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teachers- sick/personal days...

I was just reading another post in here where people were encouraging taking a sick day/personal to go on an interview.  While I totally agree that's the rational thing to do... I am a teacher and I know this would not be OK with my principal.  We are strictly allowed to take sick days only when we are truly sick and personal days are to only be used for "real" emergencies- funerals and the like.  In my first year, I took a personal day for a 3 day weekend to go on a little road trip with friends, and was told by other teachers to keep my mouth shut about it or I could get in big trouble.

I'm thinking this is largely due to the huge inconveniences that occur when teachers are absent (substitutes, writing sub plans, the need for consistency with kids, etc....)

Is this the same with other teachers, or is it just my school?  Just wondering....

Re: teachers- sick/personal days...

  • The same..

    And even when we are legit sick we get a hard time.

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  • At my school it depends on your relationship with your admin. I went to Disney during American Ed week last year and my AP knew about it.
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  • Wow, I'm really surprised by most of these responses!

     At my school, a personal day is a personal day . . . meaning it's no one else's business.  We get 2 personal days a year and the first one we take needs no explanation.  It's actually called an Entitlement Day.  If we take the 2nd one in the same year, we need to disclose why.  Most teachers take both personal days each year because they can't get carried over, but sick time can be carried over.

    I was also able to use 40 of my accumulated sick days to get 8 weeks of paid time off for my maternity leave this past year.

  • We get 10 sick days to use a personal or otherwise.  It's a very challenging/ emotionally demanding district. They also encourage us to use the days as mental health days.

    We have separate leave for bereavement and other sporadic life events. 

  • We get a certain number of sick days and personal days. It's ridiculous that they're giving you a hard time about using them because they're "personal." You are given a certain number of days and as long as you use them they should not give you a hard time.

    I've never taken a personal day, and each year use about 2 or 3 of my sick days over the year. I'm sure if I asked to use a personal day, they wouldn't care. 

  • This is where my school is so very special, but we are a charter and we get to do that ;)

    We have the requisite 10 sick days/year (accrues over time) and 3 personal days.

    HOWEVER, we do not have a sub system in place like large districts do. Either parents volunteer, or we the mighty teachers jump in and give up our plans (or sometimes stack classes) to cover for the sick teacher. In return, because we do this so often, I believe they often waive some sick days. I usually only take one or two a year (fairly healthy constitution, plus after 6 years you've just about had it all) but some of the younger teachers take more because they get sick more.

    Personal days are not a big deal as long as you ask politely for the time off and do it in advance, not the day before. I've taken a day off in the fall for OU-TX and they gave me no grief. It does get a bit troublesome in the spring when I'm gone for a lot of teaching-related events such as journalism conferences with the kids, band contests, etc. but they have to deal with it if they want active programs ;)

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  • We get 14 sick dasy only for when we are really sick and 2 personal days. The personal days can be used for whatever and we don't get grief about sick days. I got strep from kids, that's not what I wanted. GL!
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  • Sick days I think are 10.  Current principal wouldn't give anybody grief.  I know some people take them off for 'whatever'--mental health day, etc...I think it's a don't tell kind of thing.  We also get 2 personal days which are for anything you want--the only time it's a big deal is if you're trying to take them off next to an already established break--i.e. Spring Break.  You can accrue personal days to 4 or 5 I think, and you lose them after that point if you don't use them.
  • That is crazy!  Our personal and sick days are the same thing.  We are never discouraged or asked why we need to take time off. They do encourage us to let them know as far in advance as possible but don't give us a hard time if we are sick/have an emergency the morning of.  I take 1 or 2 mental health days every year for my own sanity.  I don't abuse the time I take off but I've never had a guilt trip for asking off either.
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  • Contractually we get 12 sick days and 5 personal days.  When using sick days as long as we don't use 3 or more consecutively we don't need a doctors note, for the third day out you must have a doctors note.  For personal days, the first three are just that personal, we don't have to disclose what they are for.  For the first 3 only 2 of them can be on a Monday or Friday, to extend the weekend.  The last 2 personal days we must give a reason and it must be approved by our assistant superintendent.  Even though we get all these days it is understood that use are not suppose to use all 5 personal days if you do a negative note will be included in your file.
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  • Just to add..we get 15 sick days a year and 3 personal days. All personal days must be approved. If you use more than 6 sick days in a year your name goes on "the list" and you need to be spoken to by administration. After having pneumonia my talk with my principal went like this "This is dumb. I know why you were out. This is your talk. Have a good day."

    The policy reads that though we are given 15 days we are meant to bank the majority of them for major life situations such as maternity leave, surgery, etc. However, kind of does make sense because we are capped at how many we can use for maternity leave. blah.

