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KBSI Perspective
Those of you who follow this segment know I spent eight years in the high school classroom during my early employment years.  In the decades since that time, I have followed the changes in secondary education from every angle comparing them with my teaching years.  One of the changes has to do with teacher absences.  There seems to be a growing problem with the number of days teachers are staying out of the classrooms for various reasons.  In the largest school districts teachers are absent about 11 days out of a 186 day school year.  The exception is New York City with one of the best teacher attendance rates.  Columbus, Ohio was the worst.  On a national average, 16% of teachers missed 18 days more, nearly 10% of the entire school year.  By the way, this recent study did not include long-term absences for serious illness, maternity or paternity leave.  Breaking the absences down another way, 16% of teacher had excellent attendance, 40% had moderate attendance, and 28% were frequently absent.  I don’t want to sound out of line here but generally, a substitute teacher on a short term basis accomplishes very little.  It is difficult task so most of the time the sub is babysitting.  An executive from the Cleveland, Ohio schools said it best, “There is no substitute for a great teacher.  We want them in school every day.”  The impact teachers have on young lives is critical to their future well-being.  From experience I know teaching is a stressful job but teachers need to be in the classrooms and the school districts must find a way stop the number of growing absences. Teacher Absences


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