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Amistad Amistad is offline
 
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Teacher personal day responsibilities
Old 05-18-2019, 01:28 PM
 
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How does your campus handle teachers taking personal days without having a sub lined up? This has become a real problem. When teachers are out without a sub, other teachers have to step in and give up their conference time to cover classes. Understandably if someone is so sick or has a sick child, that is a different case. I am referring to teachers taking planned leave without getting a sub.

The other day my department head for 7th grade stepped in to cover a class for an 8th grade teacher. No plans were left. She called the 8th grade DH. About 15 minutes later the 8th grade DH showed up with some plans. My DH asks is this your conference time? Yes! My DH was incredulous....like this is your team... why didnít you cover this class?


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Old 05-18-2019, 01:40 PM
 
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I've seen some teachers come back to school if they just had a morning appointment or something and they know their teammates ended up splitting the classes.

Our subs often cancel last minute or are moved around to other positions, so it's not easy to see beforehand that you're not going to have one. My personal opinion is that unless someone is taking days off left and right, it's not the teacher's responsibility to deal with a sub shortage. Teachers shouldn't be afraid to use their benefits because schools/districts refuse to pay subs enough to attract them to the positions.

I get that it sucks when you have a teammate out. At my school, you at least get the sub pay if you cover, so you're at least getting something extra out of it. But, I think a lot of issues with the way teachers are treated are because there are so many martyrs in the profession that would gladly never take a day off again "for the children." Then the district/school board/whichever bigwigs see no reason to budget accordingly.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:55 PM
 
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My district uses an online company to handle all absences. We put in for a personal day/call in sick online and also alert the school office as a courtesy ahead of time. The company handles all sub assignments.

In elementary, if there are no subs available, the principal and curriculum specialists share the duty for the day or the kids are split up into different classrooms. If anyone has to use their prep time to help out, we are paid extra for that time. They try to avoid that.

In secondary, if there are no subs available, the DH takes over for a class or two. The remainder is covered by teachers who are paid $45/hr to take a class during their prep time.

There's no excuse for the teacher leaving no plans during their absence, whether it's a sick or personal day. They would be written up for that and it would certainly influence teacher evaluations.

No teacher is responsible for finding their own sub, though some do choose to do that.
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:01 PM
 
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If we run out of subs, Aides/T.A.s are pulled to cover classes. If we run out of support staff to cover classes, teachers that don't have a homeroom like ENL, AIS, Speech, etc. are called to cover.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:41 PM
 
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Our district has a policy that addresses how many personal days can be approved in the building at the same time. I believe it is 3 - 3 people can be gone on pre-approved personal days on the same day. After that, the request gets denied. Obviously things come up and those are treated just like sick days even if they are technically "personal" and not "sick" days.

The sub situation is not great in our district right now. If there are uncovered classes, subs from other teacher positions (specials or specialist teachers) are pulled to take classroom sub jobs. If that isn't possible or more classrooms need to be covered, there is a rotation of the specialists/counselor who get pulled for the day to sub. So if the librarian is pulled to sub in a classroom, anyone who was supposed to have prep while their class went to library gets paid for missing their prep. The teacher who gets pulled misses out on teaching their classes and also is often dealing with a last minute call in so the sub plans are usually pretty terrible. The good thing is, there are 6 people in that rotation so it doesn't happen for any one teacher very often. As the reading specialist, I am not in the emergency sub rotation, but if I am gone I almost never have a sub because my sub is generally pulled to cover a classroom. (I usually have a sub coming, so I have to write plans, but then they go to waste when my sub is moved somewhere else.)

ETA: In our district, the principal or lead building secretary enter sub jobs into a database that is managed at the district level. Teachers aren't involved in the sub finding process at all - we aren't responsible for finding our own sub or entering the job anywhere.


