Sick teacher sucks.
Nothing like having a nice expectation of a class that is a positive part of the day shattered when the teacher looks like a cross between a beaten dog and a Studio 54 groupie.
Allow me to explain the analogies.
Being a teacher means that every moment of every classroom second is being “on.” The stage is lit, the cameras are rolling, and the high octane teaching is rolling for the 55 minutes until that bell says that they move on. When teacher is sick, teacher’s energy suffers big time. Teacher doesn’t fly into the classroom with vigor. Teacher doesn’t bring all the energy expected. So teacher seems like he’s cashing it in when what teacher is really doing is trying to make it through the day. And people outside of the classroom don’t understand that high energy is a great way to make up for teaching mistakes. Have a bad transition? High energy makes up for it. Not quite prepared as I need to be? High energy makes up for it. The unexpected? High energy makes up for it!
Then there’s the sniffling. Thursday and Friday sounded something like a bad 1970’s Hollywood party.
“Nice to see you *sniffle* ladies and gentlemen!”
“How *sniffle* are we doing *sniffle* today?”
“Mr. Brown, you got a cold?”
“What *sniffle* makes you *sniffle* say that?”
Yeah. For eight hours. That.
So why don’t I just stay home?
First, I love teaching and once it becomes a part of who you are, you want to be there. It’s natural.
Second, absences and substitutes make life much, much, MUCH more difficult for me. Many of our local subs don’t follow the lesson plans left for them and some are downright bizarre. While at a basketball game last December a student sent me a text picture of my sub doing yoga during class; reading a book while stretching his leg to the top of my filing cabinet. The kids got a kick out of it (and were able to complete the work anyway) but it frustrated the hell out of me.
So it’s suck-it-up time in academia.