Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'd love to go but.... when world events coincide with teacher schedules


I was checking one of my Facebook teacher groups and came across an article where a teacher was denied a 2 week leave of absence, unpaid, to take his 90 year old veteran father overseas to attend a Second World War ceremony in Holland.

I, like so many other teachers, am outraged that the school board denied this teachers request. 

Yes, we get the summers off. Yes, we get two weeks at Christmas and a week in March.  I get it. We get a lot of "vacation" days (which aren't, in fact, paid vacation days at all).

But does that mean that everyone must abide by that time off? Should the world revolve around teacher time off so that teachers can attend?

Forget scheduling your wedding in May and hoping your teacher childhood friend, who lives 800 kilometers away can attend. Nope. I've actually been there and was denied time off.

Forget having family vacations to Mexico in November if a member of your extended family is a teacher! Been there, done that too.

Forget planning a vow renewal on a Saturday and asking your teacher daughter in law to attend if it means traveling the day before. Yup, denied again.

Do I enjoy my summers off? Of course I do. I need that time to decompress, recharge my batteries, plan for next year and take any professional development course I want. 

Do I enjoy Christmas off and a week in March?  Of course. I'm not going to deny that we have time off as teachers that are well deserved and luckily at fortunate times of the year.

But let's not forget that our schedule isn't very flexible.  And yes, it might be easy for me to plan family outings, vacations and events around my schedule, but it's a little tough to ask the whole world around me to do the same.

I'm glad to report that the school board allowed the man in question to accompany his father, but I hope that school boards start being a little more flexible with allowing teachers a day off or two here and there.