Should teachers work when ill?
In the teaching profession, it is very difficult to take a day from work. There are so many responsibilities we have to undertake as teachers, so many roles that we have to support during our time at school. So taking a day off of work can be somewhat tricky. Let‚Äôs look at the implications as peripatetic teachers. Firstly, we have our own classes to teach. Missing time off will mean that we will have to re-plan lessons, trying to cram in the core content of our schemes of work over a shorter space of time, making life that little bit more difficult. Depending on how much time off will determine how much you have to squeeze in, and let us not forget that re-cap session to see if the children can still remember what it was you were teaching them before you fell ill.
As Supply teachers, schools will also commonly be using us a double up for PPA time. So when we are teaching 6H, 6H‚Äôs main teacher will be having PPA time. When we are teaching 4F, 4Fs teacher will be having PPA time‚Ä¶ and so on. PPA time is sacred to teachers. It‚Äôs one hour of their day that they can use planning or marking, or simply having a break from their class! But if we are ill, then these teachers will not get that much needed PPA time, unless a school hires in another supply, which costs the school more money if not through the same company.
As music teachers, we may also be involved in extra-curricular activities, school assemblies, musical productions‚Ä¶ all that require us being there and fulfilling our roles we play.
Supply teachers, unlike fulltime staff, or staff on the books, do not get paid for having a day off sick.
All of the points mentioned so far leading to why we shouldn‚Äôt take a day off if sick or ill.
If we were to go in sick, think of the amount of students and staff that may fall ill as a result of this. Germs spread through schools like a hit on YouTube going viral!!! (see what I did there‚Ä¶ viral‚Ä¶) rather than being the cause of an epidemic, surely it might be better to take time off.
Then there is the problematic issue of trying to teach when ill. VERY HARD WORK! You are not on top of your game when you are ill and the children will eat you alive for that factor. Last Thursday, I went into school with the Flu‚Ä¶ Very stupid idea on my behalf! The children had no sympathy whatsoever and were difficult to control for most of the day. I spent my break times and lunch times in the PPA room shivering, sore throat, feeling dizzy, and counting those long hours before the end of the day bell. I was that poorly that I even neglected filling my timesheet out until the following Thursday, just to get home quicker! Paracetamol and hot lemon drinks were the order throughout the day. My bug lasted for the next five days‚Ä¶ had I have stayed at home and rested, would it have cleared up sooner? Who knows?! Then there is the whole fiasco of staying at home to recover. The days soon start to clock up, and you know deep down that the workload when you do eventually go back will have mounted. Surely our health is more important right?
We all know our own bodies and limitations, and perhaps there is a limit sometimes when we need to say ‚Äúthat‚Äôs it, too ill‚Äù. Maybe a ruling such as common cold – go to school, flu ‚Äì take the day off.
What are your views on going into work sick? Should we do it?
Should we go back to work if not fully recovered?
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