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Sick Day Headaches

On Tuesday, I took a much needed sick day. It’s funny how my concept of health during the school year varies so much from the summer. My body’s immune system operates on overdrive starting from the beginning of September all the way through June, and for the most part handles the stress pretty well. But this week, I knew I wasn’t going in to work.

I used the day to sleep in, and catch up on paperwork (and my DVR). The extra day of rest was helpful, and I’m glad I treated myself to it. I felt much better yesterday, but I knew that the day of rest would also yield some anxiety.

you enter the classroom the day after missing work it’s like looking at a real life version of those spot the differences puzzles from Highlights for Children. You know the room is slightly out of sorts. Slowly you find the clues to the disruptions from the day before. Crumpled papers in the closet, missing stickers, misplaced magnets … Anything a kid could find valuable that’s not secured, can (and often does) go missing. It’s not unexpected, and it’s nobody’s fault but my own, but it’s still frustrating.

I wonder if it’s a function of poor classroom management on my part, or if it’s simply inevitable. Experts often say that the ideal classroom is one where students are practically 100 percent independent, to the point where they can run the classroom without a teacher. I wonder if I’ve done enough to put the right rules, routines and procedures in place to guarantee that sort of organized productivity, even in my absence. If it’s possible, I want to make it happen. Even if it doesn’t erase the headaches from my rare sick days, it can certainly still help with the days I am in the classroom.

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