No matter how hard we try to not get sick, there are days when we need to take a sick day… or even a personal day.
But planning for a sub is stressful, especially if it’s an emergency situation. The last thing you want to worry about when you are at home sick, taking care of a loved one, out on maternity leave, or even at a staff development session is how your class and substitute are doing.
It’s time to rest easy.
Never feel unprepared for a substitute again with this dual-purpose, editable substitute binder for both short and long term substitutes.
This binder is intended to provide you, the teacher, with everything you need to have well prepared day(s) planned for your substitute teacher. Have an organized, well put together substitute binder for your days out that is not only easy to put together, but stylish and easy for subs to navigate.
Having a substitute binder is extremely helpful for those unexpected days out, as well as prepping for for extended leave!
Use it for one day out. Or for 3 months.
First, keep your substitute binder somewhere that it is easy to locate. Whether you drive in first thing in the morning to prepare for a sub, prepare the night before, or have a team teacher or admin set it on your desk for the substitute… you want it to be easily accessible.
You’ll want to tab different sections of your substitute binder or folder too. Make it as easy as possible for the substitute to find needed information. Help them help you… the smoother their day runs, the smoother the transition is for when you come back to your class and classroom.
So what should you include inside of your substitute binder?
Start out with a note to the substitute. Thank them for coming into your classroom for the day, or the timeframe they will be there for.
Include your daily schedule, pictures and names of your students, and all the school information the sub will need in this section. Important people the sub may need to get ahold of, your specials schedule, and your service provider schedule (when is speech? OT? PT? A.PE?)
Include a where to find it page… or pages. Where can the sub find supplies needed for an art project? Extra copies of a book? Sharpened pencils? Glue sticks?
How about the daily attendance or classroom first aid kit. These are all things your substitute needs to know.
All. the. rules. Lunch rules, recess rules, computer rules… student specific rules? Let the sub know.
It’s also SUPER important that the substitute has access to information about fire drills, lock downs, severe weather, and any other vital school information. Rule of thumb… if it was nailed into your head during the first week of training or at a faculty meeting, the sub should probably know too.
You are a special needs teacher… your substitute needs to know this information. Now I’m not talking about leaving each child’s IEP copy inside of your sub binder. Please don’t #confidentiality … but include the basics.
Include information on an IEP snapshot, as well as any service providers that may come service your students while you are out.
When you return to your classroom after being out (whether for one day or multiple), what is the first thing you want to know? How did my students do while I was out… Right?
Leaving subs and easy-to-fill-out form with just the basics gives subs the opportunity to do just that. Not too much information… but not just a “had a great day!” note either.
What substitute planning tips do you have for other teachers?
Let us know in the comments below!