SOS! Survival of Substitutes

Section 2: SOS! Survival of Substitutes

No one can give you better advice than yourself. — Cicero

You aren’t thinking about it right now, but sometime in your future you’re going to miss a day of school.

This is the IDEAL time to begin preparing for that event because the questions you have now are the same questions a substitute teacher might have. Later, with a routine established, you may forget to think about such details.

Label a file folder or notebook “Substitute,” and keep it in a place anyone would logically look.

Here are some suggestions to include for your substitute:

  • Your schedule of classes including regular classes, special classes (day and time), and an alternate plan in case special classes are cancelled;
  • Names and schedules of students who leave the classroom for special reasons such as medication, remedial or gifted programs, speech, etc.;
  • Opening activities: class roll, seating chart for regular activities and special work groups, attendance procedures, lunch count, etc.;
  • Lesson plans or where to find the plan book (include alternate plans in case the lesson depends on resources only you have);
  • Classroom expectations and discipline procedures (include any district policies and notes about special cases);
  • Location of manuals and other materials to be used (including procedures for use of AV materials/ equipment);
  • Names and schedules of ESP and/or volunteers, name and location of a teacher to call upon for assistance, and other faculty and staff likely to be encountered;
  • Names of pupils who can be depended upon to help;
  • Procedures for sick or injured children (location of nurse’s office, district policy on dispensing medication, notes on allergies or special needs, etc.);
  • Procedures for regular and early dismissal; Floor plan of the building and procedures for emergency drills.

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