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So what's the mystery illness? And good for you for not polluting everybody!


truth or dare?

truth : okay, the reason that people don't use sick leave is that:

a) they are saving it up so they can take time off when they or their partner has a baby


b) they are saving it up because the county reimburses them for unused sick days when they retire - allowing them to retire with a pension plus roughly a year's salary in unused sick days if they play their cards right.

hmmm, do the right thing and stay home when ill or load up on advil so you can take an extended european vacation with that extra 50(or more)grand?

don't feel guilty. get better.


I'm sort of guilty of this. I do come to work when I am sick, but not on my death bed. I tend to get things like losing my voice and since I'm a choir teacher I'm pretty useless at work. I had perfect attendance last year and as a result I am duty free for the whole year. It is wonderful. And I keep telling myself that if I am sick I will take the days and not obsess about perfect attendance this year (perfect so far). But I wonder what would really happen if I needed to take the days. It would be really hard. I hope you feel better soon.


I used to rarely take a sick day. In some ways, it was more of a hassle to be home sick than to be in my classroom; having to deal with the lesson plans that a sub might be able to handle, getting the kids back to "normal" after being out for a day or two. Ya, being compensated for unused sick days when you retire is great. For you new teachers out there; I suggest building up a bank of hours for when you really need them.....someday. IF you make teaching a 30-40 year career, someday, you will probably need more than the ten sick days per year you get with your contract. Much better to have those days in the "bank" than to lose out on regular salary.
And, if you have been teaching for awhile, there are times when you really do need a "mental health" day ( and sometimes, your students need a break from you too).

Get Well.

Expat Nomad

When I taught in California, I was granted 10 sick days per year and I used at least 3 of them every year. Either actual sickness or 'mental health days' were my rationale but you need that break from your classroom/

After 6 years in the US system, I took a job in an international school in Europe. I am granted 1 personal day per year (which does not accrue over time) and yet I don't need it. Reason why? Different schedule. We start in early August (the 11th this year) and get out in mid-June but the key is the vacation time. Every 6-8 weeks, there is a vacation of at least 1 week built into the calendar. It does wonders for your mental and physical state of mind. After teaching on this type of schedule, it makes returning to US public schools a bleak prospect.

So take your sick days, enjoy the hacking and wheezing that accompany your time away from your kids. Just think of it as a mini-vacation from work. And drink lotsa Nyquil.


Teachers, by nature, are kind of control freaks. We love to control our class, especially. I try hard to let go and take time when I need it. You are a better (nicer) teacher when you don't show up when you shouldn't be there. Stay home and get better. You can't teach with an i.v. anyway!


And the answer is: pneumonia. If you click on the picture, it gives you an up close look at what my ick looks like.

Feeling superbetter today. Sometimes antibiotics are my good, good friend.


Feel better! I'm very neurotic about using sick days. I have never at the place I'm at now and in November I was dying. Part of it is control. I feel like I need to be there so they don't find out what an awful teacher I really am. I'm not actually an awful teacher. In fact. some days I feel like I'm awesome. But there's this nagging feeling that I'm really a fake teacher and people might find out. Silly, right?


Duty free for perfect attendance?? I'd be there every day! What a great idea! But I get nothing but the joy of 10 carry over days if I have perfect attendance, so I save mine for fun days off. Or if I'm really really sick. I'm I just have a cold, it's not worth it to write out sub plans and then have to deal with the fall out from said sub the next day.


I used to go to work and teach, no matter what my condition, because my perception was that a good teacher shows up to the classroom, no matter what.

Now-a-days, I'm a bit more gentle on myself, mainly because:

1. Spreading whatever I have to the school population isn't compassionate or responsible

2. Some days, I'm not doing anyone any good by going to school, and then I take a "mental health" day.


So, whenever a colleague is debating over whether or not she's fit to teach the next day, I say, "Stay home. You're human. And humans sometimes get sick, and humans can't be 'on' 100% of the time."

We teachers are far, far too hard on ourselves.

(PS I teach at an international school. Come visit my blog!)


I agree with the commenter about why we save our sick dasy. LOL I too am guilty of yelling at kids for coming to school sick and not taking care of themselves, all the while I am hoarding Kleenex in my pockets. I missed school for sickness twice...once was the flu and it lasted one entire week. I now get the flu shot. The last time my back gave out and I had no choice...I couldn't walk. That was a week too. I remember those weeks and they still haunt me. So, I still go until I am flat on my back and can't walk. It's more work for a sub than to stick (or sick) it out.


If you had tried to go to school being that sick I would have to get out my big wooden spoon. I can't quit my job again! Glad you are better. Take your vitamins. Love, Mom


Being sick as a teacher really sucks, especially in my school. We have NO capable subs so basically you can write off any time you missed teaching. Plus you often find the kids brains have turned to mush by the time you return.


I have yet to build up my immunity to all those sick germs floating about in schools; therefore, the minute a snotty hand comes near me, I get sick. And I'm sure, especially as a first year teacher next year, that I will NOT want to take even ONE day off due to illness. I am not looking forward to the suffering . . . I can barely stand my office job when I go to work sick. And with this job, all I do is SIT IN A CHAIR for eight hours. How does anyone teach while sick?!?


This brought back memories of one of my elementary school teachers, teaching with laryngitis so severe that she couldn't even whisper and had to write everything on the blackboard. She normally wrote almost everything she said up there anyhow - but silent teaching must have been even rougher than normal on the dislexic kid. (This was so long ago that no one knew about dislexia. We all just thought he was stupid...)

I'm not a teacher, but it's the same in most jobs with real responsibility. You don't want to let down the people who depend on you to do your part of the work, and you don't want to deal with the mess someone else is likely to make of your work, so if you're functioning at all, you want to come in. OTOH, spraying other people with cold, flu, or pneumonia germs is hardly doing them any favors.

And then sometimes there are special reasons to keep going. When I was in Air Force basic training, I caught a cold that just kept getting worse. About two weeks before graduation, I started avoiding sick call - I figured that if a doctor got a look at me, I'd be hospitalized and then have to start boot camp over. So I ran the final obstacle course with what was probably full-blown pneumonia, but I made it...


Towards the end of my first year teaching, I got seriously sick. I was so sick, in fact, that I couldn't stop throwing up as I was explaining my lesson plans to my dept. head. I had not missed a single day all year, and it was late April. I remember calling in to the administrator in charge of subs, a kindly older gentleman, who said, "Well, okay, honey, but I'm not sure we'll be able to find a sub for you today."

He held on as I threw up once more into the trash can between my legs. Then I replied, "I really don't care."

Take care and get better soon.

Papero de Sabana Sur

so that's the matter ...

coach purses

The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.

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