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Old 02-05-2019, 06:04 AM
 
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Ok, so my problem is nothing as serious as some of the ones that get posted here, but I'm irritated and not sure what to do.

My district has recently bought in to the latest guru and is requiring us to spend an entire work day at a "pep rally"/"kick off" event. Fine. No problem. The problem is that it's a holiday for the kids and my DS is a kinder at my school. DH can't watch him because he will be out of town for work. I don't have a sitter I can contact. On previous work days, they've been scheduled on federal holidays. DH has been off, or my friend's daughter has been off and has been able to watch DS. I talked to my principal yesterday who said that I should really "try to find someone" and that my responsibility was to the school. He actually asked if one of my friends could take off work to watch my son so I could go to this pep rally because it would be "fun."

I'm going to be staying home that day. That's the best choice for my DS. What would you do?


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Old 02-05-2019, 06:19 AM
 
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I'd try to find someone to watch him. Not attending a work day can impact your evaluation.

This may be the first time you've encountered this, but it will occur again. You are going to need to figure out a solution.

Does any of the teachers at your school have a high schooler you could hire for the day?
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:19 AM
 
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Stay home with your son for sure! Your principal will just have to accept that you had no choice if he asks why you weren't there. I bet he wouldn't care if you brought your son to work with you that day even though it would be boring as heck for your son. But of course, you're not going to do that!
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See, what really bothered me about the whole
Old 02-05-2019, 06:30 AM
 
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thing was the "responsibility to the school" bit. Nope. My responsibility is to my kid. Not a dam*ed pep rally that lasts for 8 hours. And certainly not one that I have to drive 2 hours to get to and 2 hours back with no comp for gas, time, etc. That ends up in a 12 hour work day.

The more I think about this, the more pi$$ed I'm getting.

And, although I agree that I need to find a "back up" sitter, no way would I trust some random high schooler to watch DS. Sorry. The only reason my friend's daughter watches him sometime is because her mom is close by and can show up in an emergency.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:31 AM
 
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Quote:
I talked to my principal yesterday who said that I should really "try to find someone" and that my responsibility was to the school.
Of course you need to be a reliable employee, yes, but your responsibility will always be to your family first, especially since you won't even be instructing students that day. IMO


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Old 02-05-2019, 06:31 AM
 
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I assume you are in a non union job and your district can just call the teachers in to work at random times. Is this the case?
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:33 AM
 
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I agree with marguerite that you need to find someone who you can pay to care for your son while you work. This situation will arise again and you need a care option for him. What arrangements have you made for when he is sick? Maybe that could be your fallback here. As a mother, I strongly advise you to have your backups organized and readyóyou do not want to be scrambling when you need them most.
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In 5 years, this is the one time
Old 02-05-2019, 06:36 AM
 
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that I haven't had coverage. Either DH or I are with him. Care providers are in short supply here and he is too old for "daycare" in our area.

I'm not the only one in this situation, BTW. Several other teachers have this problem in our system. Most of them are opting to stay home because their spouses can't "just take off," either.

And yes, I'm in a non-union state where schools can pull this kind of crap on its staff. Not the first time it's happened.

D
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Childcare is a challenge here too
Old 02-05-2019, 06:55 AM
 
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I get your issue.

We run into child care issues with DS, too. It’s why I don’t (can’t) return to work full time.

It’s very easy to say “just find someone to watch him.”

Sorry, that doesn’t work for our situation. My kid is pre-verbal and has a medical condition. I can’t leave him with just anyone. I’ve had a few babysitters (friends) that I feel comfortable could handle him, but they’ve moved away. We have no family in the area so it falls to DH or I. Add in that DH doesn’t get sick days and it’s even more stressful.

Thankfully, his headmaster is understanding and I move heaven and Earth to make sure DH doesn’t have to take off work. I would be really peeved in your situation, too. I would apologize and take the day off. Not a lot of choice in the matter.
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childcare
Old 02-05-2019, 07:25 AM
 
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I would definitely have a babysitter on call for emergencies or work related issues. Was this a last minute workday or was it scheduled far in advance? I could see if it was thrown at you last minute. I taught for 32 years and raised two boys and never missed a professional development that I can think of. I had one horrible principal who had me come back for PTA when I left early to go home to a sick child.

I agree your first responsibility is to your child, but if my principal wanted me there I would most likely go.


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Old 02-05-2019, 07:25 AM
 
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Are there other teachers in your situation? Teachers at my school just bring the kids. They all hang out in one of the classrooms, the older ones keep an eye on the younger ones.

