I started my first teaching job recently, and in my first meeting with the new principal I told her I would not be here for Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashana, and that the current school calendar doesn’t really accommodate Jewish holidays. She agreed and told me to do what I needed to in order to observe the holidays.
Today, I found out that I only get 15 personal hours for the entire year (Aug.-May). Personal hours are meant to be used as mental health days or in case of emergency situations. I reached out to HR and asked if there was any way I could use sick days (we get 2 a month) or if an accommodation could be made for religious holidays. I was quickly shot down and told I would have to use my personal hours, and that I could not use my sick days without a doctor’s note.
I’m just beyond frustrated. The WHOLE school is out for good Friday, none of my coworkers have to worry about taking off for Christmas or Easter. I’m a first year teacher, I will need a mental health day at some point and I have to sacrifice it because I want to spend the holidays with my local Jewish community.