Headlines are tricky things. Last week’s headline “73% of teachers chronically absent” should have read “73% of teachers use the leave time allocated to them in their contract. And on top of that, some of them go on really long school-sponsored road trips with teenagers who probably should be supervised.” Not quite as flashy, but probably more accurate. The current leave policy allows for 12 days; it was revised by a prior administration and approved by the board (the number of the days is the same, but it used to read “two personal days, 10 sick days”). That has always seemed really generous to me. This year, when eight of those days were spent in a hospital waiting room, they seemed essential. I hope to never need to use my 12 days again. I’m grateful I had them.