In most professions, calling out sick is just that. You call and tell your boss that you are not coming into work. As a teacher, calling out is not that simple. First, you debate back and forth whether or not you could make it through a day with whatever illness you have acquired. Next, you think about all the work you have to put into being out, both, before and after your absence. Once you have come to terms that you really are too sick or too contagious to go in, you begin the task of getting a substitute. Depending on the school, you might be calling for a substitute, logging onto an online substitute call system, or calling someone in the school to get you a substitute. No matter how you are required to get a substitute, you are still out of bed doing something to find your temporary replacement.
Of course, you are still not off to bury yourself under the blankets to sleep off the terrible sickness that is momentarily making your life miserable. No, you now have to make sure that someone can find your seating charts and emergency plans. What is even worse is what do you do if the sickness lingers, and the emergency plans run out. In that case, you drag yourself to the computer to type up plans to email to someone at school.
Even worse than the hassle of finding a substitute and making lesson plans is the guilt that you feel about being out. A million thoughts run through your mind. Did I leave enough work? Will the kids behave for the substitute? How far behind will we be in the curriculum? How can I make up a missed day of preparation for the upcoming standardized test? Am I being a burden on the person stuck making copies or dealing with the substitute? Is it really worth it to be home?
It is amazing how teachers think of themselves and their health last on their list of worries.