while being responsible for the children, you would agree it would be unsafe, right? I am sure there are people with your condition that can not manage it like you can. Again, sorry if anyone is upsetting you, but it is merely a general opinion and nobody was attacking you, and the point everyone is making is that sleeping WHILE you are responsible for the children is unsafe. If anyone needed to stick around after their shift to take a nap somewhere, I would never have a problem with it. :)
     
  37. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    seriously, There can not be a veteran teacher in the world who has not had their schedule interupted by something personal. These moments are moments where we act less than professional, no reason to fry anyone. The director should be aware if this is a regular thing, if they are not aware than that is the negligence of the director. Remember, someone hired this person, someone is supposed to be responsible for the supervision of this person.

    I think that some people are making "less than open" statements. IDEA and ADA are two acts with which directors need to know and familiarize themselves. The thought process is dangerous. Instead of thinking of how a differences create problems, we need to think of how can we make this work most efficiently. I agree that, in some situations, accomodations are completly unfeasible. And, for your center this may be true, but for a lot of centers it is not true. Often people think of physical differences as problems, I am not saying that anyone in this forum has reflected that opinion, but I believe angilline has read that in some of the posts.

    I think even though we may not conciously have put that energy out there, perhaps angilline sends us a message to analyze ourselves and if nothing else be more careful how we word our responses.
     
  38. Mamacita

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    When I was in high school, we had a teacher who had narcolepsy. Almost every time he sat down, and once in a while while he was standing up in the middle of a sentence, WHAM, he was out like a light. The second he started snoring, the whole class climbed out the windows and played frisbee in the streets, and nobody ever said a word about us being out there. We posted a guard and when he showed signs of stirring, he gave us the high sign and we climbed back up the side of the limestone building (toeholds!) and were back in our seats by the time he was finished stretching and yawning. He never caught us, not once, and I don't think he was even aware of what we were doing when he was asleep. When he woke up, it was like no time at all had passed for him. Once, at a meeting, he fell asleep in a folding chair and fell on the floor. He slept soundly there for about fifteen minutes, woke up, climbed back in his chair, and started talking about the topic that was being discussed BEFORE he passed out. Not good.

    My former school had a teacher who fell asleep at intervals during the school day. His kids couldn't climb out, but while he was sleeping, they ran absolutely WILD inside that room, in dead silence. It was artistic in its choreography. They went through his desk drawers, changed grades in his gradebook, played games on the computers. . . . .you name it.

    If teens and pre-teens do these things when a teacher is sleeping, what do you think a little child might do? Walk out the door? Into the street? Wander the hallways? Wet his pants because nobody was awake enough to see a waving hand? Think it's socially permissable to sleep on the job?

    I'm sorry you have this disability, but I do not think it is one that makes you safe to be in charge of little children. If my child came to harm while you were being accommodated, I would sue.

    I have muscular dystrophy, and because of my medication, sunlight is poisonous to me. I wore a hat and long sleeves on outdoor duty, because teaching is not a profession where one can pick and choose preferences in the course of the teaching day, and to ask someone else to take that duty would not have been either professional or nice. I also adapted my medication schedule to the school day; that took a couple of months and I wasn't sure I could make it but I did.

    I'd tell you about accommodating the bathroom pressures for that medication and for that condition but some of you might be eating.

    Our principal used to take a two-hour nap every afternoon, down in the janitor's boiler room. I don't think there was a person in the building who had a shred of respect for him, in spite of all his jolly ho ho ho's about siestas and how rested principals were the best principals.

    No disability can be tolerated or accommodated if it means one single child could take advantage of it. We either adapt or we find other work. We are the adults. WE adapt. Schools are set up for the well-being of children, not us.

    The teacher next to me was legally blind. She often said that the one instance where a child escaped from her room, would be the day she walked out and never went back. And she bought her own huge magnifying machine for reading essays.

    Sorry. Nobody who might possibly sleep while on duty has any business being in charge of a child. Maybe as an aide, with supervision against mishaps, but not fully in charge.

    I do not intend to be 'mean.' I intend that the children be sharply watched over every second of the day. Anyone who is unable to do that should not be there.
     
  39. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Jan 4, 2007


    With this logic, you might as well insist that people not have children. sleep is a necessity, we all require it, though some people require medication and a very disciplined schedule to maintain that alertness which I know I take for granted. If you have ever worked sick, worked tired, worked stressed, or, hey, even worked with muscular dystrophy, you were taking a chance. To suggest that a perfectly respectable, well disciplined person should not be given the same chance is rediculous. If the requests for accomodations were unfeasible, well then there is a reason. But asking for breaks during the day is no reason not to hire someone. Bottom line, any person "might possibly sleep on the job." I agree, that is an offense that should probably cost someone thier job. But don't let your past experiences guide you into prejudice.
     
  40. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Jan 4, 2007

    Tigers and Angilline, Yes, we all have had our schedules interrupted by personal issues- sick children, aging parents, spouses, illness, etc. So, I really don't think anyone responding to the link was reacting to the need for flexibility and accommodations. We've all needed them and received them, its a part of life. Instead, I think the posters were reacting to thought of a teacher being allowed to take a nap "during breaks, lunch, or another time during the day". Lunch and recess are fine, but the original posting described a teacher sleeping in the presence of children and "another time during the day" suggests the same. I think the posters expressed shock at the thought of a teacher sleeping when she is responsible for the supervision and welfare of children.
     

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