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Old 05-18-2019, 03:44 PM
 
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Teachers shouldn't be afraid to use their benefits
I wholeheartedly agree with Haley. Teachers shouldn't be afraid to use their benefits. Period.
Not leaving lesson plans. Yup, that is awful.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:01 PM
 
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I apologize for not being clear, but we use a database as described so you just put it into the system as many mentioned. The system also allows you to contact a particular sub if you want. Problem is that the habitual disregard for expecting others to handle the situation is what troubles me.



I think it is great that your admin has counselors and other staff personnel without full time teaching duties cover classes. The option of offering pay is also a great idea and people would feel less resentment in that case. The end of the year and everyone is ready for break. I will offer your suggestion. Thank you so much.
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Sub
Old 05-18-2019, 04:04 PM
 
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Iím sorry.
I think that I get personal and/or sick days for a reason. If I need or want to take one, thatís my choice. And itís not my job to find a sub or worry about the secretary not finding one.

I have had the secretary say she hadnít been able to find a sub yet. My response was Iím sorry but I wonít be here, so hopefully something shakes out soon. Iím not trying to be rude, but if I have a planned absence, thatís on them.

We do cover each other for last minute emergencies. I can call a team mate and know she will get my sub plans ready or toss something together in a true emergency. I also know that classes sometimes do get split up. It happens when thereís literally no other choice. I think we just do the best that we can in the moment.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:06 PM
 
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I agree with Haley - teachers shouldnít be responsible for finding a sub or feel guilty for using one. Thatís an admin problem - not mine. This is a benefit. I also agree that thereís no excuse for not leaving any sub plans. At my school you must leave plans. We also have separate Emergency Plans (that stay in the office) they are used if youíre out & itís truly an emergency.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:09 PM
 
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We are very short of subs in my town. Like, there are two working to cover about ten schools. So, if it more rare to have one than not if you're away.

If there isn't one, classes can be split (which sucks in our school, as we only have four classes, so if there's a split you get between 8 and 10 extra kids in your room). The Principal will avoid that if at all possible, and will cover himself if he can.

It's not on the teachers to try and find somebody, though, that's the Principal's job.


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Old 05-18-2019, 04:36 PM
 
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My aide often gets pulled to cover when subs don't show or none are available.

My district just gave subs a 30% raise, so that gives you an idea how often my aide is pulled. I don't fault the teachers for taking time off, though.
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Sub situation
Old 05-18-2019, 04:54 PM
 
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In our school, if there is a shortage of subs (and it happens often), then we can volunteer to cover a class during our planning time. If we do that, we get matching time. If I work in another teacher's room for 45 minutes, I am given the time on my paycheck minute for minute. I can use this time at a later date for whatever I would like with certain restrictions. I can't use it before or after a break or on the last day of school. Whatever I don't use, I get the money back on my paycheck in June. I think we have a pretty sweet setup that way, but it's what our teacher union had negotiated about 5 years ago.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:55 PM
 
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Issue for absentee: plans not left.

Non-issue for absentee: no sub, assuming protocol was followed to take the day. In my district, putting in for a sub is the step you take to take a personal day. It can be rejected only if 10% of the staff is already out, or if it was not put in within 24 hours notice.
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Subs
Old 05-18-2019, 05:05 PM
 
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NO excuse for not leaving plans. Rude and unprofessional. Maybe if subs were paid a professional wage, there would not be coverage issues.
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My district is small but we have a sub protoc
Old 05-18-2019, 11:49 PM
 
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I am a sub in my current district and I sub almost everyday at the same school. The district pays $70 (high school diploma) and $90 (bachelor's degree). The neighboring districts pay more so a lot of subs will accept assignments then cancel if they get a "better" offer. I know that my district has hired over 200 subs this year for the 4 schools and we are still short subs. The protocol for my building is teachers put in their absence for approval. They can ask for a particular sub and the principal or assistant principal approves it. If there is a sub shortage or a sub has picked up an absence they can't do (such as the behavior unit)-they pull the ISS para, move subs around, or split up classes. I know if certain teachers are out and they don't get a sub, I will be pulled unless I am covering the behavior unit. The principal jokes that the students will do anything for me so I usually get the difficult classes.
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:55 AM
 
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When no subs accept the job on Aesop, then our aides get pulled.

