22 answers

Do Teachers Get a Certain Number of Personal Days per Year?

I have posted similar questions before, but this continues to be an issue. My son's kindergarten teacher seems to miss quite a bit of time. We haven't even finished the first grading period and she has missed at least 5-6 days that I know of...which does seem excessive to me. We recently found out that she is pregnant which I am sure contributed to some of the days. However, I am just wondering about most school policies...do teachers typically get a certain number of days to use throughout the year? What happens when they exceed their allotted time. I truly do like this teacher and she seems to do a very good job with my son when she is there. I worry because on the days that my son has a substitute, he doesn't seem to be able to tell me much about what he did that day...his homework is not checked. It really doesn't seem to be the same level of learning when she is not there. I REALLY don't want to say anything to the school about this, but it does bother me.

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So What Happened?™

Admittedly, I am obsessingl about this...I do work full time and have since both of my kids have been born. I do understand the need to take time off for some things. My Dh and I alternate when if is time to take off for sick kids. I don't want to call and get labeled as "that" mom which is why I am using you all as a sounding board. I also do not want my son moved since he has established friendships already. And yes I did talk to the teacher about plans for when she is out... I just got vague and wishy washy answers.

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I'd rather my son have an awesome teacher that misses a half dozen days per grading period than a mediocre teacher that never misses!
Careful what you wish for.
And it's KINDERGARTEN, for Pete's sake!
He'll be fine.

7 moms found this helpful

The only way you are going to find out is to call the school or school district office as it varies. Honestly, they may not be obligated to tell you.

I did some substituting a few years back and I can tell you that as long as the teacher leaves a clear lesson plan kindergarten is the easiest class to sub in, and everything gets done. I'd be more concerned with a 4th/5th teacher being gone a lot.

2 moms found this helpful

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Yes, teachers are entitled to personal days, sick days, and comp time - none of which they are required to answer to you for.

For me, it is more work to prep my classes for a sub than it is for me to be at work - I make complete lessons, directions, organize everything, and have educational objectives for the day. I always prefer to just be at work, but sometimes (as when I was pregnant and had a little one at home) I had to miss. I have a life and a career and work my tail off to be my best at both. I was criticized by some parents for scaling back on my after school activities when I had my family. God forbid your children don't get to do something "just because" I need to be with mine. To those parents I say, Too bad. Get over yourselves.

Do you really think your son's education is suffering? You can always be doing supplemental activities with him on those days. Indeed, at the K level, all of life is learning. I think you're being needlessly obsessive and overly concerned over this.

The school cannot refuse to allow a teacher his / her allotted days, but teachers know that going over that number can jeopardize their positions.

Maybe our kids would be better off if we returned to the schoolmarm days where teachers couldn't date, marry, or have children so they can invest 100% into everyone else's. Sounds reasonable...

7 moms found this helpful

I'd rather my son have an awesome teacher that misses a half dozen days per grading period than a mediocre teacher that never misses!
Careful what you wish for.
And it's KINDERGARTEN, for Pete's sake!
He'll be fine.

7 moms found this helpful

It seems that you are really obsessing about this way too much.

If it truly concerns you this much, talk to the principal and be prepared to have yourself "marked" as "one of those moms" for the entirety of your child's schooling at this school.

Substitutes are trained. We also go to extra training AT NO PAY to make sure we are on top of things as far as certain curriculums, lesson planning, etc.

Why don't you volunteer in the classroom. That way you can see what is going on, the teachers NEED good volunteers who care about the children and you ovbiously care that your child does well.

I just don't understand why you believe teachers are non human beings with no responsibility in the world except to make sure your child is educated. Teachers have families too... they get sick... they get pregnant... Lighten up or this will drain you for the next 18 yrs.

7 moms found this helpful

Yes, they get personal days and sick days..

Since you had your son have you ever worked full time out of your home for a year or more?

If you have you know that every time he gets sick, you needed to take off from work. Each time, he or you needed to go to a doctors appointment, dentist appt.. ect.. this has to be done on a week day. More time off
If you were working full time AND pregnant, how much time did you need to take off for a healthy pregnancy? Were you still able to get your work done in a timely manner and good quality work?

Your sons class is still learning and following this teachers plans even when she is not there. .
These are real teachers that are subbing.

