Guidelines for Missing PWR Classes

For all instances, you need to communicate with the PWR Director (Stephanie, and Program Coordinator (

For illnesses and unexpected absences, or if your absence is planned ahead of the quarter, you are expected to communicate the cancellation or adjustment to your students. If needed, the PWR can notify your students of a class cancellation on your behalf.

  • If you are unable to communicate your absence prior to your scheduled teaching time, please do so as soon as you can so that the PWR is aware and can support you and your students. 
  • If you find that you need to cancel more than one class (if teaching 2 days a week) or two classes (if teaching 4 days a week), reach out as soon as possible to the PWR Director, and Program Coordinator.

Please note:  Situations that require shifting online because of UW mandates, quarantine, illness, or unexpected circumstances (e.g., illness, a family emergency, caregiving responsibilities) are exceptions that do not count as part of the 20% hybrid teaching allowance as previously communicated by the English Department. 

According to the bargaining agreement between the University of Washington and UAW Local 4121, you are entitled to limited sick leave and a personal holiday each academic year. The 2021-24 ASE Contract accords seven (7) sick days per year (see Article 17 section 3).

Questions to ask if you unexpectedly can’t teach a class

In determining a pathway of action, prioritize these questions: What would best help the learning goals for your students in your absence? And What would be best for you and your situation? We’ve created a decision-tree flow chart (below) to help you think through some of these options. 

Suggestions for Supporting Your Students in Your Absence

  • Prepare asynchronous activities. For example, might a discussion board and/or a class annotation of a reading (via a tool like be a suitable substitute for what you may have planned in person? 
  • Have students do small group work (either remotely or in person) related to a writing assignment.
  • Ask an AD to sub in for you, which is especially helpful if you are in a position to prepare a teaching plan for someone else to execute or if you think your students will benefit from having someone there to facilitate an activity. To make arrangements, email the Program Coordinator and cc Stephanie Kerschbaum at
  • Consider whether you can teach your class synchronously on Zoom, while keeping in mind whether students will be able to make this shift and how what you have planned might translate to an online modality. The English Department has guidance for transitioning a class to remote instruction: Recommendations for Moving Across Instructional Modalities.
  • Cancel class and adjust your lesson plans for the next time you meet. 

Whatever pathway you choose, and especially if you need help brainstorming about what might fit your situation best, please know that you can reach out to anyone on the PWR team. It is important to let the Director and the Program Coordinator know your plans as well since we are best able to support you when we are looped in.