The answer to everything in my school this year has been to pull an aide.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:50 AM
 
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Plans should have been ready if this was prearranged. I have a tub of ďemergency sub plansĒ that I leave on my desk all the time- just cause you never know. Honestly, itís a huge relief to me when Iím sick knowing that I donít have to put together plans if I donít want to because I have those. Iíve known of schools where you are required to leave out emergency sub plans every night. This might be needed at your school.

I agree with others- I always feel guilty taking off days, and I really shouldnít. Friday I got to school and threw up 3 times... we had to split my kids into other classes. I always take kids without a complaint (and normally volunteer to take the behaviors) because itís part of being a team player- I like knowing my teammates will do the same for me.
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Aides as subs
Old 05-19-2019, 12:04 PM
 
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When no subs accept the job on Aesop, then our aides get pulled.
This is kind of interesting to me. My aides are paid for with special education funds and cannot be pulled to sub in a class as the pay is vastly different (subs get paid more per day than our paras), the funding for their pay comes from a different fund, and the paras would have to have at least 64 college credits and then be paid the difference in order to cover. I just know that it's illegal to pull our paras if a child's IEP states they have to be in the room with them.

It's interesting seeing how everyone's school/district/state handle different situation. While our subs are not paid the same rate as teacher, they get a pretty decent daily pay for subbing. Not a great amount, but a better one than our aides. Even with the benefits that our full-time subs get, we still run short from time to time, with our shortages being on days that we have multiple sporting events going on and our teacher/coaches are out.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:22 PM
 
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The problem in the original post is poor sub pay. If these hard working people were paid more the sub shortage would be non existent.

Teachers absolutely are entitled to using any personal day they get and I did not ever see specialists or any other certificated person pulled to cover a class. Teachers were paid overtime for every extra kid that was farmed out to their class.

Teachers not leaving sub plans is a problem for everyone and speaks to irresponsibility . Principals should be straightening that out.
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:42 PM
 
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My aides are paid for with special education funds and cannot be pulled to sub in a class as the pay is vastly different (subs get paid more per day than our paras), the funding for their pay comes from a different fund, and the paras would have to have at least 64 college credits and then be paid the difference in order to cover. I just know that it's illegal to pull our paras if a child's IEP states they have to be in the room with them.

It's interesting seeing how everyone's school/district/state handle different situation. While our subs are not paid the same rate as teacher, they get a pretty decent daily pay for subbing. Not a great amount, but a better one than our aides. Even with the benefits that our full-time subs get, we still run short from time to time, with our shortages being on days that we have multiple sporting events going on and our teacher/coaches are out.
My school has waaay more Gen Ed aides than SpEd aides. SpEd aides can't be pulled, but Gen Ed ones can. And aides here (I think) make more than subs. And when an aide covers a class, s/he gets a differential.

I think there is a lingo barrier going on, too. I think of aides and paras being the same, but you distinguished between them....?
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aides vs paras
Old 05-21-2019, 04:45 AM
 
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I think there is a lingo barrier going on, too. I think of aides and paras being the same, but you distinguished between them....?
My bad! They are actually all considered paras in our district, but I was trying to use the lingo that is used here. I need to proof read better, but got worn out doing that with my boards work !

We don't have a lot of general ed paras in our district. I think there are 2 in our building of 2000 kids. The rest of the paras are through special education. Could by why ours aren't pulled to sub. That and the pay and qualification thing for us could be another reason.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:27 AM
 
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Our paras have it in their contract that they can supervise but not teach so they can't get pulled. Our sub situation is so dire they'd do nothing but sub. When we don't have subs buildings either split classes or teachers lose their plans and cover (each building decides how to handle it).

As for not having plans, that's on the teacher and absolutely unacceptable.
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