The Sickness

“Sick? I don’t get sick,” I mumble to my husband between sniffles and a good, hearty blow into a Kleenex.
It has hit me.
I’ve caught the crud.
“But, I’m strong, not like all these wimpy other sick people. I’ll just make some tea and put on my Big Girl Pants and beg my students to be quiet today. It will be  totally fine. We’ve got fractions to master and stuff, so, I’m going to work.”

Why is it that teachers do this?
Why do we sacrifice our bodies (among other things) just to be at work? Just to do our jobs?
It’s easier to be here than it is to be gone.
Well, that’s true until it isn’t true anymore.

That day I sat in my chair and “taught” all day long. I made it through the day and so did the kids. Really, what I did was sit there, built a tower of tissues, and willed myself not to cry.

The sickness lasted, on and off, for over a week. My coworkers saw how miserable I was and they all painstakingly convinced me I need to take a day off for rest.

Easier said than done.
2 hours of writing sub plans that have the kids doing more than “busy work” for a sub that may or may not even get secured for my absence. (I’m still suffering with guilt from last week when no sub came and my class got mushed with second grade.)
Some say, “Not your problem, don’t worry about it.” But the thing is, it is my problem. These kids are my problem. They are my job! We live in a world where it doesn’t matter how much time, energy, or money it takes from me personally, it is my responsibility to see that all of the students in my room meet 3rd grade standards.
That’s hard to do.
Harder without being at school.
Impossible without a sub.

I took the sick day.
A sub came.
No behavior issues.
Incredible work was accomplished.
I feel better.
The world did not end.

I don’t know who put in a direct call to the Big Man Upstairs but, thank you. I can now resume torturing 3rd graders with equivalent fractions.


  1. Kim K · March 2, 2017

    Blech! To both the sickness and the equivalent fractions. Yay to seeing you slicing. Keep feeling better!!


  2. ccahill2013 · March 2, 2017

    Well said! The stuff about being sick, but more importantly the stuff about your students and your commitment to them!

    Liked by 1 person

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