ETA: Oh, I just saw it’s two hours away.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:52 AM
 
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A non union state means you better go and bring your son if no care is available. Unless you are willing to be at the forefront to change the working conditions for yourself and the other teachers,you unfortunately need to attend . Next time ,say nothing about the inconvenience and then call in sick. At least your principal would have that as an excuse and perhaps be sympathetic about your absence.
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What to Do
Old 02-05-2019, 07:54 AM
 
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Your principal basically told you to go to the rally, and you should do so.
Not going to it may result in a bad evaluation down the road.

Other parents have to figure out childcare that day too. Having a backup plan for your son is a necessary thing.

I don't understand why you're pissed off. Things like this happen in the workplace all the time.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:57 AM
 
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You said your son is at your school? What about a parent of one of his little friends? Perhaps you could offer to pay? Even offer to pay for a pizza lunch for the kids. Like a day long play date. Leave early from the rally to get home for the end of the day.

If I was thinking of not going I wouldn't have mentioned anything to my principal.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:14 AM
 
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Personally, I would stay home. An 8hour kick off sounds ludicrous to me.

However......if you think not going will negatively impact your job, then go. Bring your son with you....and make sure your P sees you several times.

Then leave early.

Last edited by Keltikmom; 02-05-2019 at 05:03 PM..
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@ bGracie
Old 02-05-2019, 08:17 AM
 
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I wish that we knew some of DS's friends' parents. However, we don't.
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That was me
Old 02-05-2019, 08:44 AM
 
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Who suggested a parent of one of your sons friends. I think it's a perfect opportunity to get to know them. Play dates? Birthday parties? This sort of situation may come up again. And they would probably love to help out.
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I apologize for the incorrect reference,
Old 02-05-2019, 08:49 AM
 
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imatchr2. My apologies.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:17 AM
 
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I get your dilemma, but this is not unlike the challenges many parents working in other professions have.

I don't think it is any more unreasonable for your principal to expect you to find someone to watch your child than it is for any person working in another profession to find care when school is unexpectedly cancelled for a weather issue or a strike or a teacher work day where students are unable to come to school.

This is a regularly scheduled work day rather than an extra added day or evening? I say it is upon you to find child care. You should never assume that on a work day, students or not, that you should be able to watch your child and try to work at the same time.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:45 AM
 
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Iím guessing that your P doesnít have kids or they have a family member babysit. If he did have kids they would be more understanding. There are so many things I truly didnít understand until I experienced it. This might be the case with him.

If it were me, I wouldnít go. I can only say that after years of teaching and having developed an attitude of ďif it isnít helping me or the students, or if it is a waste of my time, Iím not going.Ē I once went to an inservice and became so agitated at the lack of purposefullness that I walked out and called in sick for the afternoon.

Next time, donít ask or say anything to the P. Follow the adage that itís better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:06 AM
 
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Even though it is a rally, it is a day of work for teachers. It isn't the principal's problem that getting childcare can be challenging.

Talking to the principal first about this was not a good idea.

Last edited by travelingfar; 02-05-2019 at 12:16 PM..
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Thank you for the advice.
Old 02-05-2019, 11:07 AM
 
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I appreciate your input. I fully understand that this is "my problem" and I will take care of it.

No need for more advice. Thank you for your input.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:09 AM
 
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kerrysgirl, I sincerely wish you good luck.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:45 AM
 
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Itís a workday, but why canít you take a sick/personal day? Do you have any accumulated? Probably would have been better off not saying anything and then calling in ďsickĒ on the day. It sounds like a stupid pep rally and being 2 hours away and all day, I wouldnít go.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:37 PM
 
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I don't understand the "pep rally." Is this a political protest? It doesn't sound like it has anything to do with your professional responsibilities. I'm sorry--I really don't have a clue what you're being asked to do.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:06 PM
 
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The idea of compulsory "fun" combined with the words "pep rally" gives me hives, so I would be extremely grateful to have a legitimate excuse to stay out of it.

If I couldn't find a legitimate excuse, I'd be making up an illegitimate one.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:10 PM
 
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It's literally a pep rally for the school --half of the day will be "Look how great we look on paper!" and a bunch of powerpoint slides, etc., and then they want to "celebrate" the new initiative (more powerpoint/video on the big screens) that they will most likely use for one year and then drop like a hot potato. It's a "look how great we are" for the media outlets. It will be at a stadium and we're expected to sit there all day. No planning, no curriculum work, no problem solving, nada. Nothing to do with being better at our craft or helping the kids. Just sitting.
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Ugh!
Old 02-05-2019, 01:24 PM
 
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You have my sympathy on what you would have to endure if you go. The description of your day exhausts me!

