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Too sick to set cover- what do I do?

(23 Posts)
BossWitch Sun 18-Feb-18 20:45:23

Have morning sickness but it's all day. Am exhausted. Due back from half term.tomorrow. Have spent last 4 days in bed, is only getting worse. Can barely pull myself together to write this, but am meant to set 5 lessons of cover. Don't know what will happen if I say I can't and I'm a bit scared to be honest. Any advice?

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noblegiraffe Sun 18-Feb-18 20:49:01

I’d email your HOD, explain you are too ill and maybe say what topics you are doing with each class if you can. They are paid more than you to deal with situations like this.

BossWitch Sun 18-Feb-18 20:55:31

Thanks noble. He's not the most sympathetic of hods but I'll give it a go.

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seven201 Sun 18-Feb-18 21:24:03

I think if I were you I'd write a very very basic cover eg page 5-7 of textbook. Add a note to the hod that you are too ill to write better and if he can improve it then please do. I HATE writing cover as it takes so bloody long and is rarely followed anyway!

AmUsername Sun 18-Feb-18 21:28:32

You are under no obligation to set cover if you are sick. Email your HOD and if there is any come back, go straight to your union rep. We set cover as a courtesy, if it's possible to do so. If not, you don't. Especially as you are pregnant and have protected characteristics.

On a different note, sounds like you might have hyperemesis gravidurum. Try and get a GP appointment and see if they will give you some anti emetics.


WyfOfBathe Sun 18-Feb-18 21:34:42

If you can, make brief notes at least for your younger classes eg "Year 7 = families, textbook chap 3"
If you have exam classes, you can set a past paper.

If you're too sick to do that, or your HOD isn't being reasonable, do you have a sympathetic colleague who might coordinate things for you?

ruleshelpcontrolthefun Sun 18-Feb-18 21:40:35

Urgh been there!! No, don't set cover. Stay in bed and don't worry about it. If you can, just a quick email to say "p1 yr 8 currently teaching electricity". I've worked on supply a lot too and quite often have no work left. I tend to pick a sensible-looking child, ask what they have been doing. Cover teachers can use an index or freestyle or dish out some A3 paper for posters wink

BossWitch Sun 18-Feb-18 21:46:43

Thanks all. Have text hod and got a reply asznd have emailed notes on the classes for tomorrow. Will try to get to docs as well. Thanks for all the advice everyone

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Scooby23 Sun 18-Feb-18 21:50:43

And don’t feel guilty... morning sickness proper proper horrid! Hope you feel better soon xxxx

ShackUp Sun 18-Feb-18 21:57:56

I would definitely see GP and get a letter in this case. Your HoD sounds horrible, please don't let him make you feel bad about needing time off.

Piggywaspushed Mon 19-Feb-18 07:03:33

The way teachers are made to feel when they are ill is silly. Departments should have emergency cover lessons (which they hardly ever do...). It's in your HODs job description to deal with stuff like this!

castasp Mon 19-Feb-18 08:12:57

Definitely go to your GP, because you may be off for the rest of this half-term and you'll need sick notes.

My GP was very understanding and just kept signing me off until I got better. School got long-term supply in. These things happen.

MaisyPops Mon 19-Feb-18 18:27:31

Don't feel guilty and don't set cover.

Policy in our department is 'if you have something you want doing that doesn't need lots of resources send it in but if not then don't bother. You're ill. Rest abd get better'.

As someone else has said HODs abd dept leaders are paid money to deal with this.

BossWitch Tue 20-Feb-18 14:11:53

Well last night I got a pretty snotty text from my hod, telling me that he had ignored the notes I'd emailed him about where the classes were up to, asking if I would be setting cover for the rest of my absence and how long that would be. Made me feel like complete shit, really anxious (I have struggled with anxiety and been medicated for it in the past) and I ended up crying on dh about it all. Lovely dh got quite pissed off with the whole situation so he replied to the text himself, basically just saying I'm in no way up to setting cover and until I've seen a doctor (weds) I don't know when I'll be back. I don't want to think of my hod as sexist but my word, the difference in tone when he replied to my dh compared to what he sent me!

