Absenteeism Essay

1.The purpose of the article called “Determining the negative effect of teacher attendance on student achievement” by Robert C. Woods and Ray V. Montagno is to suggest that teacher absence has a large and detrimental affect on student performance.  Unfortunately, the research cannot adequately address the problem, so the reader really cannot understand the full impact of teacher absenteeism.  These authors cite reports like “A Nation at Risk” that talks about the failure of American education. One of these failures is in spending, and many documents show that teacher absenteeism is a large contributor to wasteful spending in school districts.

  What these studies fail to address is the impact that isn’t financial.  Basically teachers who are at school more regularly have students who do better on standardized testing than the students of teachers who are absent frequently.

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The full implications of this simple statement are not yet known.  What it comes down to is that teacher absenteeism affects the entire school.

   Everyone in the school environment is unsure of how the day will go.  Substitute teachers may not be as capable or as qualified as regular classroom teachers, but even if they are, students rarely listen or pay attention to them as much as they would with their regular classroom teacher.  Substitute teachers are often provided lesson plans of mere “busy work” so that less teaching tends to go on when the teacher is gone.  Students tend to act out more for substitute teachers.  All in all, the learning that takes place in the classroom environment is negatively impacted by teacher absenteeism.  What the studies cannot really tell the reader is just how much.  The major two studies used to cite date are from Indiana and Wyoming, but they are somewhat inconclusive.  What the authors agree is that no one can argue with the idea that teacher absenteeism negatively affects schools.  The article briefly addresses the idea of incentives designed to keep teachers in school or punishments for absentees, like paying for the substitute out of pocket.

2. It cannot really be argued that teacher attendance reflects work ethic.  Unless there are extenuating circumstances for the teachers, they must understand that the very ethics they are trying to teach in their classrooms are called into question when they miss school all the time.  Students are expected to be at school and will get behind in their work if they aren’t.  The same should be expected of teachers.  If teachers are simply to be teaching the life skill of following through with one’s obligations, then the teacher must live up to his/her obligations as well.  Teachers must model work ethic for their students.  Many students spend far more time at school than at home, and teachers are their major role models.

3.It is not hard to understand how teacher absenteeism can negatively affect student achievement.  Substitute teachers can never measure up to the standards of a regular classroom teacher.  Substitute teachers do not know the students nor do they know the curriculum in a given school.  Even if they did know either of these things, they are usually not given the task of real teaching.  They do things like showing movies and supervising kids as they work on seatwork.  The more a teacher is gone, the less curriculum can be taught to students.  Besides this, students are more uncertain when their regular teacher isn’t there.  They are also more likely to act out.  It also makes sense that when students feel that their teachers care about them enough to be in class, to be in the building, they will likely be happier and more fulfilled.  This in itself can lead to higher achievement on standardized testing.

Without Notice Reflection

            For a teacher not to call in their absence is absolutely unforgivable to all parties involved.  This lack of concern is utterly wrong.  The students of this teacher would be unsure of where he/she is.  As elementary students, they might even be scared as to why she is gone.  Particularly in an urban district, these students need a sense of security in coming to school.  Their academic achievement for that day would certainly be impacted if no lesson plans were left.  How could a substitute teacher step in without these necessary items.

            To the office staff, to the other teachers on the team, and to the parents, this lack of concern for education would be horrible.  The office staff would certainly have a policy about what teachers do for absences, and this certainly cannot be it.  To the teachers on the team, this teacher would demonstrate a lack of concern by not making them aware of her absence.  For other teachers and parents, it would demonstrate the lack of concern this teacher has for her job, her colleagues, and her students.  Parents should be very concerned if this teacher is absent frequently as this would certainly affect the performance of their kids.  This teacher is jeopardizing the very school environment with this decision.

            The school district would even possibly be able to take action on this teacher because she did not follow protocol in reporting her absence.

Works Cited

Woods, R, Montagno,R.  (1997). “Determining the negative effect of teacher attendance on student achievement.”  Education.

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