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Old 14.04.2011, 12:00
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Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

Last night I was trying to explain to an old friend back in England why I can't attend an event next month. The event will take place on a Sunday morning in an obscure corner of the British Isles, from which it is impossible to return to Switzerland in time to attend work on the following Monday.

I tried to explain that I already get 12 weeks' holiday a year, and that I am unable to take a day off whenever I fancy just to attend events overseas. I reminded him that I even went to work on the morning of my (civil) wedding!

It got me thinking, though, about the kind of policies schools have regarding extraordinary days off. I know that I would be entitled to take a day for my own wedding, for moving house or for certain kinds of funerals. I also suspect that accommodation might be made for taking an afternoon to nip to the embassy or town hall on important business (with prior arrangement, of course!). I cannot imagine any school allowing their staff to swan off for long weekends just to attend the weddings/first communions/anniversary parties of friends in other countries. Given the length of our holidays, I think this is entirely reasonable.

What is the policy in your school?
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Old 14.04.2011, 12:13
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

Only last Tuesday did I take a holiday.

I went to the river and as I dozed in the sun a small child walked up to me and said, "Mirfield, you've worked hard. You deserve something special".

As he spoke I began to float across the water and up into the air. I laid on a cloud for a while and slept. I was woken by two purring kittens who guided me to a large white dining room. There I took lunch with Felicity Kendal and Professor Brian Cox. There was Scotch Broth (with proper soup spoons), shepherds pie and lemon cheesecake.

Later that afternoon I was taken to the top of a volcano to bathe in a hot spa there. The water was a little hot at first, but I soon got used to it.

After a soothing massage, I was returned home with a large package of fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. There was mimi waiting for me with open arms and her beautiful smile.

It was an extraordinary day off.
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Old 14.04.2011, 12:19
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

Husband's a teacher at a Gymnasium here in Zurich. Apart from those days already mentioned by you, there is no other time off.

What he does get, however, is permission to attend certain conferences and meetings directly associated with his profession (Geographer). This means that he (and I) will be flying to Inverness at the end of May to attend the ICAM (Interntional Conference on Alpine Meteorology) for a week - all very officially!

He's also a member of what I, somewhat disparagingly, call his "Föhn Club" - a consortium of meteorological offices in CH, Germany, Austria, which meets about 3 times a year to discuss, well, the Föhn wind. It's usually a 1-day event, for which he also gets time off.
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Old 14.04.2011, 12:30
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

"*cough* hello *cough* this Mr. DB, I'm afraid I've come down with the most dreadful dose of the flu *cough, sneeze*. Started on Friday afternoon and has just got progressively worse over the weekend, I don't think I'll be able to make it today, I wouldn't want to infect any of the little shits darling children *cough, splutter, snort, sniff*. With any luck I'll be back in a day or 2 *sneeze*"
/click

Right, now where's the sodding corkscrew?
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Old 14.04.2011, 13:09
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

In Lausanne, the rule is that if you want to take a day off you can, but you have to pay for your substitute.

Obviously this doesn't apply if you're attending a work-related event (formation, conference, etc.)
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Old 14.04.2011, 13:15
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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I went to the river and as I dozed in the sun a small child walked up to me and said, "Mirfield, you've worked hard. You deserve something special".

.
That sounds really really wrong.


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There was mimi waiting for me with open arms and her beautiful smile.

.
You just added that bit so I didn't go on about your girl crush and man crush quoted above.


By the way, can you bring some of whatever it is you've taken home with you tonight?
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Old 14.04.2011, 13:33
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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"*cough* hello *cough* this Mr. DB, I'm afraid I've come down with the most dreadful dose of the flu *cough, sneeze*. Started on Friday afternoon and has just got progressively worse over the weekend, I don't think I'll be able to make it today, I wouldn't want to infect any of the little shits darling children *cough, splutter, snort, sniff*. With any luck I'll be back in a day or 2 *sneeze*"
/click

Right, now where's the sodding corkscrew?
The firm that I have recently left wouldn't allow that. Any alleged 'sickness' starting at a weekend, holiday or Bank Holiday had to be covered by a doctor's certificate, even for one day.
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Old 14.04.2011, 18:21
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

Well my son's kindergarten teacher took 3 days off to go to the funeral of her godmother in France. You see, we had a very "understanding" school commission who never dreamt of putting obstacles , such as you have a class of 22 to consider, in the teacher's way.

Maybe you should try getting on friendly terms with the president of the school commsion (that's if your school has one and they haven't been abolished by now). That's how things get done here (or at least where my children went to school). Village mentality though.
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Old 14.04.2011, 18:24
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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Well my son's kindergarten teacher took 3 days off to go to the funeral of her godmother in France. You see, we had a very "understanding" school commission who never dreamt of putting obstacles , such as you have a class of 22 to consider, in the teacher's way.
That sounds quite reasonable to me. People are inconsiderate like that, you see, insisting on dying during term time.

It's not really compassionate leave which interests me, as I see absolutely nothing unacceptable about it - it's asking for a day off for less pressing matters, like confirmations and christenings and the weddings of friends.