Iím sorry you are dealing with this situation. I hope you make the best choice for you and find peace with your decision.
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I'd be upset too!
Old 02-05-2019, 01:37 PM
 
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My heart goes out to you, as I'm in the same boat! I have NO one (except me or my husband) to watch our son and my husband has taken plenty of time (and it can't always be him). I'm very disappointed by some of the advice on your post (and others' posts as of late). Teaching is not my first career and this happens all the time in other professions. Not everyone can go, it's not the end of the world, and your job isn't at risk. Thanks to teacher martyrs, saying no or putting YOUR family first is frowned upon. I was one of those teachers before having children. I was burnt out in less than in a year. Nope. Not going to happen. My child comes first. My emotional and physical health are major priorities too. I'm not in a union state and it makes me so mad that 98% of the administrators I have worked for will "punish" you for not being a martyr and/or jumping through the million daily hoops.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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Ugh, I'm so sorry your district and P are doing this to you. I think it's ludicrous that we live in a world where people (of ANY career) are looked down upon for needing to take an occasional day to look after their kids. I also totally understand you not wanting to leave him with someone you don't know well (especially since you'd be so far away).



I hope you're able to find a solution, and that if that solution is staying home that you don't get any "trouble" for it!
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:02 PM
 
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We used to have those pep rallies too until the teachers decided to bring their anti superintendent signs to the rally When he got up to brag about himself 1200 teachers put up big white signs in front of their faces. It was a sight to see. He stumbled over his words and basically forgot what he was going to say so then he lectured all of us. No more pep rallies after that.


These sups meet together and get training on how to get into the media to advertise their district accomplishments. Of course they also get the same training on how to rip off teachers in union negotiations.



Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:20 PM
 
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I too have kids, however if this is a planned paid day itís not the principleís job to worry about childcare. I never hired anyone and my kids never had a sitter, however; if I was required and had no one then you should either take a personal day, your area may make it no pay, bring your done, or get someone to watch even if they come with you and watch him there. We have several work days that we must attend. If this is not a scheduled paid day then yes I could see being upset, otherwise you have no right to be upset. Did you get a schedule at the beginning of school? I know all the days that I am required to work before the school year starts, actually we got next years schedule this past week.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
It's literally a pep rally for the school --half of the day will be "Look how great we look on paper!" and a bunch of powerpoint slides, etc., and then they want to "celebrate" the new initiative (more powerpoint/video on the big screens) that they will most likely use for one year and then drop like a hot potato. It's a "look how great we are" for the media outlets. It will be at a stadium and we're expected to sit there all day. No planning, no curriculum work, no problem solving, nada. Nothing to do with being better at our craft or helping the kids. Just sitting.
That sounds stupid AF to me. I'd either bring my kid with (if permitted) or take a personal day. If it's in a stadium, will anyone know if you're even there or if you're playing tic tac toe with your kid during it?

I'm so sorry.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:06 PM
 
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Take a personal day and enjoy it with your son.

Why in the heck is this stupid thing scheduled to take place two hours away? That’s a lot of gas that I’d be refusing to pay for, too. What’s the name of this new program? If you’re willing to say...

***In my district PD days are on the calendar very far in advance, but the actual content and location is often not determined or shared until a week or so before (sometimes only a day or two). It’s possible Kerrysgirl didn’t know about the FOUR additional hours added on to her day until recently. No way would I go to something like that without being reimbursed for travel and an extra half day’s pay— kid or no kid. That’s what sick days are for!!
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Compulsory "fun" is torture.
Old 02-05-2019, 05:41 PM
 
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"You are required to come and have a good time with us" is the most disgusting thing ever to happen to education. Making teachers dance around and pop balloons and find a new friend to give a high five to is the WORST. I'm a professional. My friends who are lawyers and sell insurance and work as nurses don't have to play this stupid games. And OMG can we please have a work day where we actually get to, you know, do WORK? Sounds like you have two problems here: annoyance at a stupid get-together, and problems with child care. If you legitimately can't find someone to watch your son, then you stay home. Family first. If you're just annoyed at having to go, then suck it up. Bring snacks, bring your cell phone, plan to excuse yourself to the restroom when things get too ridiculous.
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Dear TSY2013 and a few others
Old 02-05-2019, 05:46 PM
 
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Thanks for making me feel like an inferior, moronic imbicile who can neither understand the importance of education nor how to read a schedule. Just FYI, I haven't missed a staff day, open house, work night, etc. in almost 20 years of teaching. Yes, I knew about the day. I did NOT know that there would be 4 hours of driving on top of the staff day in the opposite direction of my DH's work. I also didn't know that DH was going to be called out of town for a project that he can't move around. My son, due to a number of health issues can't -- and will never be able to be -- left with a "hired hand." You may not understnad that, and you may think I have no right to be upset about the situation. I think I do.

