Truant Teachers

I remember getting very little in the way of useful advice during my teaching degree.  One of the worst and most irresponsible pieces of advice came from an English lecturer who said that we were going to get a generous amount of sick days per year and it is his recommendation that we use them all up whether we’re sick or not, because “we either use them or lose them.”

It says a lot about what our instructor thought of the profession.  Unfortunately, my instructors mirrored the disillusionment felt by many teachers all over the world.  Take the story of Kulvinder Billan for example:

A teacher of Indian-origin ‘played truant’ for two years by forging fake sick notes, but escaped being sent to prison.

Kulvinder Billan, 31, forged half a dozen sick notes and a letter from a leading doctor so he could get out of teaching at Weston Favell School, Northampton, Dail Mail reported today.

A court heard he was paid 33,000 pounds a year but could not face returning to teaching after being off work with stress and as a result his pupils were left with no consistent teaching and school had to shell out about 7,000 pounds to hire part time staff.

I personally hate taking days off.  I am not a control freak, but I must admit that I strongly prefer teaching lessons I have planned for.  The thought of others stepping in and taking my class makes me reluctant to take a day off.  I also find that the class often fails to adjust in the days after I’ve come back from sick leave.  They often take a few days to settle back into gear.

What is your view about sick days?  Do you subscribe to the “use them or lose them” policy?

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5 Responses to “Truant Teachers”

  1. fallingintowetcement Says:

    To echo your sentiment about students needing consistency, from a substitute teacher’s perspective, this is absolutely true. When you are a long-term sub, it is different, but as a short-call sub I feel like there are days when I cannot guarantee that the content was actually learned. There is awkward communication between the sub and the teacher, the sub doesn’t know the classroom’s discipline policy, the students don’t respect the teacher… all of these add up to a difficult day for everyone involved (sometimes… sometimes it’s great!) Don’t get me wrong, I love it when people are sick because it gives me a job, but I would lose a lot of respect for a teacher who takes sick days just to take them. Their students are clearly not the priority in this job.

  2. Carl D'Agostino Says:

    Inner city, violent, drug invested, poverty, behind grade level and an anti education culture-well you really need those days. Repeated pink eye took a lot of days and although union would help getting credit if student related, which of course it was, most principals denied. So if you really did get sick you had no days and these become LWOPS. Teacher should get full imbursemnt $ for unused days because their presence gave class and overall school stability.

  3. news feed Says:

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