On screwing over one’s co-workers

imagesIt’s one of the oldest gripes about being a teacher: frequently it’s more work to stay home from school than to just go in sick, because writing lesson plans for a substitute teacher are such an incredible pain in the ass.  In my case, I have almost never during my career been able to write a week’s worth of lesson plans at a time with any fidelity, because what happens on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday has such an effect on what’s going to happen on Thursday and Friday and it’s almost never worth the effort to actually write the plans because they’re going to be useless anyway.

My situation right now: I haven’t been at work in over two weeks and I have literally no idea what my kids did last week, even though I did provide stuff for them the week before that.  I’ve been lucky enough to have the same sub the entire time, although when I called the office to let them know about the leave I was told that she wasn’t working out very well and I was asked not to request her again.  So… I’m basically going to write plans for this new person that are a list of procedures (that’s a copy-paste) and a request that she go talk to one of the other 5th grade math teachers at the earliest possible time to get actual lesson plans.  Because I have no idea what the hell to tell her to do.

The kicker, of course, is that since I’m on medical leave the office can’t make me either send in lesson plans or do any grading.  The problem is if I don’t do it, the rest of my team has to, and they sorta have their own shit to worry about, y’know?  I can handle the grading easily enough, I suppose, if I can get someone to bring the shit to me, but I’m really at the point where it’s literally impossible for me to write lesson plans, and as soon as they get somebody to actually take over the room (the leave allows them to actually hire someone at better than sub pay) I’ll give the grading back too.

I’m screwing the two 5th grade math and science teachers over, I know, by basically having to say “go ask them for stuff to do…” but we don’t have teacher’s editions and I have NO IDEA what the kids have been doing.  So.  Yeah.  Sorry about that?

PS: I forgot the punchline, which is that I wouldn’t be at work tomorrow anyway.  My mom, as you remember, had her hip replaced last week, and neither my aunt nor my dad is able to stay with her tomorrow, so I’d be doing that even if I was supposed to be back at work.  Whoops!

4 thoughts on “On screwing over one’s co-workers

  1. Sounds like a no choice situation, especially when you have no feedback as to what the kids did while you were away or what the team plan is next. Rock and hard place. We had an emergency leave once and the long term sub they hired aligned to what the team was doing on their own and wrote their own lesson plans out. It worked out. With any luck they hire someone who knows what they are doing for the long term sub stuff.

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    1. Literally the only thing I know is that we’re doing decimals and fractions during this window. We’ve gotten a new science kit since I was last there and I don’t even know what it covers; obviously I haven’t been able to bring it home. So… it sucks, and I don’t want to screw over people I like, but yeah. Rock and a hard place.

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      1. Indeed it is. There is nothing else for it. Maybe bagels on return? I was often bought off to do favors with Starbucks coffee…my coworkers played and still play, to my addictions for favors now and then.

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  2. DruidPeter

    Damn. It sounds like you’ve been through the ringer, Silas. i hope the medical leave isn’t too serious, although it sounds like you’re more bothered by the school situation that the medical one, so I figure that means you’re going to be more or less ok, yes?

    Teaching in a public school can be hell, or so I’ve heard. I’ll be rooting for you to hang in there, though. You still care about the students, and what they’re learning, which is a lot more than can be said for a lot of teachers out there. 😀

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