We have this policy here, which basically says that if an instructor is missing class, they need to take a sick day (totally reasonable) and find someone else to cover the class. Or at least be there. (At least, if there's advance notice. So if you wake up vomiting with a fever, you can just email the department staff and ask them to let the classes know you're ill that day.)
So typically, say someone knows they have to take their kid to some special thing (getting tonsils out, perhaps), which is totally reasonable. Or even if they have a conference (in which case, they wouldn't take a sick day). They send an email out to the whole department asking if people will step up and cover x, y, and z classes on specific days and times. And then, in the tonsils type case, they have something prepped, and the covering person carries that out.
As you might guess, the same people generally answer the call, with a small cadre answering often, a slightly larger cadre answering sometimes, and most people never answering at all. You might also guess the gender issues. Fathers rarely seem to need to be with their kids to get the tonsils out. Mothers do. Very few men answer the call (I could name two here that often do, so some are super good).
I'm in the slightly larger cadre that answers sometimes. And today is going to be one of those times. I get to go take roll and be the responsible party (see, doesn't that make you laugh?) while the tech folks teach the class how to do some computer programmy thing (it totally makes sense in the context of this assignment sort of thing, even if it sounds wonky).
Officially, we take the sick leave (or so I assume, because when I'm sick I take sick leave... but usually that's the morning of thing, so I don't bother trying to get coverage, and even then, only every few years because I'm very, very lucky).
The students, it's hoped, don't miss out totally on classtime, and learn whatever it is they're supposed to be learning.
But the people who fill in, just fill in. There's no official recognition, no overtime, nada. There's usually a thank you from the person whose class you took, and that's nice. But the extra hour out of your day to do extra work is considered necessary by the powers that be, but unrecognized. They'd get cranky at the person whose class it was if they didn't get coverage, but the people who do that extra work don't get anything for it. (And since people who've never bothered to lift a finger for anyone else ask for and get coverage, it's not a reciprocal thing.)
There's no sense that covering ten times will get you a notch higher on the merit pay thing, for example. The chair, if zie knows, may be momentarily grateful, but then it's done. Much better to use the extra time to work on your own stuff which may be recognized.
I'm just a little frustrated at myself because I really don't want to do this today, but I said I would, and I will, and I know it's sort of going to throw things off the rest of the day. And I'm cranky today because of some stress.
Okay, enough complaining. Time to get everything ready so that it doesn't throw off my day for real.
How do your schools handle coverage of this sort?