25 May 2011

Substitute Teachers

Do CPS teachers take more sick days than the average teacher?

It seems to me that a teacher should schedule elective surgery for the summer months, not miss the last 10 days of school! Decades ago, when I was in elementary school, a substitute teacher was an extremely rare event. My kid's teachers miss more school than any students!


Anonymous said...

Yes, you are absolutely on target. Teachers take sick days and personal days on a regular basis. And, you are right about when you never had substitute teachers; neither did I. I spent 30 plus years in education, and took one sick day, and personal days at parents' death. It's a whole new ball game today.

Archer said...

As much as I like my kids' teachers and as much as I don't want to admit it. it is my experience also that todays teachers take A LOT of time off. My daughter has 8 teachers and every week (no exaggeration) at least one of them is off and my daughter has a sub. Seems like a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

Sick leave is considered a "benefit" today by many people, and with the advent of Family and Medical Care Leave legislation, the stigma of taking off work is greatly reduced.

At least in the government sector...

Anonymous said...

One thing worth noting is that in the upper grades, sometimes it looks to the kids like the teachers are absent but they are at meetings for a bell or two.

I had two teachers (and two school therapists) at an hour and a half meeting about my kid earlier this week -- so someone else was covering two of each of their classes. We usually try to have meetings in the wee morning hours before school starts but it wasn't possible this time.

Other than that, yes, from a parents' point of view, you don't want your kids' teachers to be absent. I certainly especially don't because my kid can react poorly to unexpected changes in his day.

But from the teachers' point of view -- well, nowadays I think that most anyone who is too loyal to their employer is an absolute chump.

Workers, even professionals, are all too often seen as disposable. Teachers are under attack, so they must really feel that way. If my mom was still alive, I imagine she'd be weighing whether to retire now to get the money she earned and put in the teachers' pension fund out while she could, or if she really couldn't afford to retire quite yet. Teachers know that there is currently a big risk that their pensions will be robbed, like so many private sector workers have had done to them (e.g., airline workers). So I don't blame them for taking/using a benefit they have EARNED before it is stolen from them.

Blue Ash Mom

Anonymous said...

A lot of things can happen during the day that lead to someone covering a class so it appears the teacher isn't there. My husband had a parent just show up last week and demand a conference. The principal did not insist the parent make an appointment for a more convenient time ("since she's already here...") so he missed teaching his next class. He was pi$$ed because he had everything mapped out so he finished the year with two days left for exam review.

Under the current contract CPS teachers can take up to 15 sick days and 3 personal days per year. Most districts in the area offer the same number of days (and some are even more generous). They can accumulate; sometimes teachers will save up their days for major events (such as surgery). Under current terms the days can be cashed out at a rate of 2 for 1 but soon it will be 3 for 1.

I think it's ironic that there are people who complain when teachers take their sick leave and others who complain when they don't (and want to cash in those unused days). At my job you can't cash those days in -- so everyone uses them. My teacher husband goes to work unless he's at death's door except for events out of his control such as a surgery or a wedding. It's irritating that teachers are criticized for actually saving the district money by not having to hire a sub.

Jim Uber said...

according the bureau of labor statistics, the average number of paid sick days per year in the US, for all labor categories, is 8. So for teachers, that would equate to 6 per 9 months.

If a student has 8 teachers as described above, and every week one of them has a sub for one day, that's the same as 1 sick day per teacher per 8 weeks, or about 5 days in 9 months. That's less than the BLS average for all US workers.

Darrell said...

Do you know if the rules considering sick days have changed?

When I was in school, I had a teacher who had been teaching for 30 years with no sick days. He had accumulated enough sick days to take more than a year off work with pay. Ultimately though he cashed them in when he retired.

In my job, its a use it or lose it benefit, which unfortunately leads to more people calling in sick for lousy or no reason at all. There is no benefit to not using your sick days at my work.

I'm just thinking that it could be that the sick days included in the teachers' contracts have been changed to a use it or lose it type.

The Dean of Cincinnati said...

Thank you for adding to the conversation about how terrible teachers are. I appreciate your support.

I'll remember how filthy rich we are all, taking advantage of the public's tax dollars, when I am looking for a job along with the hundreds of other teachers laid off from area schools.