If you want your son moved to another teachers room, request it and be honest about why, so they can match YOU up with the right teacher.

Your son is 5. Asking a question like "what did you do today in class today" is too broad.. It needs to be, "what story did you hear today?", "Who did you play with on the play ground?" If they went to music, "what did you sing in music?" "Did you get to play an instrument?"
"What is the letter of the week?" "What is the number of the week?"

Your perception is through the eyes of a 5 year old BOY. It makes a difference. Most moms of boys will tell you, they are not very good about giving you information about what went on at school each day.

Maybe offer to help in any way. Ask about volunteering to help her.

The homework deal is going to drive you insane as he gets older. The teachers many times do not grade each day.. It can take a week sometimes to get them back and graded..

I also suggest you meet with the teacher and explain how you feel. It is obvious you are just not pleased with this situation. And if you want your child moved, ask for it, be honest. They may be able to accommodate you but if not, it will be your choice. Accept it or send your child to another kindergarten program.

5 moms found this helpful

What exactly do you think will happen if you say something to the school? Surely his homework is checked the next day when she's back. It's not the sub's responsibility to correct or check homework. The teacher is not missing several days in a row. She's missed a total of 5 days since the beginning of the year, and if they're days she's earned/allowed to take then she doesn't need your approval and school won't do anything about your complaint.

Your son not discussing his day when there's a substitute doesn't sound like a problem to me. Are you insinuating that the sub doesn't do anything on those days? That's the kids are languishing in boredom? Teachers have to have lesson plans set for weeks if not full semesters ahead of time so that every week if not day is planned out to show the school, and then when there are subs or other teachers covering they know exactly what to do.

I'm sorry, but you really do seem to be obsessing over this. Unless your child is special needs and a sub isn't following your child's IEP and he's suffering due to routine changes and transition changes and the approach to learning is not tailored to him as it should be, then I don't think you have a valid complaint.

5 moms found this helpful

When I taught we got a certain number of days and then our pay was docked each day after that.

I agree is so very much harder to miss than be there...I taught through colds, migraines and morning sickness. Believe me for me to miss I had to be SICK!!! I even taught while I was miscarrying.

Please cut the teacher some slack...yes, you are totally obsessing about this...I think this is the third or fourth post about this I have read.

Last year, I never even knew when my son's Kindergarten teacher was absent. He is not very talkative about school.

4 moms found this helpful

I get 15 sick days a year and 3 personal days. My district asks for us to submit personal day requests at least a week ahead of time, so if his teacher has her own sick kid at home or has a complication with her pregnancy that comes up suddenly, chances are she uses a sick day. Sick days accumulate, personal days don't, so if she is saving sick days for maternity leave in the spring, trust me, she wants to hang on to them. Once they run out, she does not get paid. Some years are just like this; clearly she has a lot going on, but maybe her own child has been sick a lot? I have had years like that, where I feel like I am out at least once a week because I'm sick or one of my kids is sick. Then there are months when I have no day off at all. As others have said, it is a RIDICULOUS amount of work for a teacher to leave plans and be out, and once we return to the classroom, we are usually making up for being out for at least a day! Teachers hate missing school, please believe me. If I were you, I'd try to relax a bit and keep an open mind, and don't blame her not being there for the reason your son might not be telling you every detail of what went on during a particular day. I have read your other posts about this teacher and your concerns, but I think you need to remember that she has a life too and that life must come before her students'. It seems as if you are waiting for the other shoe to drop, and using any indication that it might happen to get upset all over again. If you truly don't want to be "that" parent, then don't. Trust me, she likely knows full well how you are feeling without you saying a word. We teachers are pretty smart like that!

4 moms found this helpful

The last district I taught in we had:

10 sick days and 2 "emergency" days per year for free. We also had 2 "personal" days where the cost of the sub came out of our paycheck and 20 "sick contingency" days where the cost of the sub also came out of our paycheck. All that being said, our sick days rolled over from year to year. So, say you've been teaching for 4 years, and in those first three years, you only used 2 sick days. That would mean you now have 28 sick days from the first three years plus the 10 for this year that you have for free. I know the policy was the same in the district I did my student teaching in as well, so I assume it's a pretty common policy.

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