Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Preparing for a Substitute

In Teaching tips to take to heart, Betty mentions how different substitute teaching is compared to being the actual teacher. This made me think of the things I tried to do to make the substitute’s job easier. I had a three ring binder with substitute information and I left this on my desk if I knew I would be absent. If I called in sick, I just notified someone where my substitute binder is kept. Here is what I kept in the binder:

· Seating chart with student’s names for each class. We actually had an attendance program that let you make seating charts with student pictures so I printed that out and put it in binder.
· Student roster for each class along with nicknames and pronunciations for names.
· Procedures that I followed for each class.
· Class rules and consequences.
· Any special responsibilities (lunch duty, detention)
· Notepaper for the sub to leave me notes.
· Detailed lesson plan for each class including approximate time it will take or when something should take place.
· Extra credit activities in case students say they have completed the work, already did it, or finish early.
· Office referrals and procedures.
· Location of Emergency Bag with procedures for fire drills and tornadoes. (This bag had rosters in it, pen, paper to write any missing students’ names, band aids, rubber gloves.)
· List of students with special considerations (speech, students who need to go to the nurse for medication and when they should go, any health problems like students with epilepsy or allergies, behavior plans)
· List of teachers (and their locations or phone numbers) who are available for help.

Having this well organized helped the sub and myself when I returned. Usually there were no major mishaps or problems because I also prepared the students on my expectations when I returned. If I had a chance, I would call in the morning to make sure the sub understand my instructions and could find all that was needed. I have had many compliments from subs on this book and was able to get subs to return to my class when I needed them.

Hopefully this will help may your absence successful for your students, the sub, the administration, and even yourself when you return.


Tammy Worcester said...

Thanks for sharing. I did a lot of substitute teaching early in my career and would have appreciated your organization!

CC said...

Hi Pat, thanks for your comments on my blog. Can you tell me how you would suggest using Voice Thread for some of my ideas. It looks like a very interesting site and concept!

On substitutes... unfortunately, I do not get substitutes for my job so kids miss their services if I am not there.

Anonymous said...

"We actually had an attendance program that let you make seating charts with student pictures so I printed that out and put it in binder."...Wow.....I would have loved that when I subbed in the freshman history class whose favorite game was "identity switch."

suzanne31381 said...

Hi Pat, thanks again for a very useful post. You've got some things on the list I haven't used but I think I will. In addition to all the desk/office sorts of supplies, I also have a Sub Survival Kit, which is a basket with the TV remote, a can of soup, a can opener, individual packets of tylenol & TUMS, fork, spoon, napkin, tea bag, instant cappucino, styrofoam cups, napkins, (emergency girl products), anti-static spray, chocolate, etc. It isn't advertised as something to carry away -- it says take what you need & leave the rest or something similar. No one ever takes it, so it's working. I like to spoil a long-term sub whom I really trust & admire by ordering him lunch - delivered - every day if I'm gone more than a couple. He's priceless so it's well worth it. Of course the most important thing to leave a sub is a tasteful thank you card with some kinds words in it.

loonyhiker said...

Tammy: I have been tossing around subbing in the future and started to think about what I would like a teacher to leave me.

loonyhiker said...

CC: I left my suggestions for using Voicethread on your blog post. Hope they help.

loonyhiker said...

margaret: Before we had pictures, I actually gave a written description of the students. It was a tell tale sign to the sub if the student sitting in the desk was a different race than on the list! LOL

loonyhiker said...

suzanne: I loved your idea of a survival kit! Thank you so much for explaining it. I bet subs love to work for you and I could see why! I like the idea of lunch too.