Monday, February 7, 2011
Sick days are different when you teach internationally. Sometimes you are lucky and your school can provide a substitute for you (this is usually done when a school employs a full-time sub or two, but with only one or two subs for an entire k-12 school, it gets a little dicey). More often than not, you being out sick means extra work for your colleagues. My teaching partner was out for an entire week earlier in the year and I had to cover some of the lessons she would normally do, and I had to arrange for others to cover the lessons I simply couldn't (my Turkish just isn't that good yet). Everyone is kind and offers to help and pick up lessons for you, but no doubt about it, it is a strain. So today when I woke up with some kind of kink in my back, I opted to suck it up and tough it out by going to school. I don't know how the kink came about as I woke up in the night and felt fine and then when morning came I couldn't hold up my own head. Once my teaching partner saw me, she sent me home. I love her for that as the pain is beyond my control, and the help of 2 muscle relaxants. But as I sit at home, bored out of my mind and in more pain than I have known in a long time I worry. Most teachers worry what the sub is doing to their class, but I worry about those having to take over my lessons and duties when they are busy themselves and desperately need the prep times that they have and the breaks in the day. I know that they know I'd do it for them and it eases some of the burden, but international schools just aren't the same. We are colleagues, friends and pseudo families for each other, so I worry about overstepping boundaries or annoying others by taking the time off. So there you go... another peak into the life of international teachers.