I can guarantee I won't be on this board any more to ask for opinions if I can help it or if I can get assistance anywhere else. I really can't handle the condescending tone of some of the folks on here lately. It must be nice to be so perfect in your professional life that there's never a situation you feel is difficult or unfair. I must not be much of a teacher.

Last edited by kerrysgirl; 02-05-2019 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:58 PM
 
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Just my opinion, but your responsibility is to your son and your students. Since your students will not be there, problem solved. You will not affect anyone by not being there (other than your Principal). Stay home with your son but work on trying to find a back-up for the future.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:27 PM
 
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I too am very surprised at the attitude of some who seem to think your loyalty is more to your P and school than to your son. Wow! Iím in a strong union state so that may be why I donít have the fear of admin. However, he told you to try and get a sitter, you ďdidĒ (thatís all he needs to know), no ones available, so youíll be home with your son. I have never in my life heard of driving to a stadium 2 hrs away for a rah rah work rally. I wouldnít go either.
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I may be against the grain
Old 02-05-2019, 07:33 PM
 
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My kids come first. My being a mother trumps my job. Personally, I would stay home. Yes, you should have someone to help out in a backup situation, but I felt very strongly about my children coming first. When they were sick and needed to stay home, my DH or I stayed with them. We only have our babies for a short amount of time. While I adore the students I teach, my own children are more important to me.

I know that is a rant, but you will need to do what you feel strongly about. If you don't go, then know there may be consequences. If you do go, there are different consequences. The choice is yours.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:35 PM
 
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As I was reading your original post, this stood out to me.

Quote:
I talked to my principal yesterday who said that I should really "try to find someone" and that my responsibility was to the school.
SERIOUSLY???? No, No and No. Your responsibility is to your family. Do not feel bad about that. I was shocked at the responses of many PPs.

This sounds like a big effin (can I say that? ) pat on the back that you would suffer through if you had coverage for your son. Sorry that your school feels the need for one and that P does not understand.

I do agree with PP that sometimes people without kids just DON'T get it. I hope it doesn't negatively affect you in the long run. I guess I work at a school where P understands stuff like this so I don't think of those kinds of things automatically.

I hope you can enjoy your day with your son.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:16 AM
 
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Well I must be a terrible teacher if I go by the beliefs stated in many of these posts. My children come first. I even considered staying home yesterday with my dog. We are approaching the end and I know my time with him is limited. I just had an overwhelming desire to stay home, lay on the floor with him, and just be with him.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:38 AM
 
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I see a lot of support on this thread for the dilemma many of us have had or will have. In general terms, sometimes we have to look at the unpleasant consequences and go from there. Principals expect teachers to plan in advance for teacher work days and would be deemed ineffective if many teachers from their school did not attend. Principals are fired at will around here and this may explain why some would hand out the work is your responsibility speech..
I don't see a lack of sympathy from posters here. Just some blunt statements about the reality of the working world. Best of luck to all of us as we continue to deal with the working mom dilemmas. We need to support each other and sometimes accept the hard truths along with that. I know it isn't easy to swallow.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:14 AM
 
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Thank you anna for your reply because I am truly trying to wrap my head around a teacher being negatively affected on an eval because he/she didn't attend this type of event. Being a good classroom teacher and attending to all other professional duties at work isn't enough? Yes, I get a "checkmark in the plus column" on my eval when I go above and beyond--attend evening family events at the school but I still can't get being expected to drive 4 hrs there and back for an event in a stadium.

I understand the dilemma of working moms. I was one. Made arrangements for child care when it was necessary and a required day for me to be at work. However, this day kerrysgirl is being guilted into attending is not a typical teacher work/planning day. This sounds more like a rally. As she said a rah rah type of event. It's not even listening to a professional educational speaker. No curriculum planning is intended on this day. This is not a set up your room day/records/report card day, etc. I am pretty sure she has plans for other days when her mom life conflicts with her teacher life. This day is no conflict in my eyes.

