How Do You Make Last Minute Preparations for a Substitute? - Down River Resources | Your Elementary Math Guide

How Do You Make Last Minute Preparations for a Substitute?

The temperatures are getting cooler. The sound of coughing students fill the classroom. It is only a matter of time until the teacher “catches them all.” It took me several years and moving to a large city to consider having an emergency substitute plan and tub of work! Nothing is worse than having to drive 40 minutes while feeling like the plague has struck! Here are some simple ways to make preparations for your substitute.

Time-Saving Substitute Preparations 

Create a basic binder. 

Think about the general information that a substitute teacher needs to function throughout the day. This should include:

 A schedule of important times of the day (subjects, lunch, recess.) Make sure you include a list or calendar of the special classes (music, dance, physical education.) 
A current seating chart. If you use flexible seating, you can create a document with a headshot of each student with their name. (This is a great visual tool!)

Having these simple documents in a clearly marked binder will make your substitute’s day much smoother. If you create this early in the year, you will have it when that last minute prep is needed!

Create a general script of routine daily activities.

If you create a thorough script of your routine activities during the day, you will leave a lot of the guesswork out and your substitute can accomplish more. For example, I like to leave a detailed plan for what to do before, during, and after a read aloud. This way, the script can be paired with a book I leave or one a substitute grabs off a shelf! I also write out our calendar math routine so the substitute can follow our usual pattern of activities.

Is there an activity that stays consistent for you that you might be able to have ready? Is math fact practice or a warm-up a part of your regular routine? Write out the script or a detailed plan for that time.

Leave a folder of class sets of printables.

Find a series or set of printables that need little to no explanation that students can complete during the time when content is usually taught. 
Find pages that match concepts that have previously taught and make class sets of these pages. 

To save paper, photocopy pages front to back and staple pages together to make a packet. The packets help all students stay on task, no matter their pace. When you have your folder ready, you do not have to call your colleagues on the middle of the night or impose on them early in the morning to make your copies! 

The more planning and preparation you can do for your substitute, the smoother those days will be. If you have some general plans in place beforehand, you can feel at ease leaving your classroom when you have to leave in a hurry!

I hope this post inspired you to make some advanced preparations for substitutes, and if you want to use my set of math printables for your classroom, you can find them in my TpT store!

What are some things you do to be prepared for a substitute? 

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