Trying to help out my Substitutes!

by Rachel

What are some common things substitues run into that a lower grade teacher can change?

For example: confusing lesson planning, not enough planned, etc.


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Jul 29, 2015
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Dec 27, 2010
10 year substitute veteran
by: Anonymous

Having details like you showed is great. Laying out the materials(in order used) with post-it note markers is even better, use different colored folders clearly marked for any paperwork needed. Leave a schedule of class time lengths.
2) Have some constructive seatwork for students to accomplish first thing in the morning(ex:read chpts 4 & 5 and list 3character details per character,to be turned in & GRADED)
3]include a seating chart with names!Be sure to include those who are helpful,need extra help, and an outside resource for info like how to turn on the technology gadgets you may have in your classrooms, ie. Promethean boards, Smart boards, the TV/videos , or united streaming passwords and alternative movies if the one you want shown isn't working.
3]If you use a reward system in your classroom, explain it thoroughly to your best helper, and have that student/teacher buddy guide the sub. Include some special rewards that the sub can give out to the good ones.. Ex.: coupons that can be redeemed by the teacher when she returns, or better yet, rewards that can be redeemed that day for that computer time,library pass, ice cream coupon, treasure box item....
As a substitute, I try to always have a different colored folder(made from construction paper) per subject with a brief rubric on what & who accomplished this task, what could go better, what was good about it, what areas the kids seemed to not understand... All work is clipped in ABC order. Students must put work in ABC name order in that particular folder/tray when completed.
At the end of the day, I have a form that lets the teacher know how many times a problem has occured and what kind it was(out of seat, talking out etc) Its part of my own traveling classroom management plan, that is explained to the students and teacher thoroughly every time I am in the classroom. I stick to the teacher's plan as closely as possible, but I do carry alternative activities that can be "tweaked" to fit the class's standards being learned at that time.

Aug 07, 2009
My New Lesson Plan Sheets
by: Leah

This is my second year teaching a combined 1st/2nd grade classroom. Last year I feared having to get a sub because it was difficult to explain my organization for 2 grades using a typical plan book and one extra written page.

Now, I have a plan! I made up my own lesson plan page on the computer, one page/day. I have EVERYTHING listed on this page: teacher's edition page numbers, text page numbers, etc., and headings like "1st grade Math at table while 2nd grade does seatwork or centers".

Here's an example of one section:
11:00 2nd grade Language Arts at table(1st grade SW at their desks) All but English is put on the board.
On Board--Reading L# T.E. pg. Reader pg. WT pgs Phonics Review pgs.
English L # T.E. pg WT pgs.
On Board—Spelling WT pg or activity
On Board--Handwriting WT pg or activity

I know the above doesn't make much sense out of context, but my sub will know at 11:00 which group is to be where, what materials are needed and what the other children should be doing during that time. She'll even know she may not finish by lunch!

I added a full typed page to explain our morning routine and now I feel ready to be absent!

Once I started typing my plan, I realized how many things I repeatedly wrote for EACH DAY. This will save planning time.

If you're interested in making something like this, try using a one column table with many rows.

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