Understanding Your Rights: Taking a Leave of Absence

Understanding Your Rights: Taking a Leave of Absence

Some school heads frequently asked sick teachers when on sick leave,  work or to create and provide activities for students through group chats. But what are the guidelines if the school head expects you to work while on leave?

Some teachers are frequently asked to work when on sick leave, leave to care for a family member, or on vacation. We all want what's best for the students and go "above and beyond" for them, but what are the guidelines if the school head expects you to work while you're on leave?

Taking leave, like a vacation or sick leave, means leaving the office or school without having to do your work. Several of us have helped out while on leave for the school, coworkers, and learners, but it must be a favor; no one can ask for it.

Sometimes, when a teacher goes on an unforeseen personal leave, they are asked (or told!) to prepare and give the learners activities to accomplish. School heads have sometimes asked absent teachers to make lesson plans, and sick teachers have been asked to create and provide activities for students.

Once more, leave is leave. It is your privilege and right, and you cannot be expected to perform work while on leave. You have a right to it and cannot be forced to work while off-duty. If an employer asks a teacher to plan or prepare for a relieving teacher, the teacher has the ultimate right to say "no." Ultimately, your school head can request information but not make demands.

Also, you are not responsible for planning lessons or preparing activities for the learners while sick or caring for someone else. The best thing you can do for your students and yourself is to focus on improving your health.

Why is it not okay to leave tasks or activities to learners while you are not in the classroom

Students are to be supervised by the teacher while working in the classroom. Teachers are responsible for the conduct and safety of students and will see that safety rules are observed.

If a teacher has a learner or learners working in the building, they must remain with them and is responsible for them. A teacher must never leave the building with a student still working. The teacher, not the school, is legally accountable if they do so.

If you leave a task to your learners because your superior asked you while on sick leave, and if an accident or something wrong happens inside the classroom without any teacher supervising them, who will be held accountable for them?

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