Thanksgiving Break is Serving as My Sick Day

Teachers are given very few sick days each year. We work with children (who bring every disease EVER into our classrooms year-round) and these days count for when we are sick/have jury/go on vacation/etc. If you use all of your days and then you need to take another day for any reason, it gets deducted from your pay. There is a nice feature where some of your days are eligible to be “rolled over” into the next school year if you do not use them (even if you change districts, they follow you); these are the days appointed by the state, the other days are appointed by the the local district and do not roll over. This was very convenient when I had my baby, because I had saved up those days since I started teaching (we were trying to have a baby for quite awhile) and was able to get paid for three and a half weeks of my maternity leave.

Teachers will therefore try to save their “state” days to roll-over in case you ever want to go on vacation/have another baby/whatever. Since “local” days do not roll over and expire at year’s end, teachers use all the local days first.

Last year I used all of my sick days because I had a newborn. She had pediatrician appointments. She would get a fever and I would have to go get her from daycare. She was sick with an ear infection. Teething would cause her so much discomfort.

My husband and I are both trying to save up sick days as best as we can for this same reason this year. We rarely take sick days for ourselves unless we have to.  Something like the flu. Bronchitis.

I have already used two this year: one for a mental day after a really bad depressive episode that has led me to change therapists; the other the day I took my GRE.

I am still immensely sick, though. I am trying so hard to not have to take another sick day since break is only 8 school days away. DON’T WASTE A DAY NOW. The baby hasn’t needed me to take any days yet, but goodness knows that the moment I use up all of my days will be the time when she gets really sick and then I will get docked pay to stay home with her. Isn’t that a proven fact? You use all of something thinking that you have enough and then find out you totally did not have enough?

Yes, I know people may think “But it is only one day you would take. How can that be that big of a deal in the end?”

Because the school year calendar is in no way actually two equal semesters. The fall semester is 16 weeks of in-class days. The spring semester is either 20 or 21. We are in week 11. Mathematically, I am not even a third of the way through the actual school days. Winter is not in full force here. My toddler is in daycare. The percentage of her getting sick over the next three months is statistically high (and would match up all of her colds and bugs from last year, which she kindly gave us as well).

Plus, it is only eight more days of teaching. EIGHT.

Surely I can make it, right?

I am a woman. I am used to being sick and not getting to take a break. To still having to do things at work, for the kids, around the house, function. Insert stereotypical “man-cold” comparison joke here and you get the point.

But, man. Please get here, break.

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