{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Interested in your thoughts on a new study stating that 28% of the nation’s teachers are “chronically absent” (defined as missing 10 or more days of school- personal and sick- not professional).", "post_id": "5caa9a11bd459c00203f7743", "reply_count": 61, "vote_count": 11, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Interested in your thoughts on a new study stating that 28% of the nation’s teachers are “chronically absent” (defined as missing 10 or more days of school- personal and sick- not professional).

likehelpfulfunny
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As modeled in other countries, taking off when sick to truly recover rather than popping a symptom masking pill, taking mental health days, and making care of family a priority (sick children and parents, being there for special childhood moments as a parent) is GOOD. It’s good for the economy, good for individuals, and good for businesses. Unless a person is being habitually lazy and not making up missed work responsibilities, there’s no reason to discourage taking days off. We do not have to be martyrs to do our jobs and we all know that we don’t just work 180 days per year.

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👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 yes!! Mental health days are so important yet overlooked.

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I believe many of you are taking this study as a direct hit to your off days that may have been taken for good reason. On the other hand, I have experienced working at a school where teachers close to retirement do not care to come to work when they can not manage their classrooms. Instead they use their tenure and saved sick days from over the years to miss majority of the school year. It was awful. No substitutes wanted to deal with the students, based on the perspective of teachers who talked negatively all the time. No substitute work was left. My class of 36 turned into a class of 41 when that teacher’s class was split among the other classes. The cases that this study speaks of do exist.

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I think it’s hilarious that someone took time out of their life to complete this study. When a teacher misses a day of work it’s not even a day off of work. The teacher is responsible for all the prep for that “sick day” and assuring the goals of that missed day were met. The person or group that felt the need to do this research and post it are oblivious to the demands placed on the modern teacher. They would’ve been ashamed to write such nonsense if they had any clue the work that is put in just take a sick day as a educator.

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For me, being absent is a lot more work than just going into school! I got influenza this year and was absent for 3 days in a row. Writing those sub plans while sick was just awful. I don’t think teachers want to be absent, but life happens!

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We work with kids and staff members that come to school sick all the time and expose us to their germs. We need sick days. We also need mental health days. 10 days doesn’t sound very chronic to me.

likeuplifting

Definitely agree about teachers needing a few mental health days.

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I can see that since we work with kids who are constantly sick. Especially first year teachers who haven’t built up their immune systems yet.

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Chronically absent. Sheesh. Cut us a break already

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I’ve seen and dealt with a teacher like this this year. She is constantly staying out due to her child being sick or herself. It’s becoming a huge nuisance. What’s more is she just emails or texts the day or night before without any sub preparation. I don’t agree with it, personally. Teachers should only be absent when absolutely necessary. We only work 9 months of the year 🤷🏽‍♀️

likehelpful

While the lack of sub preparation is not fair to those she works with, she cannot help herself or her child being sick. I am out of sick days already because my daughter had ear infections, ear tube surgery, the flu, etc. I can’t help that.

I definitely think we’re exposed to more sick germs than a lot of other professions...

likesmart

Why does it even matter?! We don’t get the same vacation as other jobs and this is SUCH hard work that we need to use those days!

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The exposure to so many germs PLUS having sick children equals missing days of school. There is no way around it. If parents would keep their sick kids home, that would help significantly. I have a child in the middle school and elementary school. My husband and I teach at the high school. We get everyone’s germs!!

likeuplifting

The nature of our jobs requires enormous amounts of energy, patience, and focus. We cannot work from home, leave early, or come in late. We are always “on” at work, and make thousands of decisions a day. Simple appointments take a huge amount of planning, both for logistics and sub plans.

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I’m definitely out of the classroom for health reasons 10 days of the school year. I battle chronic (and incurable) disease. I’m lucky to work still. One day that may not be the case though.

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Myself as well, I probably shouldn’t be teaching as I am pretty ill but I do need to pay my bills and with the chronic teacher shortages; especially in special education, taking the time off to maintain my health and sanity while filling a void that most likely would have been left vacant is what works for now. I also know many teachers who need “mental health “ days, as the many different battles they face and lack of support makes this job hard. Teachers are at higher risk for cancer then other professions; among other basic illnesses. Yes we need to be professional and responsible; so do our administrators and policy makers

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What about the impact teaching has on us emotionally? I rarely miss but it is way more stressful daily than when I started teaching in the late 90's.

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Last I checked, we were humans too, not robots. Given everything expected of us, I don’t see this as being outrageous

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I’d hazard a guess that in most dual parent families, the teacher has it easier to take a day off when the kid is ill or needs to attend an appointment. I absolutely miss more days this year due to my son than I did last year before I had him, and I don’t hesitate to take a day when he needs me

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Are there statistics on how often other industries’ workers are “chronically absent” at the same rate? For example, before teaching I worked in a law department with several employees were open about taking at least one day off per month. Or in the restaurant industry where I’ve also worked and had co-workers who missed a shift every other week. I agree with a prior poster - it’s harder to miss work than to go in sick for me. I missed two days with a strep/flu combo this winter and it was awful.

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I think part of the problem is that teachers have 15-18 allowed days off each year. Many teachers use the time they have. If more than 10 days is problematic, why give them? I suspect few teachers use more than they legitimately have earned...

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I’ve taken 6 days this year; 1 personal, 2 for being sick, and 3 sick days so I can stay home and grade. If I were given the opportunity to ask for a day to just sit somewhere quiet and grade in school, I would. Don’t think that 28% takes the work done outside of the classroom into account.

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Not everyone’s life revolves around a school calendar!

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Well I try to take 1 day (and only 1) of personal day off each month. It keeps me sane. If I'm not mentally there, I won't be mentally there for the kids.

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