Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blogger Showcase: Taking a Walk on the Teaching Side

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Kristin from Taking A Walk on the Teaching Side! Today, she will be discussing something that we forget we need until a cold hits us at 2:00 in the morning or we trip down the stairs in the front of a church during prayer and break a foot. (ummmm..... true story! *blush*) Enjoy!

Substitute Planning

About a month into the school year, there always seems to be a sudden increase in the amount of substitutes being utilized due to absent teachers, which is why I thought it would be a good time to discuss how to have a successful “absent” day.

Everyone knows how stressful it can be to take a day away from the class. Teachers have to lay out detailed plans and prepare copies, make sure all prior commitments are fulfilled, get a substitute, and hope that the students and the substitute get through the day without the teacher. I have been a teacher, but due to the location of the school I was in, (just too far away) I chose to not resign my contract and instead look for a job with a bit more ideal of a location. However, the economy was not doing me any favors, and so this year I was unable to get a job and instead I am subbing. I know what I liked for my substitute to do when I was a teacher, and now I know what I’d appreciate teachers do since I am a sub. Also, as teachers, emergencies occur and you can’t always have a specific lesson for that reason. From my experiences as both a substitute and a teacher, let me walk you through the essentials that will help your absent days be more successful.

The ESSENTIAL!- A Substitute Binder:
Prepare a substitute binder that is eye-catching and keep it somewhere the substitute can find it easily. This binder should have a table of contents and all of the information the sub will need. In your binder, be sure to include the following items. Your sub will love you for it!
- Student roster with any special information about the students (behavior, allergies, etc…)
-transportation log for the substitute to know how the students get home
-forms for behavior, clinic passes, hall passes, and maybe even some award certificates the sub can give students who did exceptional for the day!
- step-by-step ,easy to read details of your general daily schedule. Be sure to include how to take attendance, lunch, when and how students are allowed to go to the restroom, specials, rotations, lunch, recess, dismissal instructions, and other important information. Also, be sure to include details about any students who may get pulled out by another teacher, or if any other teachers come into the room for assisting.
-emergency procedures and maps (tornado drills, fire drills, etc…)
-A general map of the school
-Any people in the building that may be best to go to for questions
- A form for feedback
- general worksheets, instructions, or lessons for emergency days
-specific details, instructions, and materials for days that are not last-minute emergency absences
-any additional contacts
- a list of where important items are
-  any seating charts

These are materials that I think are especially useful for the sub and the teacher. If you prepare this binder at the beginning of the year, it will make it soooooo much easier when you do actually need a sub. All you will need to do is print out the specific day’s lesson (or in case of emergency, you will already have emergency lessons and will not need to do anything…except get a sub of course!)

While the teacher should leave the substitute all of the items I mentioned above, the substitute should also be considerate by arriving on time, reading through the instructions and asking other teachers to answer any questions they may have, treating students appropriately, following the materials and lessons left by the teacher, making sure students are being supervised, sticking to the times and transitions, making sure all students get home correctly, leave feedback about the day and students for the teacher,  take up papers and materials if requested, and try to keep the room in orderly condition.

I hope this advice helps you, whether you’re a teacher or a substitute. Making a thorough substitute teaching binder can be tricky, but luckily there are some pre-made binders available for you, including my 29-page editable ultimate sub binder. It is an adorable polka dot theme, and includes all the essential sheets that I mentioned above, plus some other helpful items you can add to your binder, such as a poster, extra time task cards, and more! 

You can find it at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store :
Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful year!

My name Is Kristin, and I am certified early childhood teacher. I am currently a substitute due to relocation, but have previous Title-1 teaching experience. I love to create resources and materials that will engage my students and make them want to learn! I love blogging, sketching, dining out, cupcakes, and my family! You can follow my blog, Taking a Walk on the Teaching Side at for tips, links, freebies, giveaways, 10 Weekly Teacher Finds, resources, and more!

Thanks Kristin!! I hope you will all be back tomorrow for some positive classroom reinforcement made easy with technology! You won't want to miss it!

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