A teacher in Florida named Robert Goodman reached out to the teaching community and it delivered.
In May 2018, Mr Goodman was diagnosed with colon cancer; understandably he used up all his sick days seeking treatment for his condition. This left him stuck, he had to either return to work while still receiving treatment or take unpaid leave. He wanted to be there for his pupils but knew he wasn’t well enough to support them. “It truly frightened me,” he told the BBC. “Chemo really messes with you. I was wondering how I could handle getting up at 5am every day. How could I handle all the different side-effects around the kids? How could I handle kids bringing the flu and colds to school?”
Luckily, there was an alternative. Part of the Florida school system allows teachers to donate or exchange sick days, so Robert Goodman shared a post on social media explaining his situation. Incredibly, only a few days later, “Mr Goodman found out that teachers had donated enough leave to last him the entirety of his chemotherapy.” This amounted to ‘around 100 days.’ Some would be astonished by this but Mr Goodman had this to say: “It surprised me how fast it happened,” he said. “But it didn’t surprise me that teachers gave. Teachers always give – it’s a profession of giving.”
Robert Goodman was surprised however at how many teachers donated to his cause. The number shows the closeness and generosity of the teaching community. Not only is this an incredible experience for Robert Goodman but also for the pupils of every teacher who donated. Imagine having a teacher like that in your classroom, what an inspirational role model to learn from each day.
Teachers donate 100 sick days to colleague with cancer, Tom Gerken, 16.08.18
Image source: depositphotos.com