When you are sick, the last thing you feel like doing is writing and organizing sub plans. Unfortunately, if you don’t make emergency plans, that is what you will be doing.
When I make sub plans whether it is emergency or a planned absence such as that for professional development, I try to plan a theme or topic that is high interest. The more interesting it is, the less time off task, and few discipline problems my sub will have.
Which means fewer issues for me to deal with when I return. For emergency plans, I plan lessons that are non-seasonal that can easily be used at any time of the year. This is extra important when I have students who don’t celebrate certain holidays.
In the picture above is an example of how I like to organize the materials. I like to put the assignments and material needed in order. I usually clip a bright colored note to the assignments in case the stack of papers gets out of order, my sub can check the colorful note instead of having to look through the sub plans. It is quicker and allows the sub to stay focused on my class.
I personally like to organize my emergency sub plans in binder (see post about that here). When I make non-emergency sub plans, I will often take out a few of the important pages like the ones in the picture above and put a ring on them. These are the pages from the binder that the sub will be used the most often during the day.
The sub collects helpful information on the chart such as attendance, lunch count, and work habits. Did my students finish the assignments. Plus, this gives the sub a place to notes from parents.
Many times I have heard from disgruntled parents and teammates when I returned from being absent because of problems at dismissal. It was usually a result of a change in how the student went home the day I was absent. Having some type of place to collect data and put the notes seemed to solve this problem.
It takes many people to help a school run like it should. Substitutes are often an overlooked member of the school community. A quality sub is worth his or her weight in gold! You can brighten your sub’s day by leaving a bottle of water, thank you note, chocolate, or chance for the vending machine. Any token of appreciation will be great start to any sub’s day.
The pictures show a few pages of my latest sub plans that feature The Teacher from the Black Lagoon.