Sunday, February 1, 2015

Being Sick and Being a Teacher #edchat

I've been dealing with a flu bug (or something) for a week now. It finally got the best of me Wednesday night and I took Thursday and Friday off to try and recoup. One of the things that has weighed on me during these days (and any sick days I take), is that I'm letting my students down.

There is so much pressure to cover all of the material in the time we are given and a single missed day doubles the amount of work for the teacher and, possibly, the students. There is a stress that follows as well. When I try to put together a lesson plan, my brain is not "Five by Five" (nerd reference). I feel like I'm being judged for having students quietly read while I'm out. Am I supposed to have an elaborate lesson ready to go for each day in case I'm out sick? I do understand that I place some of this pressure on myself, but do I place it myself because the system has started to weigh more things for/against teachers?

I know there are plenty of teachers that go through a day feeling like death, but want to be there for the children to make sure they are ok. I have a limited number of days to take during the year and I'm subjected to germ ridden students every day. It's tough to avoid getting sick, but you do your best. When you do get sick, you weigh how much it is going to impact the students first, then you worry about your health. That does not seem right, but that is what teachers do.

My students have a huge mock trial next week and I need to be there so we can get it rolling and finish by the end of the week because we start our Gothic Literature Unit next that leads to a Harlem Renaissance Unit that will take me to Gatsby and then eventually to Catcher. I'm not sure I have time for an unexpected sick day after this week.

I'm not sure if this post serves a "purpose". I know I'm not solving a problem, so I guess I'm just complaining. IDK. I wish there was a better system for teachers that supports them when they are out sick. I guess if I can figure that out, I could retire to a warm island somewhere with the family and never worry about sick days again.

Stay healthy folks!

Nick (cough cough) Provenzano