I know many teachers who become sick within one or two days of starting the school holidays.
Often they are tired and run down at the end of the term from having been dragging themselves to school when they are unwell. Many teachers make martyrs of themselves and think they are irreplaceable.
Whilst their commitment is appreciated at times this dedication can be counter-productive as they suffer a more serious health issue instead of taking a day or two to recover from a more minor issue.
This is a fine line! Some teachers see it as their right to take a ‘mental health’ day as soon as their leave allowance permits. They use up their sick days regularly and treat them as an entitlement. Whilst these people are not likely to suffer from workplace induced stress, I am not convinced that they are truly committed to teaching and therefore miss out on the sense of satisfaction of really making a difference in the lives of their students.
I prefer to see the leave provisions as an insurance policy should they be genuinely needed. However some can take this approach too far. I know of some who have boasted about, “Not having taken a sick day in ten years”.
Whilst this may well be true, they fail to mention that they struggled along at less than their best for a fortnight to get through a bout of the common cold, spreading their germs and bad temper throughout that time. I wonder what residual damage they caused.
It is always a judgment call – if you are sick, do what is genuinely needed for a full and quick recovery.
What are your thoughts?