Planned absences might not bode well with teachers

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, Staff Writer

A majority of the time, when a student tells a teacher they’re going be gone on a specific day for a specific reason, they are generally okay with it. Yet every once in awhile, you’ll have that one teacher that you know is judging you by the look on their face.
In my school career, I’ve found myself in this situation multiple times, as I’m involved in Show Choir and Jazz Band and I’d have to miss school for a performance. Whenever I know I’m going to be gone on a specific day, I always take it upon myself to talk with the teacher in advance. However, sometimes when I did, the teacher would get this apprehensive look on their face, and a little of the kindness in their voice would slip away. It would be replaced by judgement and skepticism.
In these situations, it’s almost as if they’re offended you are choosing said activity or whatever reason you have over their class. They seem to act like you have control over when the said reason you’re gone is goingto occur, or that you specifically chose for it to be during their class because you don’t like them. They take it personally.
Most of the time, we don’t have control over when these things are, whether it be an appointment or a club; they just happen. I can’t change the day of the show choir trip or the time we perform at a jazz band performance. I can’t help that it’s the only time my doctor had open. It’s almost as if they expect us to choose school over the competition, performance and our health. That choosing academics over an extracurricular is just a given.
I know that many kids try to get out of school or class just to get out of it and that may be where the distaste of students missing class comes from. However, teachers are paid to teach us. If we aren’t there, they aren’t going to be paid less; it might cause a bit more work and it may not be something they want to spend time doing to make sure that we are on track. The teachers, however, at least have to acknowledge the initiative a student takes to get work before they leave for a planned absence. If they get work before they’re gone, it’s less work for the teacher. If a student is gone, and doesn’t get work in advance many teachers complain about it saying that it adds to their work load.We make their lives easier if we get work in advance, they don’t have to make it  out as such a bad thing that a kid is going to be gone, it’s not the end of the world.