Friday, March 30, 2012

A Teacher's Sick Day

Why is it so hard to be sick?  Three a. m., my ears popped with pain, my throat felt like sandpaper, and my teeth were cracking under sinus pressure.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized I had sub plans sitting on my desk, as I was planning to attend a district-level assessment writing meeting.   I wanted to go badly, but my body was telling me to stay home.  Like any teacher, I fought the idea that my body was telling me to slow down and rest.  I surrendered to my illness, and climbed back in bed.

After I woke up from my drug-induced morning nap, I scrambled, realizing I needed to make contact with several people at school.  I needed to write our class newsletter, send it to a colleague to copy and distribute to my kiddoes, and still manage to formulate lesson plans for next week.  Mentally, I began making list after list of tasks I needed to tend to on Monday.  I was struggling to let go of my teacher mentality, even though I was ill.  Sometimes, though, the teacher must refuel and recharge.  We are human, we get sick, and life will still go on within the four walls of our classrooms.

Teaching is a career in which you need to be present at all times, physically and mentally.  When you can't be there physically, you are still required to show up mentally.  We have obligations to create sub plans and continue parent and school contact during an absence.  But, mostly, the heavy mental lifting comes in worrying about how the kids would be with a different teacher.  That's not to say they weren't going to be fine in my absence, but I'm a teacher.  Concern for the kiddoes is always on my mind.

I am going to attempt to shut off my computer and my brain and take a nap.  Lesson plans can wait.  The kids can wait.  But, I'm betting I will still see them in my dreams. . . .


  1. I am so happy that my spring break started this afternoon! Now I can honestly take a break--without feeling guilty and worrying what is going on in my classroom if I am not there. And I don;t even have to write sub plans!!

  2. I certainly hope you're feeling better soon. What you describe sounds miserable. But much truth rings about being there mentally for parents and students, even when not there physically. So glad you turned off your computer. Hope you don't read this comment anytime soon. :)

  3. Isn't this one of the most frustrating challenges of our career? I love knowing I am not alone with this struggle... I hope you are feeling better!!!

  4. Hope you're feeling better.

    I've kind of fallen off the bus in terms of commenting -- my own drama kind of took over, but I've read and loved all of your slices.