I feel I can call you friends as most of the people reading this blog, at least initially, will be people I know personally. This blog will be a record of my thoughts, feelings, and doings during the next 61 weeks. Wow, 61 weeks!
That seems like a ton of time as I write that down, but I know from experience that it will speed by. I'm sure I'll write more about that in times to come.
For now, back to the title question. Just what is a general, non-compensatory leave?
I am an educational professional and as such, in my contract, I am periodically allowed a leave. Most people have heard of such a thing, but they confuse it with a sabbatical.
A general non-compensatory leave is NOT a sabbatical. Let's compare the two, shall we?
In most contracts, a sabbatical can only be taken every seven years (the word sabbatical has common roots with the word sabbath, having something to do with resting, generally every seven days/years). In my contract, a general, non-compensatory is allowed every five years at the discretion of the superintendent. (Here is where I say, THANK YOU UNION FOR NEGOTIATING LEAVES IN OUR CONTRACT AND THANK YOU SUPERINTENDENT FOR APPROVING MY LEAVE!)
During a sabbatical, an education professional is paid a certain amount depending on the contract. If I had to guess (and it would only be a guess!) I think my school district pays a half-time salary for a sabbatical. During my general, non-compensatory leave, I am paid nothing by the school district. (This is the non-compensatory part.) I get no benefits. (I will do some work for pay during the year, but I also expect that the money I have been saving for the past five years will disappear. Additionally, I will go on my husband's health insurance.)
Since one gets paid during a sabbatical, there is an expectation that one will be doing something educational, such as taking classes, getting an additional license, working towards a PhD, learning a new language, etc. (Again, I am not exactly sure what it entails, as I have never taken a sabbatical.) My leave does not require me to do anything. You heard right, I have no responsibilities, nothing! I can do whatever I want for the next 61 weeks. If I wanted to go live in a yurt in Alaska, great! If learning to make ice cream on an industrial scale was what floated my boat, I could go for it. I could even sail around the world, curing my issues with seasickness!
Note: I will be doing none of those things over the next 61 weeks. I do have many goals, but those three are not in my current plan!
However, one of the crazy things I decided I will be doing is publishing a blog . . . this blog. I am not sure yet whether I will publish seven days a week or just Monday to Friday, but check back often to read about my adventures during my general, non-compensatory leave. . .