Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stay in School Kids Teachers

Interesting front-page article in the April 30th issue of Education Week (Districts Experiment With Cutting Down On Teacher Absence) on the costs that school districts are incurring from teacher absences for sick leave, personal leave, emergency leave, and the like. The article frames it as a problem with no real solution, and as a union guy I agree—if you start telling my members that they can’t use their sick leave, I have to fight you on that point. If the district came to me with evidence that someone was abusing their leave, I would happily tell them to use the disciplinary process. That’s appropriate.

What’s not appropriate is badgering young mothers who need to take care of their children when they access their sick leave for that purpose. One of the strengths of teaching is that it is a family friendly profession, and anything that gets in the way of that only hurts the kids. By giving women with children a chance to be both professionals and parents we’re getting quality people into the classroom who otherwise wouldn’t be able to be there, and that’s good for everyone.

Have any stories from your own district about people abusing sick leave? Is it a problem, from your view?

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've also seen impacts to student learning. There is an interesting story about it here:

When I worked at a rough alternative school, teachers took many sick days. I don't think that they were intentionally trying to cheat the system - their school environment was so negative and strained that it had impacts on their mental and physical health. It seems like the best way to get teachers to stay in school is to create support networks, professional development, and other opportunities to help problem-solving in the classroom.

5:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home