Contrary to popular belief, people do not get into teaching in order to have the summers off. That is a vicious rumor that was started some years ago by post office employees. The truth is that people become teachers in order to rack up and eventually ruthlessly exploit the sick day plan.
You see, for every year that you teach and don’t die, you are granted a set number of sick days. These sick days “roll over” from year to year, so it is eventually possible to garner an entire year of sick leave! This allows teachers to retire an entire year early without penalty! This is a beautiful thing, because trying to enjoy your first year of retirement when you’re 80 is pathetic and you end up spending most of your time wishing you were still that spry 79 year old.
In order to achieve this dream, teachers are willing to do just about anything to preserve our sick days. We will show up to work feverish and vomiting and play a movie in class while we huddle around the trash can. We will force-feed our own delirious children ibuprofen and sneak extras into their lunches with encouraging words like “You’ll feel better once you get to school.” I have even seen teachers postpone surgeries and plan pregnancies around their summer vacation in order to preserve their sick days.
Of course, even with all these precautions, teachers are only human beings after all, and sometimes we do fall ill. It is on these days that we grudgingly call in sick and we’re grateful that even in this day and age of vilifying civil servants, we are still allowed this courtesy.
That is, until this year. You see, while it is actually illegal to take away our sick days, what our Fearless Leaders have decided to do instead was to refuse to pay for our substitutes in the event that we fall ill. Instead the money will have to come from our paychecks or the school can choose to take the money from our nonessential programs; like the electric bill. This is their latest strategy to improve morale and raise the bar on our performances.
Of course in the face of so much awesomeness the teachers are attempting to band together and have agreed to volunteer to cover for each other when we’re sick. (Please keep in mind that being sick still costs you a sick day, but no substitutes are actually being hired.) So instead of planning for their own classes, our teachers are sitting in someone else’s chair granting people permission to use the restroom and reminding students that setting each other on fire is against school policy.
Because this new policy and the teacher’s subsequent coping strategy is so amazing, this year’s Golden Douchapotamus Award goes to our very own Fearless Leaders! I’ve no doubt that winning this award had come as a great surprise to them and that they’ll no doubt release a press statement later about how honored they are to receive this highly competitive trophy. The Golden Douchapotamus will most likely be displayed in our Fearless Leaders’ office, so if you wish to go see it you can because they have an open door policy, just try to restrain your natural impulse to seize it and chuck it at their heads.