How do I handle being sick on prac?

Hello everyone!

I have seen this question floating around a lot in numerous online forums, so I thought I’d post it here and see what the TeachConnect community thought of it!

Practical experience can be a stressful time, with a lot of late nights spent lesson planning. Unsurprisingly, getting sick is very common during this period.

How should a prac student approach being sick during their placement? What tips/advice can you share to help them get through this process?

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Great question!

Being sick on prac is unfortunately very common, and can add some extra anxiety to an already demanding situation.

Obviously, every person’s situation will be unique, and no one knows exactly how you are feeling except you. There are some general tips and advice to follow, however, to give you the best chance of getting back on your feet!

  • If you are incapacitated, you are allowed to take the day off from your practical experience. However, there is a limit to how many sick days you can take, before you will have to completely redo your placement. It would be best to consult your Uni’s guidelines about this. You will have to make up those days at the end of your placement.
  • If you do have to take a day off, be sure to keep all communication lines open. Tell your school, your mentor teacher and your University representative about your illness. Preferably, do this as early as possible. Teachers are professionals, and will be able to take your ball and run with it, but no one will appreciate having to take a full class on extremely short notice.
  • If you have made resources for that class, email them through to your mentor teacher.
  • Many institutions will require a sick certificate from your GP. If the problem is ongoing, consult your doctor.
  • If you are well enough to come in, but are still feeling average, you can structure your lessons to be kind to yourself. If you can, make your lessons student-centered and avoid talking for long periods of time.
  • Boost yourself with herbal tea, panadol, vitamins, warm showers, throat lozenges, and immune boosters.
  • If you are so sick that you have to cancel your prac, you can always re-schedule and do it again. It will always be to your advantage to be at your best. You will find many people will be accommodating to you and you’ll be back on your feet in no time!