Not returning until at least the end of first quarter, English teacher Arantxa Arriada has taken a medical leave of absence. On Monday, June 18, Arriada had a major surgery to remove her large intestine. The surgery was the last alternative available left to cure ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the large intestine and rectum.
However, Arriada went through multiple complications during her recovery, requiring her to go through two more surgeries. One is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, while the other is slated to be done in October. Though she hopes to return to school by Monday, October 15, the unpredictability of her medical issues has made concrete plans impossible.
Nonetheless, Arriada does not plan to return until she feels physically ready. Having already attempted to prepare for teaching on the first day of school, Arriada realized that it was too large of a task.
“[By] the end of each day I was completely exhausted,” Arriada said. “I knew there was no way I could handle a full teaching schedule under those conditions.”
Though the substitute hasn’t yet been decided, the school administration will be interviewing potential teachers for the long-term position later this week. As of the first week of school, English teachers Keren Robertson, April Oliver, Joanna Miyahara, Caitlin Hannon and Carrie Abel have all helped to fill in. After the administration decides on the substitute, Arriada will meet up with him or her to go over her courses’ curriculums. In addition, she will be in touch via email with the substitute to clarify any questions.
When she comes back to school later this year, Arriada hopes the change will run smoothly and will make sure to get to know and get comfortable with her students. She is optimistic about her return to the classroom.
“I’m sure when I come back to teaching there will be a little bit of a transition time, but I’m confident it will go well,” Arriada said.