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How Well Are You Prepared for a Substitute?
posted by: Jill | September 09, 2010, 04:19 PM   

Are you prepared for your first substitute of the year?  Maybe you’ll be able to plan for your inevitable absence from school, but maybe not.  Either way—contemplate creating a binder or improving the one you have created already.

I could have used a substitute binder my first year of teaching when a sledding accident grounded me to my bed for two weeks.  Creating lesson plans while flat on my back was horrible.  Even worse was writing down my rules and procedures for the classroom.  I was on pain killers, need I say more?

Feel free to steal from my substitute binder or share your ideas from your binder.

  1. Table of contents.
  2. Bell schedule for the school—include half days, assembly schedule, late start, etc.
  3. Discipline plan.
  4. List of two teachers, including room numbers and phone extensions— the substitute can send a student to one of these teachers if there are problems.  Talk to the teachers before you create this page so that your colleagues can accept to take on the additional responsibility when you’re absent.
  5. Two or three students in each class who you trust to help the substitute—talk to the students before you create this page so that he or she knows of the responsibility that you’re placing on their shoulders.
  6. Current seating chart for each class.
  7.  School-wide emergency exit plan.
  8. Emergency lesson plans—these plans need to be applicable to the subject of the class(es) that you teach, easy to understand, and easy for the substitute to implement without a lot of materials.
  9. Forms for the substitute to write notes on each of the classes.

Clearly mark the location of your substitute binder because what good is it if a substitute can’t find it?  The binder is essential for the substitute’s daily plan and how to run the classroom.  All in all, however you decide to plan for a substitute make sure that you really do PLAN.  It will probably make your absence less stressful for you and more productive for the substitute.

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