Monday, September 14, 2009


I tore a muscle (coughing) in my side so this won't be long. But it reminded me of trying to teach on crutches. I sprained my ankle in my 5th year teaching and had to be put on crutches for a few weeks. I didn't get workers' comp even though it happened at school because it was my own dumb fault. I tried my best to teach on crutches (almost impossible to teach 3rd grade on crutches). I took as few days off as possible.

However, one should never underestimate the guilt trip potential of educational administrators. If you're sick and you take a day off, you are sometimes told to get better but more often than not asked if you're really sick and if you really need that time off. (people in other districts have experience with that or no?)

So, I tried to schedule all my doctor's appointments for after school but of course we had meetings. So sometimes I had to choose between missing school and missing a meeting (always miss the meeting if possible). Which then entitled me to a lecture about how I really needed to be committed to these kids. When, by the way, I was the (at that point) second teacher in seniority at age 28. Right. No commitment to the kids.

Also, the administration wouldn't help me with anything. I still had to teach PE on crutches (no matter that there were teachers who volunteered to do it for me). I still had to walk them across the playground (the big empty "playground") even though there were teachers and aides who would do it for me. And when I did take a couple of days off because I was experiencing so much pain in my arms and back from trying to do everything on crutches, I got another nice lecture.

Anyone else have experience with this or was this just my school/district?


Anonymous said...

My experience has been very different than yours. I think this has to do more with the individual admin than "the district."

The amount of sick days that we get plus personal days are mighty generous, on top of the vacation we get through the year. Of course, how an admin responds to a request for a day off can very quite a bit from person to person. I've been lucky to have mostly supportive and competent admins.

Although I took very few sick days in my years in the district, I got a ton of support when I most needed it. Most recently, I had a lot of support when I applied for FMLA (from my admin, that is, not so much from HR) to care for my father who was dying from cancer. For that, I am deeply grateful.

B said...

It's interesting - our amount of sick days and personal days was also generous but every time we'd try to take it, the guilt would come.