Inside: What COVID-19 Has Taught Teachers About Sick Days
Since COVID-19 appeared in the United States, our classrooms have certainly changed. In some ways, things have changed for the worse. You’ve missed your students, had to figure out how to take care of your own kids’ educational needs at home while teaching your students online and canceled plans this summer. Fortunately, COVID-19 does have some positive effects. This pandemic has changed the mindset of teachers when it comes to sick days. Here’s what COVID-19 has taught teachers about sick days.
Going in sick is NOT a badge of honor.
It may not feel like it at this moment, but teacher is not synonymous with martyr. You are willing to sacrifice your time, money, and emotions for the sake of your students. Teachers decorate their rooms, plan engaging lessons, and put their heart and soul into what they do.
However, you should not sacrifice your health. COVID-19 has reminded us that to teach well you have to be well. Coming to school sick is not the ultimate sacrifice. In fact, you can easily spread illness to others. Celebrate all the great things you do for your students, but keep in mind that you are more than a teacher. You may be a wife, mother, friend, gardener, baker, dancer, writer, artist, volunteer, and a million other things.
Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice your health for your job. Your learners will be OK if you stay home sick whether it’s a bad cold, the flu, or COVID-19. Just stay home and get well. In addition, make sure to look at your school’s policy should you lose time because of COVID-19 diagnosis, testing, symptoms, or exposure.
To make things easier for you to take a day off, we have put together a FREE Simple Sub Planning Starter Kit to help you be prepared for those sick days! You’ll get an eBook to walk you through the process, editable forms, sample lesson plans, behavior management punch cards, thank you cards for your sub, and a list to keep track of all your substitutes!
No one wants your germs.
I think we’ve all gone to school when we’re not feeling our best. Whether it’s the fear of sub plans, guilt, or leaving your school family (especially your students), there are many reasons teachers don’t take their sick days. COVID-19 has taught teachers that we should use them. If you’re feeling awful, think of it this way. Spreading your germs at school will cause more problems for your school family than just staying home. More than likely, you’ll be back to school soon. However, if you need to be home longer than a day or two, there are sub plans for every grade and content area to make your transition back to school and time at home easier. Share your joy, your passion for learning, and your love for your students, but don’t share your germs!
A good sub is everything.
Many schools are experiencing sub shortages. It’s hard to know if you’ll even have a sub in your classroom when you’re sick. That can be frustrating, but it’s also taught teachers to appreciate what it means to have a fantastic guest teacher in your classroom. Making sure you are prepared for a sub by pre-teaching your students expected behaviors and having emergency sub plans ready to go can help your sub keep coming back. COVID-19 has also taught us the value of a good substitute teacher.
Even though it will be difficult to secure subs in the upcoming school year, showing your favorite guest teachers that you appreciate them and keeping your plans organized will help them come back. We have a whole section on keeping subs wanting to come back to YOUR classroom in the new Sub Planning Made simple eBook that you’ll find in our FREE Simple Sub Planning Starter Kit.
You are more than your job.
What has COVID-19 taught us about sick days? More than ever, you are more than your job. You love being a teacher and your students, but your job is not worth more than your health. Keep your germs and illness at home, get well, and come back better than ever. When you return, thank the awesome subs that cover your class. Even though COVID-19 has been a horrible happening this year, it’s taught us to use our sick days and look after our own health!
Sub planning is more important now than ever. Want to make checking this off your list a breeze?
We’ve become quite the experts in sub plans over the last 6 years. When I had my first child in 2014, I decided to substitute teach while staying home with him. That is when I realized how much of a problem inadequate sub plans can be… but I couldn’t blame the teachers, because I’d been on their side, too. Ever since, it’s been my mission (and now my team’s mission) to help teachers get organized with our Editable Sub Binders, Ready To Go Sub Plans, and Monthly Themed Sub Plans. To learn the difference between the sub plans and sub binders, check out this help article.
Note to 7-12 teachers: Our current sub plans go for Pre-K through 6th grades, but if you teach 7-12 sign up for our email list because we are working on adding higher grades! (Click on the link on the bottom of your welcome email to “update your preferences” and let us know your grade level and subject preferences) Our sub binders are not grade specific.
Thousands of teachers have used and trusted these sub plans in their classrooms. Check them out below to see for yourself how much these resources can help you… now more than ever!
Sign up for the FREE Simple Sub Planning Starter Kit
If you haven’t already, sign up for the FREE Simple Sub Planning Starter Kit. Over 65,000 teachers have used this starter kit to give their sub plans a kick start, and you can, too!