Share This Page

Not just student absenteeism II

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 7:34 p.m.

As someone who has been both a part-time and full-time substitute teacher, I can tell you that a day with a substitute does not have to be a “wasted” day (“Do teachers' absences affect student learning?”, Dec. 30 and TribLIVE.com). It is up to the classroom teacher to leave well-developed lesson plans, but it is up to the principal to monitor the quality of the substitute.

One problem not mentioned in the story is principals' absenteeism. A study of this would make a great follow-up, and I'm betting the schools with the lowest teacher absenteeism also have the lowest principal absenteeism. In the last few years that I taught, I noticed a definite decline in principals' availability. Too often, their meetings and activities leave schools without leadership and direction.

Like everyone else, teachers get sick and have emergencies. Days off should not be abused, but when teachers, substitutes and principals are committed to quality education, every day can be a productive day of learning for students.

Susan McCool

Bethel Park

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.