with love and squalor

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 18 2011

on sick days

i am sick.  not just a cold, but a stomach bug, vomiting, achey, can barely stand sick.  it started on friday evening as soon as i got home from work and continued throughout the entire weekend.  i had to call in sick yesterday because i was still so weak and out of it and queasy, although the vomiting has stopped.  i called in sick today at the last minute because i realized when i woke up that my stomach was still messed up and i wasn’t ready for the physical exhaustion of teaching pre-k.  i think it was the right decision but i feel soooooooooooooo. guilty.  i know that the school didn’t call a substitute yesterday, and they probably didn’t today either.  this means my para will have been alone with the class for 2 days straight and, honestly, it’s not fair.  although the class is, realistically, probably better off with her than a sub–she knows them, they love her, she’s been there every day, she knows their routine, she also knows the pre-k curriculum better than i since she’s been a para for like 15 years–but still.  it’s really overwhelming to have the kids to yourself for so long and i feel guilty.

honestly, sometimes i wish i taught at a normal school where they would fulfill their legal obligations and hire a substitute.

and sometimes i wish i didn’t work for an organization like tfa which would have me internalize fear, sadness, extreme anxiety, and guilt over NEEDING to take a sick day.

One Response

  1. Jessica

    When you are sick, you are sick. Going to school with a stomach illness (especially around preschoolers) could spread throughout your entire building in a heartbeat. You would be doing more harm than good if you subjected your kiddos (and their families) to your stomach bug, so focus on getting better rather than feeling guilty! You will be back on your feet soon!

    I was ill a few times last year as well, and while I did feel anxious and sad, I put that those feelings on myself. If someone on your regional staff is telling you that you should internalize the feelings you mentioned, you need to bring that up with another member of staff. That would be unacceptable.

    P.S. remember that you do not work for TFA. You work for whoever gives you a paycheck :)

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