• Welcome! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Does anyone else feel guilty when....


Full Member
I have a nasty, lingering cold that won't go away. I spent Veteran's Day weekend in bed, went back to school yesterday, and came home even sicker. I couldn't get myself to school today and had to call for a sub. I have an all day seminar tomorrow, so they'll have a sub, then, too. Our subs aren't "quality", so I've spent all morning feeling guilty that my students will have one for two days in a row. I worry about my classroom, my belongings, them not having enough work to do, and most of all, the fact that they'll be behind. Ugh.


Full Member
me too

I feel the same way a lot. I teach ESE and sometimes they get a sub for me and sometimes they don't. If they don't, the kids don't even get "my" work for them IF they get any at all (some teachers hand them a book and say read or a color sheet and crayons). I know its not easy to get subs to agree to ESE classes


it happens

I use to feel really guilty too but as the years go by you tend to get over it. However, I think what is key is to make sure when you are there that you are making the most of the instruction time. When you are so sick that you can not teach, you are better to stay home and get better. You will probably learn a lot at your professional day. So like I said, make the most of the days you are there. I am fortunate that my sub is a former wonderful teacher from our building so I know that she does a great job. When you get back, dig in there and make up for what they didn't get done while you were gone.
I don't know where you live but we live where there are snow days so we battle those all winter long-some winters more than others. We have had some years that you know the kids are losing so much by being home instead of school. Although, I will admit to enjoying the occasional, very unexpected snow day when you can roll over in bed and go back to sleep. Hey, I wonder what the weather report is for tonight. LOL


Full Member
haha.... I'm in Florida...no snow days but we have been having more and more hurricane days. Not as much fun as snow days I wouldn't think :(


Senior Member

In the big picture, I dont feel guilty. If I am out one or two days to get better, it is better than missing a full week because I am full blown sick.
The same way if I need a day for me to revive myself. Those mental health days do wonders for me and my attitude, and I am sure my students reap the bennefits!


Senior Member

I don't feel guilty... I'm allowed to be sick... and it's usually because sick kids come to school anyway... hehe

I sometimes even take a day just for me and I stay home... call it a mental day...

don't feel guilty...the kids are fine :p enjoy!


Junior Member
Stay Home!

Please - don't feel guilty when you stay home! Those of us at school who are healthy those days don't want whatever you have! Germs spread fast enough at school because of the kids- we don't need the teachers spreading illness too! :o

I know it's hard not to be there- but the world manages to turn without us! (Although some days it's hard to imagine how...)

Great topic! Patches


Senior Member
don't worry

I HATE calling in sick and haven't unless I am dying. I did have to a few years ago after falling backwards headfirst down my basement stairs. The dr said no work for a week. I almost died. The kids got through it so even though they got behind, we caught up and they did fantasic.

I also hate that the principal makes you feel guilty when you are sick because it is so hard to get subs.

On the other hand, after losing my previous job (school closed) I almost lost 60 sick days. I never used personal days so I lost them each year as well. Thank God, I was rehired by the same district a year later and the new principal agreed to honor my sick days so I now have 80 and pray I never need to use them.


Senior Member
Don't worry too much

As a sub, it upsets me that you don't have good subs so you feel guilty about leaving your kids. :( Its not that difficult to follow the teacher's lesson plans for the day. I've subbed when all that was left was lesson plans. They were cryptic, but I figured it out. There have been a few days when I left the teacher a note saying she may want to reteach the day's math/science lesson because a lot of the kids seemed confused (whether it was because of me or the material). Maybe it won't be as bad as you think.

My mom is one of those teachers that won't miss school unless she is forced (in fact, she has at least a years worth of sick days saved up - 400+). Her principal made her take an extra week off two years ago after she was briefly hospitalized and it made her crazy. Luckily, I was able to sub for her so she didn't worry too much about who was in her room.

I hope you were able to recover and not worry too much over the sub in your room. Your health is important. Wouldn't your kids be behind if you were so sick you couldn't teach the information well? Take care of yourself.


Senior Member

I know exactly how you feel. I get sick, and I can't bring myself to not go to school. I don't like leaving the kids with a sub, either, and I hate getting behind. I also hate the feeling of being out of sorts when I return. The problem is that people like us don't get well as quickly as those who stay home. Ah, maybe we should take a day or two off when we get sick...


Senior Member
No More Guilt

I felt so guilty that I went to school throwing up. It is so hard to get control of the kids after a sub. I have been lucky and found a sub that sticks to the lesson. I set up an a.m./p.m. basket for the day with everything lined up in order of use with brief notes attached on how to present the lesson. It takes me about 3 hours to do this but then we don't get behind. I have had to be gone a lot as our school got a grant and all K-3 teacher's had to attend intensive training for it. We missed 2 days a week for the 1st month and then 1 day a week for the next 2 months. Now we only miss 1 day a month for the follow up training. However when an opportunity to go the a union conference covering many areas I have questions in, with a big push from my union president I signed up and I will be gone 2 full days in December. I am really stressing about it. Not any more.
This week my uncle died in a head on collision and I took a day off for the funeral. I felt so guilty that I went in to teach reading and give the sub some pointers for the rest of the day. Well I got there and there was no sub. I was promised they would have it covered by 10:30 when I had to leave for the funeral. At 10:55 someone finally came. I was in tears that I was going to be 20 min. late for the funeral and then and there I decided not to feel guilty again. They could have called the person that filled in for me to come earlier but she told me they said 11:00. I am also going to call back and get 1/2 a day pay as I was there for 1/2 the day. Don't feel guilty. It's not worth it and your kids will survive without you.