Ever look at a teacher, and knew they weren’t well? You could smell the cough drops, or hear the congestion when they spoke… there were times I used to wonder why they came to school.
Gone are the days when I could wake up, realize I had a fever and a cough, call in and go back to bed. As a teacher that doesn’t always work. Injury? Meet insult. The things that stay the same: waking up sick, and calling in. Instead of going back to bed though, you look at your class (or classes) are at, make up lesson plans for a substitute and email them (for each class)… then you can go back to bed. When you wake up, then you can do things like answer your student emails and get a jump on your grading, because you know you are going to be swamped when you get back. You can do the same thing tomorrow, too.
It is so much work being sick, that most teachers don’t have the time to do it. **
Teachers get exposed to 30 to 100+ students every day, so getting sick is inevitable. This is why I carry my little mini-pharmacy. It has cough-drops, pain killers, Benadryl, and enough Dayquil to get me through a day. Along with soothing tea, it has gotten me through a couple of rough days. Altoid tins are a good size, and I have a small stack at home that I can grab on my way out the door.
There is the good news if you are teaching sick: you are the teacher. You can tell your students (periodically) that there will be no homework and give yourself a break. The bad news: you are the teacher. You can’t do that too often. It is going to take extra work to get your classes back on track after you are out for a day or two.
All of this is a roundabout way of saying, I hate being sick. I don’t like it, and frankly I miss my classes and my students. I would so much rather be there, than stuck at home, recovering from whatever it is that I have. Zeus help me, I even miss grading homework at this point.
** This also applies to parents. Not quite the same… I at least get to go home at the end of the day.