I'm really trying to build up a picture of normal practice so I can put my friend right next time he puts pressure on me to ask for unreasonable favours from my boss.
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Old 14.04.2011, 18:47
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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own wedding (...)moving house (...) funerals. (...) embassy
That covers it in mine. Add one day off for the father the day of the child's birth. Funerals are tricky, but once the school understands that refusing a leave leads to a two weeks doctor's note, boss will prefer giving one or two days off in case of death in close circle (not only familly, they are quite open, I must say)
No confort day. Ever.
Askinf for a day off is just not done. It's irrelevant. You get a calender with the dates on it, and that answers ALL possible questions about days off for the entire year.

EDIT: It's actually a very stupid move to demand teachers to get doctor's note, as my doctor always get angry with me that I did not come earlier and that I do not stay home long enough. Not asking for the note means in fact that I stay home three days to rest but then I'm back on track even if my doctor orders one whole week for a viral infection (not the real flu but the thingies we all get once in a while). They cut costs by not asking doctor's notes. Some schools figured out, other did not.
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Old 14.04.2011, 21:11
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

I once managed to get permission to be absent from school during my half a day non-contact time... to go to the airport and bid farewell to my parents who were emigrating to Switzerland. However it wasn't really a 'day off' as I still had to do all the planning etc. in my 'free' time.
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Old 14.04.2011, 21:26
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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Askinf for a day off is just not done. It's irrelevant. You get a calender with the dates on it, and that answers ALL possible questions about days off for the entire year.
If I give you his phone number, can you give my friend a call and tell him, please?
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Old 14.04.2011, 21:39
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

Only if he can handel me. I am such a bad diplomate, my style may be quite violent for a newbie in teachers related matters. When people starts saying the usual crap about teachers and our work, I go for the kill.
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Old 14.04.2011, 21:42
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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When people starts saying the usual crap about teachers and our work, I go for the kill.
Well, most of it is true...
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Old 14.04.2011, 21:58
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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Well, most of it is true...
Here is your famous sarcasm again. See, I can recognize it now.
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Old 15.04.2011, 08:28
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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That sounds quite reasonable to me. People are inconsiderate like that, you see, insisting on dying during term time.
.
Usual is 1 day for funeral of a mother/father/brother/sister (close relative).

3 days without replacement teacher is very inconvenient for 22 mothers/carers who have to change their plans to suit the wants of the kindergarten teacher.
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Old 15.04.2011, 08:29
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

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Here is your famous sarcasm again. See, I can recognize it now.
Not entirely. I spend very little time in the staff room these days because I can't stand the oh-so-predictable whining of my colleagues.

"I can't teach a class with that many children!"

"Yeah, it's tough, but you should be grateful that so many people want to enrol their children here."

"They're taking three days of our holidays for training!"

"Three days out of how many weeks?"

"Why do I have to stay late for parent-teacher meetings?"

"I dunno. Why do ambulance drivers have to work late on Friday nights?"

"They don't pay us enough!"

"Have you see what they earn at Migros?"

I know it's natural to complain, and I do it myself when I'm having a bad week, but working in the private sector it really disappoints me to see how many of my colleagues bring a public sector mentality with them. Not all of them, mind, but enough to drive me to the virtual company of normal people at break time.

It's funny - just this morning my wife and I saw a transit van crammed with manual workers bouncing along the road near the station. They were clearly engaged in some daft banter, and having the nearest thing to a whale of a time that one can have at 7:00 in the morning. When I saw them, I experienced a pang of nostalgia - not that I'd ever want to go back to the appalling conditions or terrible wages of that kind of work, but I miss the atmosphere, the banter, the talking nonsense, the taking the mick, the not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously - and, most of all, just getting on with it.

Some teachers are great. Teachers who have done other jobs, who came to teaching late, who have lives outside of education, who have a sense of perspective. Unfortunately, all too many teachers seem very keen to reinforce the stereotypes of whinging and indolence that the rest of the world often holds about us.

Not that I care, though. I only have to spend 40 weeks of the year in their company!
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Old 15.04.2011, 09:19
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Usual is 1 day for funeral of a mother/father/brother/sister (close relative).

3 days without replacement teacher is very inconvenient for 22 mothers/carers who have to change their plans to suit the wants of the kindergarten teacher.
Might I suggest that one targets one's bitterness towards the school authorities, who ought to have a substitute system in place?

Nobody, even a teacher, 'wants' to go to the funeral of a loved one. And come on, only one day off for your mother's death is inhumane. Maybe people with your opinion should find robots to look after their children, although I fear they would lose the education in respect and compassion they obviously lack at home.
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Old 15.04.2011, 09:32
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

Ahh, the memories of the poor supply teacher; led to Chemistry class 3N in about 1987 like a lamb to the slaughter.

After 1h 10 of absolute Hell, briefcase hidden by Flathead Hodge and a shelf-full of magnesium and iron filings stolen from the prep-lab he retired to the staff room for tea and sympathy from the Head of Pastoral care.



We loved it when the regular teachers were on leave...
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Old 15.04.2011, 20:07
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Re: Question for fellow teachers regarding extraordinary days off

DB, I asked for you at my school: the above plus one day off to go and receive your literature price. It happened once ten years ago, the guy got the friday off for that even if it is not stated in the rules. Really deserved it, he worked hard on that book for it
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