Should I Be Here?

Short answer is probably, “No”. I’m doing this at work (yeah, I know- on the boss’s time and all that stuff!) but I don’t have a big pang about this as this is almost part of my job! I am an IT teacher and I am sort of in the process of ‘doing’ blogging with the senior kids, and so while they are beavering away at their world-shattering observations and commentary, I am doing similarly- modelling? Yeah! Right!

Anyway back to my question. I am feeling like death warmed up and have streaming eyes and intermittent sneezes and thus I am probably a walking disaster for those around me. In such a state I suspect it accomplishes very little ensuring regular hand-washing, covering mouth/nose when coughing/sneezing, and any of the other health poster guidelines (although, of course they’ll minimise health hazards as much as is possible!) But our classrooms are very often places where people who really shouldn’t be there spend their days. Kids sent by working parents who can’t (or won’t) find home care for them or teachers who are ill and infectious but who can’t be replaced because relievers are not available (or won’t be replaced because they don’t want someone else running their class.) And, of course hard surfaces that must harbour squizillions of nasties just waiting to spoil someone’s day!

But I am here, and so are at least 3 kids today who shouldn’t be, and I think another teacher elsewhere in the school who would be doing herself and her colleagues and pupils greater service by being elsewhere.

So why are we here? The children’s presence is explained in part by parent’s circumstances, in part by parent’s attitudes, or in part by the desire of the kids to rather be here than at home. But the teachers? I think there are a number of factors here as well- some teachers may have used up their sick leave, some may prefer to not have the potential disruptive effects of less than wholly effective relievers, some may not be well organised enough and a bit afraid of being discovered as being so by another taking over, some may feel that if they could ensure a ‘proven’ reliever would be in charge they’d stay home, some may feel that what is planned for that day requires them to be here, and of course so are just so damned dedicated they think even performing below par is worth the effort of getting out of their sick-bed to be at school. (They ARE NOT here because there is no reliever available- that’s management’s problem.)

So why am I here? Because my role directly effects at least three other teachers’ plans for the day it’s less disruptive than re-scheduling the day another time when I’m feeling better, and because I am not replaced by a reliever if I call in sick it’s simply more expedient and convenient for all if I turn up (so no high principles involved!)

And, actually I’m fibbing. I’m not doing this at school, and I am not feeling like death warmed up with streaming eyes and sneezes, but you get the idea?

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