I'm tired. We're in the final push toward the Winter break, and this is a hard part of the year for everyone. The kids - who had Monday Halloween on top of everything else - haven't had a vacation in ages, the teachers are tired from getting through conferences, and the weather is changing to rainy-day recess.
It's not a great environment, and my personal slice of it was made worse by having a number of out-of-classroom people on vacation/leave/at conferences this week. This actually made me pretty mad. Anyone who's been working at a school for a couple of years knows November is hard. One year is enough to tell you that the day after Halloween is miserable. And none of the adults are at their best. All hands are needed on deck. By taking stress-relief days, you impact everyone around you: they pay for your relaxation with extra stress of their own.
Anyway, I intend to politely but definitively let the out-of-the-classroom people who left us short-staffed and flailing how that felt and what it meant for those of us who showed up every day.
It's not that I am against taking personal days. It's taking them and not arranging for your position to be covered, or taking them without leaving plans, or taking them and calling in with demands you want filled immediately even though everyone is swamped and you're not at work. I also favor them more for teachers - who have the hardest job, hands-down, of anyone on a school campus - than I do for out of classroom employees.