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    Jenny McCarthy = Former Playmate and MTV host
    Pediatrician = Doctor with extensive experience and education on children.
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    I know who I get my health advice from!
    What are you looking at?
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  • I teach for a social services agency so we don't have a sub system.  But I do have 7 other staff members in my room (teach special ed preschool with a high 1:1 ratio) so if I'm out sick my assistant jumps in.  We get 1 sick day/month accumulating that you can keep year to year and 3 personal days.  I usually just take personal time in hour chunks to go home early (kids leave at 3 I have to stay till 4).  That said June is a mess because everyone saves their personal time and since we  loose it at the end of the year everyone starts looking for 3 and 4 day weekends.  This year I had staff out every Monday and Friday, it was a mess.  Next year we're going to have to go about it differently. 

    My admin acutally asked me to take time off, since it was my time to use.  It does roll into sick time and since we are TTC I just let it roll over, I'll use it eventually.  Our culture is very much "it's your time, use it".

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  • We get unlimited sick days (I know I know I'm very lucky) and 3 personal days which are exactly that--personal days.  I also get 10 family sick days
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    I'm astonished at some of these policies, especially at schools with no sub system in place. 

    FWIW, we receive 6 sick and 6 personal days per year.  No one questions sick days unless you repeatedly use them Mondays/Fridays or after holidays.  We do have to get personal days cleared through our Principal, but he'll pretty much rubber-stamp anything as long as you have sub coverage.  I used two years worth of personal days last spring to take a trip to England, and he was totally fine with it.  

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  • By law, you can use your personal days for what every you want, as long as you follow your schools/district's policy for requesting such.  Sick days should be used for family/personal sicknesses or dr. appointments, maybe even "mental health" days.  When I take a sick day and am not sick (like the time I took a sick day and had an entire date day with my husband) I keep my mouth shut.  Whether or not you share what you do when you take personal days depend on your school and how petty/grizzled/bitchy/ the others are.  Even though I am at a great school with great teachers around me, I never give fuel to those who would stab me in the back at school.  I may tell people, but I NEVER rub in what I was doing.  "We went to the lake and I got to ski for the first time and got sooo drunk" is not what others want to hear.  It is better to stay. "We went to the lake.  It was fun, but I got eaten by misquotes.  Ugh."  That is the technique I use.

    Good Luck!

  • I take personal days when I need them (vacations, interviews). that's what they're for. It sucks to make sub plans but it is what it is. And FYI, your school can't require you to tell them what your personal day is for...they're "personal"
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  • We get 10 days, 2 of which are personal. Personal days need to be approved ahead of time. Sometimes I take them as sick, just so I don't risk getting a "no." You're really not supposed to do that, but I don't tell anyone I'm not sick. After 3 sick days in a row, you need a dr. note. Our admin is usually flexible, but if you take off a lot he won't be happy. I took off 4 days one month, because of presurgery appts. and I got the stomach flu, unrelated. He didn't bother me, but I sent a letter explaining anyway.
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  • i'd have to look up exactly how many of each day we get; i've accrued so many, it doesn't really matter.  hmmm, maybe i'll just stay home for a whole month this school year and get paid.  i'm sure they wouldn't mind!

    we can use our sick days however we want.  if you're sick, fine.  if you want a day off, fine.  if i'm taking the day off, i make sure i have a sub lined up and committed to that day.  if i don't get a sub, i don't take the day off.  but if i'm truly sick, i will try to get my request in asap, and i always have some sub plans hanging on my whiteboard in a folder marked "SUB PLANS."

    personal days are supposed to be approved ahead of time, but it doesn't seem like it's absolutely imperative that we do so.  i've only requested 3 personal days in the 11 years i've been there, one for a funeral and 2 for vacation.  i do know that sometimes teachers will put a nice form of "none of your business" on the form and get it approved.

    fun story: we used to have 3 days at thanksgiving off, but we're not supposed to take the three days leading up to the break off or the three days after it's over off.  that's in the teacher's handbook.  but a principal can make an exception if he or she wants to.  so one of my team members decided to schedule their wedding and honeymoon during the break.  they submitted the personal day form -- with explanation -- to take the monday after the holiday off due to traveling back from the honeymoon, and the principal from hades we had at the time denied it.  my team member called in sick anyway.  luckily, that principal didn't last long.

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  • We get 10 sick days and 2 personal days.  At the end of the year, the personal days become sick days and everything rolls over.  I've never gotten any grief for days I've taken off.  I don't go around advertising things either though.  I take maybe 1-3 days off a year, with one of them being a personal day.
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  • We get 8 sick days and 2 personal days.  We can take both when needed and I have never been questioned about taking leave. We can accrue up to 45 days leave. The only thing that is a no-no is taking a personal day to extend a break (like the day before or day after spring break).  We ask the parents not to take kids out of school on these days (although many still do), so it would be bad form for the teachers to do it.
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  • We get 5 district/5 state to use as we choose (we have separate days for bereavement, jury duty, etc.).  All 10 carry over from year to year, but we are asked to put in for days that we know about in advance as soon as possible.  I would be in trouble if I took a vacation during TAKS testing or PSATs, but I wouldn't do that anyway.  I TOLD my dept. head that I would be taking 4 days in January this year to go to Cancun and she encouraged me to do it as my DH is in med school and gets precious little vacation time.
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