A pretty lame brain idea on whomever planned this event so far away to put such a burden on staff.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
@ bGracie

I wish that we knew some of DS's friends' parents. However, we don't.
I was agreeing with you. This event sounds like a waste of time. I think you should stay home with your son.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:42 PM
 
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I think you should take off and stay home. There is no possible way I would choose a ďpep rallyĒ over my son. Stay home and donít think twice about it!
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
thing was the "responsibility to the school" bit. Nope. My responsibility is to my kid.
You are right. I had this pulled on when I worked in a private preschool. It was the height of flu season and my son who was 3 and attend the school had a double ear infection and a high fever. I was told "too many other people had already called out sick and if I wasnt there it would be a licencing issue because of teacher student ratio so I needed to show up or look for another job".

I wish now that I had looked for another job. Instead I panicked. I am a single mom who needed a paycheck so I dressed my sick child and took him in with me and had him sleep on a cot in the corner all day. I still feel horrible guilt over that.

Its your child first!

The next time I had this issue I did the unthinkable-I drank a bottle of ipecac syrup and vomited in hall so they would let me go home. Again I wish I would have just told them no, that my child comes first.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:45 PM
 
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After reading Kinderís response, all I can think of is how to formulate a plan that involves barfing on the Principal and the stupid pep rally! Would it be worth driving to the stadium with a ziplock bag of cream of chicken soup to use as fake barf?
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:33 PM
 
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Firstly, hugs to you. Youíre in a sucky situation, and the quip about how ďyour responsibility is to the schoolĒ is downright asinine...especially for crap like pep rallys. Seriously, yíall are professionals. Youíre not wishing the high school basketball team good luck at the state tourney.

DH and I are so lucky in that my parents live in our town and can watch our son. If that wasnít the case, weíd be in the same boat. And, being the smother mother I am, couldnít leave my child with someone who I didnít know well, and who I hadnít known for a long time...like a really long time.

Your responsibility is to your kiddo. Period. If he marks it on your evaluation, contest it. Or donít. I think itíll make him look like a pretty big jerk, IMO.

Hug your child extra tight tonight, read one more bedtime story, and give him/her an extra goodnight kiss, and know he/she is all that matters.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:59 AM
 
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I can see several sides to this problem.

Admin side: calendar handed out many many months ago and teachers are paid for work days regardless of what they may think about what they have to do on those days. Professionals do have families with needs but the contract is between the teacher and district.It may have articles in the contract for family needs or it may not.

Teacher / parent side: child is not going to be left with a stranger; I am staying home and I accept the consequences,if there are any.

I have had choices like this my career and sometimes it hurt me and sometimes it didn't. I always chose my family but I knew at the same time that I chose potential consequences. That is the working world for moms. It's doesn't feel good but it is reality. Hang in there Mamas!Stay strong and informed.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:18 AM
 
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Who would plan this and mandate it in the dead of winter???? An entire district driving that far in possible inclement weather could be a potential liability issue . Of course I'm watching another few inches of snow fall ( to our present 1 1/2 ft.) as I'm responding. . .

Our district limited field trips to within a 30 mile radius for liability reasons so how should this be any different.

Are you required to make up these hours on your own time? When we were part of the Reading First Grant (No Child Left Behind) we had an enormous amount of pd that we were required to attend. If we did not we had to find the equivalent elsewhere which was even further away or took even longer. Just wondering.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:08 AM
 
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See, I think this situation is totally different than a PD day. Being asked to drive 2 hours each way is a no go for me, kid or no kid. Plus what about the cost of gas or what if you donít have a car? This is not anything that is necessary for teaching. Iíd refuse to go. If they want to dock my pay, so be it. And if it were an actual PD day at your school or nearby, Iíd still skip it if I had no childcare. Teachers here do it all the time or bring kids with them. Your kidís care comes first. If it was a regular school day, you could get a sub if needed. The whole thing sounds ridiculous, and frankly Iím surprised the parents arenít up in arms over it.
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Your P is 3 fries short of a Happy Meal!
Old 02-09-2019, 03:37 PM
 
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Expecting you to drive 4 hours w/out gas/mileage, and compensation for your time is ridiculous.
Then on top of it, to leave your son for 12 hrs with a babysitter is just icing on the cake.
I think you did the right thing. Too many teachers cave when a P plays the responsibility card to the school. That is why so many teachers become doormats.
Nope! Your responsibility that comes before work is your family.
I hope you have a fun day with your son!
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Not that
Old 02-09-2019, 04:37 PM
 
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It matters but she didnít say 4 hours from the school. She said 4 hours in the opposite way of her husbands work. So...it could be an hour from school, but if she lives an hour the opposite way from school...

Itís still 4 hours for her, but that doesnít mean that the school is asking people to drive 2 hours each way.
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