Interesting Situation

A teacher in my building has some hearing loss from an unknown cause and received an appointment with a local expert, but the testing of her hearing is scheduled for 7 am Monday. This two-hour test means she would miss the first 75 minutes of the day, which is during an all-district meeting in our auditorium. It’s the “state of the district” meeting. If she misses the appointment, the next opening is two months away.

Well, the administrator, who is this teacher’s evaluator, told the teacher she had to get a 1/2 day substitute. This means a sub would sit through the meeting and then be required to teach the first two periods of the day while the normal teacher could be teaching those periods instead (since her appointment would be long over by then) and only miss the meeting.

The teacher called me as the union guy, but I had to tell her the truth; the administrator can require the substitute. I don’t think this makes much sense since the meeting is the only part of the day missed, and the teacher could teach her own classes. However, the administrator is following the letter of the law, which is the teachers’ contract regarding absence time.

To me, this is a time to make an exception because of the unique circumstances of the day.

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Interesting Situation

  1. wpm1955

    Why is anyone worrying about this? If they want to get a sub for her, and insist on it, can she not just come for the afternoon and forget the controversy? What’s the problem? Maybe the reason for the half-day is in “case” of an unforseen emergency–traffic accident or delay, unexpected delay at the doctor’s waiting room, etc.

    Madame Monet
    Third-Grade Teacher

  2. Betty

    My principal was always very nice to let us work around appointments if possible. My planning period was at the beginning of the day, and I came in late a couple of times due to doctor’s appointments. I agree that a sub in this case is unnecessary, but you have to respect the decision of the administrator.

  3. drpezz Post author

    The teacher is trying to work with the administrator after I chatted with her.

    The teacher’s points are that she could teach the classes instead of a substitute (always better for the kids), her kids are special education students who do not function well with change, and the lesson plans have to be individualized for each student requiring a couple hours of preparation.

    Ultimately, the administrator will make the call (of course), but I’m hoping the appointment is kept and no sub is required.

  4. Ryan

    I’d say that they should dock her a 1/2 day of sick leave–she is missing part of the day, after all–but not hire a substitute if she wants to be there teaching. Alternatively, she could farm out the sub to correct papers, etc.

  5. drpezz Post author


    On Friday I think I convinced the teacher and administrator that your scenario is the way to go. After some conversing wit the teacher, I think she’s just trying to avoid losing the 1/2 sick day. The sub may help this particular teacher or will help another teacher with copies, minor grading, and the like.

    You are spot on!


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