I really hate this about teaching. Especially as we are expected to set 'proper lessons' for cover - sorry if I'm not up to planning out 5x 5 part bloody lessons with differentiation and defined learning objectives while I'm on my fucking arse with sickness! angry

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doowapwap Tue 20-Feb-18 14:27:06

So sorry your hod isn't being supportive. Luckily when I was teaching and pregnant with dc1, in the early days I had a bleed and texted him to tell him, while at the hospital and he replied "don't worry at all about school, just look after yourself, I'll sort everything", the relief was incredible. It surprised me because he was normally an arse.

If he's not supporting you properly, have you got a member of smt you can talk to?

Please don't worry about setting cover. You need to rest. I'm pregnant with dc4 and experiencing the worst nausea I've ever had (not working anymore) so you have my total sympathy

BossWitch Tue 20-Feb-18 14:43:02

Yes luckily the slt member who is the next step up is great, she was brilliant with me when I returned to work after a couple of months off with depression so I'm going to speak to her as soon as I've seen my gp.

My hod seems to be the opposite of yours doowap - normally fine but crap when dealing with a crisis!

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doowapwap Tue 20-Feb-18 16:00:19

Glad to hear slt are supportive, get them on board when you've seen your gp. "Morning" sickness is truly awful and knowing it's not going to end anytime soon just amplifies it for me.

I hope it eases for you soon, rest up

Rockandrollwithit Tue 20-Feb-18 20:17:21

I had HG in my second pregnancy. I'm also on SLT and I think your HOD is being horrid. I have often had to set cover for colleagues in my dept who have been unable to for various reasons - it's time consuming but a part of the job when you choose to accept a management role. He needs to get on with it, this is what his extra money is for.

Putting school to the side - please get medical advice if you are struggling. I was on a cocktail of anti-sickness meds and am pretty good at carrying on but often needed to be rehydrated at the hospital and was admitted a few times. Keep an eye on your hydration and if you are worried get an emergency appt with your GP - mine tested my urine for ketones and would contact the hospital if I needed to be admitted. If you are signed off, take the time without any guilt.

And remember that absence to do with pregnancy isn't part of your official absence record.

BossWitch Tue 20-Feb-18 20:22:01

Thanks Rock that's a really kind message. I'm trying to stay hydrated and I've got a go appt for tomorrow morning and will really press for some meds!

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Rockandrollwithit Tue 20-Feb-18 20:53:27

Good luck for tomorrow then, let us know how you get on.

TheletterZ Wed 21-Feb-18 20:15:23

How did your appointment go? Pregnancy sickness can be awful, I had it with both of mine, all day whole pregnancy finished both weighing less than I started I just coudn't eat. It is hard to explain how it feels to someone who hasn't experienced it.

Always seems ridiculous to ask someone who is ill to complete cover work, nice to hear there are some schools who are sensible and sensitive.

user1485778793 Sun 11-Mar-18 00:54:33

My hod was very nasty when I was off sick with hg. A woman too who said her sister had hg but when it came to me, no empathy at all because in her eyes I'd made more work for her. She's an awful manager too, bitches to the kids and other staff about myself and other colleagues.

I was even in hospital and got texts saying how worried she was about my groups failing. I complained about this, deputy head investigated and she never text me again. She's by far the worse line manager I've ever had.

holycheeseplant Sun 11-Mar-18 07:39:20

I know this thread is a few weeks old now but I wanted to add that my belief was that no body should be contacting anyone when they're off sick. The head possibly if they need to check return dates but in my schools it's always been emphasised that the teacher should contact School as soon as they can to tell them.

I think there needs to be a complaint about this HOD. Next time do not reply to emails.

I had to be off quite a long time in my first pregnancy and the texts I received from a ta moaning and fussing about behaviour and when was I coming back made me feel very guilty and stressed and definitely contributed to the antenatal anxiety I developed as a result of the issues I was experiencing, as feeling like I was failing work and my unborn child was too much to cope with.

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