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famv5 11-10-2015 09:28 AM

First year teacher - time off
Hi everyone. I'm hoping that someone can possibly help me out.

I am currently attending a post certification program and will be applying for a teaching position in the spring for the fall school year. This is my problem. My parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next November and have booked a cruise to take all of their kids and their families to celebrate. Being that that will be my first year teaching, will I get that time off? It's for one week before Thanksgiving. I feel like I'm wedged in a corner with this one because I have to find a teaching position so that I can do my first year and get my certification, however, this is a once in a lifetime family event. I realize districts and schools are all different and maybe it will just come down to the hiring school making that decision but I'm just curious whether teachers do get time off. If they need a week off, for example, how does that work? Do they have to line up a substitute to fill in and I would imagine the time off is unpaid, too.

Any help with this would be wonderful. I've tried looking at two of my local school districts and everything is password protected as far as employee information.

Also, when I interview for my teaching job, I was thinking of stating right then that I would need that week off in November. Does that sound like a good thing or would I be better off waiting and then asking? I feel bad doing that, though, but I know you have to do things a certain way sometimes to get them to work. :cool:

ZipLine 11-10-2015 11:09 AM

Congratulations to your parents on their 60th anniversary.

All districts are different. One of our teachers takes a week off every November for a big family trip with her parents and siblings. I know others who have taken a week for a special trip that pops up.

I wouldn't say a word at the interview but I would mention the trip early in the fall once you are hired.

lisa53 11-10-2015 12:12 PM

I agree with ZipLine. Get hired...find out the district's policy...then make the request.

Be aware that some districts have policies to not allow absences on the days that are contiguous with a vacation. That is true in my district. The actual implementation of that rule is that the teacher writes a nice note to the superintendent explaining why they must take these particular days as a "once in a lifetime" situation, and the superintendent grants permission.

We are only allowed a certain number of "personal" days, so if that number is exceeded, the leave will be without pay. You may not want to use up every single personal day on this trip, in case (God forbid) you might need to use one later for some pressing purpose.

Just a few sure you know the district policy before you ask for the favor, so you know what the "worst case" might be.

Be aware that ordinarily, the district would expect you to take your vacations during times that school is on vacation. Most people manage to do this most of the time...but you have a unique situation!

famv5 11-11-2015 07:50 AM

Thank you both for your advice.

I think I'm going to do just that. Secure a teaching position and then tell them. I feel bad doing so but I guess that's better than not securing the job because of that vacation need.

Yes, I tried to see if my parents could make the trip over the Thanksgiving holiday week but the fares are almost double and for 13 people going, that would be impossible for them to do.

Another question I have is when I do ask for the time off am I doing just that? Asking or stating that I am taking that time off? I know in past jobs I've had (not teaching) I would just put in for a vacation request and then get approved but I don't know how teachers work. Do you ask your principal? What would the principal most likely expect of me such as making sure I have coverage for that week, etc?

My other concern is that this will be my first year teaching. So I would only have been in my classroom for almost three months. Plus, I'll have a mentor teacher to bounce questions off of and occasional supervisor evaluations.

With all of this aside, I can't miss this trip. This is a once in a lifetime event that I would regret if I am not part of it.

daffodils 11-15-2015 02:19 PM

time off
Don't mention it until you're hired.

At our school, you put in the request for time off (whether one day or many). There was a form in the office that you filled out and stated if it was for sick leave or personal leave and the date(s). That was almost always approved, though if it was attached to a holiday, there was a limit as to how many teachers could take off, so it was first come first serve.

For longer time off, you needed principal permission. I took 3 personal days (which I had) connected to Memorial Day. I explained it was a graduation trip for my brother and my principal approved it.

I do know people took off more days than they had sometimes. I don't know our precise policy, but I believe you first had to have principal approval and then perhaps superintendent permission after. It was leave without pay and I'm not sure what else. In our district the secretary at the school found subs, but you could prearrange with a sub if you had a favorite and then tell the secretary to confirm.

funkster 11-19-2015 03:48 PM

My school
would let you take the time off without pay. Before a holiday you could not take personal days, and we could not take more than 2 personal days in a row.

Every district has their own contract will spells out how many sick days, personal days etc. a staff member is entitled to and for what purposes they could be used. Like others said, we can tell you what our district does, but you will have to see what contract you sign.

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