There is nothing more stressful than having to make lesson plans while you’re sick in bed or have a sick child. You may resort to having your students watch videos or do some busy review work that they don’t get a lot out of. Instead of flying by the seat of your pants and dragging yourself out of bed while you’re sick, get ahead of the game and prepare for a sub before you have to make the call!
Use Google Classroom
Making a habit to post assignments and agendas for the day can make sub planning a breeze. Just tell your students to log into Google Classroom and share the needed files with your sub. If you’re feeling up to it, you could post a quick video to your students telling them what to do for the day. You can schedule posts, so it’s easy to get your agenda and assignments up for the week. If you’re using slides or docs, it’s simple to edit when changes need to be made. New to Classroom? Here’s how to get started using Google Classroom!
Prepare a Substitute Teacher Binder or Sub Tub
The last thing you want to do when you call a sub is write notes about the building, helpful teachers, student needs and accommodations, and scheduling. You’re bound to forget something when you are feeling your best, you have a sick family member, or there’s an emergency in your life. Having a substitute teacher binder ready to go will make having a sub easier when you are out and after you get back. Your binder can include a letter to the sub welcoming them to your classroom, information about the school facilities and building, class rules and procedures, information on specials and activities, lesson plans, special student considerations, seating charts, and more. My substitute teacher binder resource comes complete with dividers and everything you need to be prepared for a sub.
Set Expectations with Your Students Early
Make sure that your students understand early that there are times you may be gone unexpectedly. Let your students know that they need to treat your substitute teacher as a guest teacher, with the same courtesy and respect that you expect them to treat you with. For students that struggle with behaviors in the classroom, you can try social stories. Practice what they should do when they arrive in your classroom and see a guest teacher. Using these tips will help your students know what to do when you’re absent.
Too many teachers go to school sick or feel guilty when they need to take an unexpected day off. Stop and don’t stress. One of the first things you can do during the school year is get ready just in case you need a substitute teacher. Don’t wait until you have to be gone. Prepare for a sub before you have to make the call, and you, your students, and your household will have a much easier time out of the classroom and when you come back.