Impact of Teacher Absenteeism
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Normally in most professional positions, missing work has little impact on the overall work performance of the organization. While it does cost the company a portion of the profits by a day lost in productivity, in many instances, the professional employee can “catch-up” on his or her work. In the profession of education, however, absenteeism has a direct impact upon the goals and objectives of the public education system involved. The absence of a teacher can impact the school district in a number of ways. It can affect the revenue received by the school system, while also costing the district. Research also indicates that habitual absenteeism by an educator may impact the education of his or her students. These problems are serious and must be dealt with in some fashion by the principal in order to curtail absenteeism. Fortunately, there are techniques that principals can use in order to increase staff attendance. The purpose of this paper is to establish the impact of teach absenteeism on the schools system and students, while providing information that principals may establish in order to improve staff attendance.
There are obvious reasons why teacher absenteeism can be costly to the school district. The first involves the fact that many schools receive funding from the state with regard to the number of students present and the number of certified teachers that are present. The second, of course, is that classrooms cannot be left unattended. Thus, when a teacher is absent, regardless of the reason, the school district must request a substitute in order to oversee the classroom and attempt to teach the lessons that were planned by the individual teacher. Unfortunately, substitute teachers are not generally certified by the state to teach school. In some states, substitutes only need two years of college in order to qualify as a substitute. Consequently, the district can pay a lower fee to the substitute, but it is still lost revenue. Additionally, most districts provide sick leave, so when the teacher is absent he or she continues to be paid for that day. So the school district loses revenue from state funding, from the cost of a substitute, and must pay the teacher each time he or she is absent from work.
Consequently, the cost of teacher absenteeism is a financial concern for most school districts that are struggling to pay for adequate and state mandated services for students. However, there is a second dilemma that involves teacher absenteeism. This is the impact that teacher absenteeism has on student performance. If the teacher is absent, then students do not have the continuous flow of educational instruction.