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From the forums - 'Tis the season for sick days, guilt and tangerine envy

It's only November but those of us well enough to get out of bed have already started gift shopping

It's only November but those of us well enough to get out of bed have already started gift shopping

How ill is too ill to go to work? As the flu season gets into full swing, that is the question that has been exercising minds on the TES online staffroom. Ff392 is speaking from personal experience in asking how many teachers go to work even when they are ill: "School know I am not well as they have seen me all week struggling but now my family are saying I should have a few days off," she says.

Official sanction to take time off comes from headteachers in the shape of nomad and blackdog99. "I would rather a member of staff took one day off to get over an illness than struggle in (infect other staff and children) for several days, then be off for several days more," says blackdog99.

Kclegg1 has a warning for teachers who find the guilt overwhelming. "I dragged myself in for weeks, prolonging a terrible viral infection," she recalls. "The upshot is I have been diagnosed with ME and have also subsequently developed a heart condition."

And if that doesn't make you reach for the medicine cabinet rather than your lesson plans, nick909 has news for anyone who thinks they are indispensable: "The school does not fall to pieces if you take a couple of days off with illness," he says. "On the contrary ... they will barely notice." Reassuring words.

It's only November and already TishTash04 is wondering what to buy her pupils for Christmas, with a budget of #163;1 a child. While alaplage suggests fancy pens or stickers, nutella's suggestion that children don't need any more presents brings a friendly warning from grunwald: "You're almost into 'When I were a nipper, we were overjoyed to find a tangerine in our stockings' mode."

A tangerine would have been a treat for cuteinpuce: "We got a tangerine seed and were expected to grow our present, which we could collect (given patience, hard work and a tangerine-appropriate climate) sometime in our early 20s."

No such luxury for lilyofthefield, who had to eat her tangerine seed for Christmas dinner. But what of those of us who got the seed from a seedless tangerine? It's enough to give you the pip.

The Queen may be busy poking all and sundry on Facebook and a royal wedding is in the air, but do you still stand for the national anthem?

Phoenixchild no longer does: "I see it, not as a national anthem, but an ode to the Royal Family." MisterFlibble also stays seated, but only in private. When in company, it is a different matter: "I stand to not cause offence to others."

But the last word goes to ResourceFinder. Whatever his personal views, he not only stands but sings along: "I think it is a dirge and I am a republican BUT it is still our national anthem." Hear, hear!

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