Maybe you have been that teacher. You know, the one who is sneezing incessantly with eyes full of misery and exhaustion. “Why aren’t you home in bed?” Your students and colleagues encourage you to take a break. However, you may rather come to school sick than endure the horror of creating plans for a substitute teacher, especially when it can be so difficult to get a consistent guest teacher that follows your plans and wants to come back again. Read on to learn how to create simple sub plans so your sub will come back for future dates!
The first step in creating simple sub plans is accepting that the school day will inevitably look a bit different if you’re not there. There are endless nuances built into the day of a teacher. It is impossible to translate all of these bits and pieces via sub plans. Your best hope is to cover the main points and realize that any substitute teacher worth his or her salt is good at improvising.
Keep plans easy to follow and read.
When creating simple sub plans for a guest teacher, you want to be straightforward and concise. Think bullet points, not a narrative. One tool to use in achieving this clarity is a table or text box. This editable sub plan template is perfectly designed to communicate lesson plans and other details plainly to your sub. Ease of use in both Google Slides and Powerpoint make this resource accessible for any user!
Keep activities simple.
What should you have planned for your substitute? Keep. It. Simple. Obviously you don’t want students missing a day of learning, but there are ways to address content without involving complicated, multi-step directions. For example, since I don’t incorporate a lot of worksheets or lengthy videos into my daily instruction, I feel comfortable utilizing these types of activities when a substitute is covering for me. Just like any instructional day, you want to vary the pacing and activities. Maybe your math lesson involves partner practice, followed by thirty minutes of independent silent reading. Add to that an active science or social studies review game, and you’re going to have engaged learners – always a treat for the substitute. The higher the engagement, the lower the tendency to misbehave, so always keep engagement in mind during lesson planning. Linking these activities directly in the editable sub plan template will help your sub know how the day will flow.
Anticipate problem behaviors.
What can you do to help alleviate any problem behaviors? Make sure to include some essential things in your sub plans that will help the day run smoothly. These items all have space in the editable sub plan template.
- Include classroom management tips and procedures, such as bathroom and drink procedures.
- Make sure your seating charts are up-to-date and linked or printed out.
- List a few ‘helpful’ students and any ‘challenging’ students on your substitute plans.
- Detail any special breaks or behavior plans arranged for specific students.
- Describe attention signals (flipping lights off and on, clapping, etc.) Leave extra work and a read-aloud just in case there is extra time to fill.
There you have it. A no-fuss guide to effectively planning for your substitute teacher. Whether you’re planning for illness, professional development, or even a long weekend, using this guide along with this terrific sub plan template will help everyone have a stress-free day in your classroom, so your substitute will be asking to guest teach in your classroom again and again!