When I signed off sick, my colleagues took the load of my teaching. Some supervised my students in general modules where they learn things such as essay writing and presentation skills. Some took over lectures. Some work was just not done; I think that's fair, as you have to weigh off to what extent you can put an extra load on people who are overstretched already. And if it is something specialist I teach, there aren't many people who could teach it instead!
Just when I came back to work, another colleague signed off sick with a completely different ailment. Then the process had to be repeated. People took her burden. I wasn't one of the people who contributed to that; I suppose I was already struggling with both learning to work with my new software, and catching up with the marking work that was waiting for me. And I am not in her field of expertise.
Now we have another case of a colleague who needs to ditch responsibilities for health reasons. And this time, I can and do contribute. I took on some more dissertation marking, and I volunteered for an admin task he has. He was in charge of the second chance exams students can do in summer, if they haven't passed the year the first time around. By the time that gets busy I am sure the marking is done. And he really needs to spend his energy elsewhere.
In itself I am not keen on more work, but I am glad I can do something for him. And I am not the only one who came running; the whole team came together to lighten his burden. I am sure it makes a big practical difference. And I hope he feels supported!
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