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Sunday, March 1

Teachers, It’s O.K. to Take Your Sick Days


O.K. all of you judgy mcjudgers can pump your brakes. Teachers need to take their sick days. That is it, plain and simple. I am so tired of killing myself to go to work when I feel like death warmed over, or worse calling in and feeling the guilt of a teacher who took a sick day. The whole teacher sick day scene is just wrong. Read this post to learn why I take my teacher sick days and how I do it without guilt.

First off I am going to pause and make it clear that I love my job. I do not take sick days because I “don’t feel like going to work.” Trust me when I saw we teachers typically only take sick days when we are on our deathbeds. My question is why does it have to go to that extreme for us to feel worthy of taking care of ourselves? Sick days are there for teachers to take time and take care of ourselves. So why do teachers avoid taking their sick days? Two reasons teacher guilt and sub plans.

Teacher Sick Day Guilt

Some history about me, I have disc issues in my neck from an adolescent accident that causes me great pain and also stems into migraines. For my first three years of teaching, I did not take care of myself at work one bit. I felt guilty calling out sick because of a migraine or horrible neck pain. Instead I would do what we all do when we don’t feel our best at work, we power through. This would result in a day that I was there with my students physically, but not really mentally. Worse than that, I would have to go home and go to bed right after school to ease the pain.

Now that I am older and wiser I am happy to say I realize how stupid that was. Now, I take sick days when I need them and I DON’T wait until I am in excruciating pain to do it. The same goes for when I have a cold. I do not care what anyone on social media says or the teacher down the hall who has never taken a sick day thinks. None of that matters to me anymore. The only thing that matters is being the best teacher I can be for my kiddos. In order to do that, I need to take care of myself. I simply changed my mindset about sick days, and now I take them as needed and don’t feel the teacher sick day guilt. I know that when I push myself to just “be there” I am not really present and do not teach the way my students deserve to be taught and loved. Thus, ladies and gents, I say ignore that ridiculous guilt and take care of yo-self.

Sub Plans


Sub plans? Grrrooooaaaann! I know what we’re all thinking; “writing sub plans are the worst, I’d rather power through and go to school than plan sub plans right now!” I feel ya, writing sub plans is no walk in the park especially when you wake up feeling absolutely horrible. But when you have easy, digital, and editable plans that you can easily use and reuse, it greatly simplifies writing sub plans. I use these editable sub plans to easily make and print 3 days’ worth of sub plans at the start of the year. I keep them in a binder labeled "sub tub" and replenish as needed. I'm not sure why I call it a "sub tub" when it is actually a binder... hmm. Anyway, I set this up because if I wake up feeling absolutely dreadful, I don’t have to spend hours planning, writing, and emailing plans for my substitute. Yay! Back to bed with all the tissues and soft blankets! 
However you choose to set up your sub plans, I definitely recommend writing a few extra days in advance and putting them in a binder somewhere. You never know what may come up or you may catch (no matter how many times you Clorox your tables). Still thinking about taking time out now to make sub plans? Don’t, just hop to it! Don't worry, you can thank me later. Click HERE to grab the editable sub plans I like to use.


There you have it folks. Stop feeling guilty about taking your teacher sick days. Prepare in advance and simply call in when you need to. Ignore the guilt and take care of your fabulous teacher self. Both you and your students will be glad you did.

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