Feeling guilty

I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time. It’s ironic that I am able to find the time to post because I am off work, ill.

Most teachers don’t take sick days. Last week I was sick early on Friday morning morning but still went in to school, where I found out that the headteacher had also been sick that morning. We both dragged ourselves through the day, hanging on to the thought that the next day was Saturday and we could have a rest. One of my colleagues then pointed out on Monday that emailing about planning at 10.30 on the Saturday night did not constitute “a rest”.

I think I’ve got flu – it’s certainly more than a cold – and I spent the day in my classroom yesterday shivering, coughing and finding it increasingly difficult to even walk. I went to bed early, after adjusting my planning for today and emailing it to my TAs, hoping that a night’s sleep would miraculously make me feel better. I woke many times during the night feeling poorly, and realised as my alarm went off at 5.50am that, actually, I could hardly move. I discovered a few minutes later that I have no voice at all.

Reluctantly, I sent a text to my headteacher, apologising and explaining in great detail what the children were supposed to be doing today, where resources could be found, and how to find things on my computer in the classroom. With typical good humour she sent me a text back essentially telling me to shut up and go back to sleep.

I did manage to go back to sleep, but I have woken up over and over, worrying about whether or not all the children’s permission slips have been brought back; whether the Christmas maths activity should have been differentiated more for the less able in the class and extended more for the more able; whether the behaviour of a select few went out the window today in light of the unexpected change to routine…

Now I’m worrying about tomorrow. Will I be well enough to go to school? Should I make a decision tonight and not have to worry about the alarm in the morning or should I decide in the morning and run the risk of leaving cover to the last minute again? I wonder how many other professions feel such guilt at taking one or two days off work, ill?


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