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jgoedken123

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Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #16 

Whenever I plan on being absent, I always be sure to leave extra activities.  I teach at a behavioral school, so my students tend to get out of hand if they do not have anything to do.  So, I over plan, and ensure the sub has more than enough for my students.  Not "busy work", but something that is content related and fun.


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Jennifer Goedken
8thgradeteacher

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #17 
Oh my goodness -- this is my favorite question so far!  I was a substitute teacher for 3 years and I know first-hand what substitutes need the most.  I keep a sub folder on my desk and here is what I have in it:

1. A detailed note from me thanking them for subbing for me along with the day's assignment(s), special instructions for individual students (if needed), what students may and may not do while in my class, lunch procedures, etc.

2.  A bell schedule with the lunch period and conference period noted and highlighted.

3. An emergency evacuation map with instructions to pick up the sub emergency envelope that is mounted on the wall near the door (the envelope has a sheet for every one of my 7 classes with printed photos and names of each students, emergency instructions, how to take roll once outside the building, etc.)

4. A printed form which is broken down by each class period which lists the start and end times for each class and the names of two trusted students in each class that the sub may use for trips to the office or other needs that the sub might have.  At the bottom of the table are the phone numbers for office as well as the numbers for nearby teachers who can help with questions or issues.

5.  A printed seating chart with students' photos for each class period. I have received so many nice notes from subs who love the seating chart because they can use it to take attendance and also to see at a glance the name of a student who is making poor choices in the class.

A well-informed and prepared substitute is a happy one who will leave their phone numbers on your desk asking you to please call them again in the future. [smile]

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OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #18 
This is a great idea. The more details you leave for a sub the better. I leave a copy of the students picture with the chart, that seems to help!
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Ona Beth Day 
OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnaBethDay
This is a great idea. The more details you leave for a sub the better. I leave a copy of the students picture with the chart, that seems to help!

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Ona Beth Day 
OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnaBethDay
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnaBethDay
This is a great idea. The more details you leave for a sub the better. I leave a copy of the students picture with the chart, that seems to help!

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Ona Beth Day 
tmcham

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #21 
One thing I have always included is a Welcome Letter.  The letter is always filled with current information (is updated each week or two) so that the substitute is getting the newest information for the class.  I include appreciation for their willingness to take my classroom and also provide information that I feel will be important for a smoother running of my classroom.  

I try to write the letter in a way that helps them to feel more comfortable in my room so I include information that provides an insight to many of the students they will be working with that day or days.  I feel if the substitute has some background information on many of my students, they might have an advantage in any issues that may creep up throughout the day.  

Even though there is a schedule with the substitute notebook, I provide additional information in the letter to help the substitute better understand how that schedule works and what it looks like from my point of view.  

To me, the letter is an important part of helping the substitute's day run a little smoother.
Teetime9

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #22 
As an inclusion teacher, I feel that the most important component of my sub folder is a detailed schedule as to where I am to be including teacher names and activities to anticipate as well as locations; who I am to see work with; and a "thank you" note always. 

I feel that as much as I travel from class to class that to ask a sub, who is not familiar with my routine to do the same, is somewhat a tall task. Therefore, I want them to be as comfortable as possible when they enter the classroom and meet my students for the first time. I also want them to have an understanding of each of my student's unique characteristics and needs. I know my student's best and want to make sure that they at least have an understanding of what to expect before working with my students as it can be an awkward and uncomfortable situation at times. 

Finally, I always leave a "thank you" note as I know that it can be a challenge to walk in to a new situation with a schedule, teachers, and students that do not conform to a normal class. 


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Sherry Ayres
tamram

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #23 
My school also has a substitute binder system. The binder contains safety procedures, seating charts, and our attendance system. It also includes classroom plans thought of as emergency lessons. The notice that I had the 2-3 times I needed a substitute this year was less than one day. With little time to prepare, I supplemented the binder with detailed notes about each period--lessons I had already planned along with when they were expected to be completed. It wasn't enough, though.  Although I included comments about each period, I did not document special needs, guidelines for group learning, and detailed timing for each step of an assignment.

As a former substitute, I most appreciated the seating charts and details about each period's lessons--steps, timing and grading guidelines  to use during the off period. 



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Tamra M.
M/S H/S Math Teacher
Amancillas

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Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #24 
I always leave a note for the sub thanking him/her for teaching my class along with any specific policies I want them to be aware of and enforce. For example, my students had a set number of restroom passes per six weeks, so I asked the sub to please take up a pass when a student asked to use the restroom. That way the students knew my policies still held even when I was out and they wouldn't take advantage of the sub. A seating chart was very important, and very detailed lesson plans per class period. My lesson plans included the start and end times for each class, including lunch and conference period. I also left a copy of the bell schedule. Since I teach math and I never know how comfortable my sub will be with math, I also left examples worked out for the sub as well as an answer key. I usually over planned so students would be busy the whole class period.

One other thing that I felt was important to leave in my note was the name and room number of another teacher or two that the sub could go to with questions. I'd leave the name of another math teacher for content questions and often the name of a team leader or another teacher nearby my classroom that could answer general questions or help with discipline if necessary.
eleight

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #25 
As a traveling teacher this past year, I think the most important thing I had in my sub notebook was a detailed schedule of times and places to be, including specifically listing lunch and where to hang out during my conference period.

I think the other thing the  subs I had appreciated were a paper specifically to give feedback for each class - helpful students, and problem students.
naletta

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #26 
In my district teachers new to the district, no matter how many years they have taught, are enrolled in math and reading classes.  It's a great way to understand the district's way of doing things and get new ideas.  However, it does mean many half days away from your class.  This past year, I did not have a good substitute folder.  Each time I had to make plans for the day and almost start over with the folder.  I always included a welcome of some sort, the class roster, and the schedule.  Generally the students would have plenty of worksheets to do.  It wasn't ideal.

Thankfully I do have a wonderful neighbor who just retired and is happy to sub in my class, even when I had a less than desirable class last year -- mostly due to management on my part. [frown]

This year, I will again have many days where I am absent half a day for training.  I'm hopeful that my friend will again be my substitute.  It's so nice when the class has a familiar face even as a substitute.  

What I will do differently is include a more detailed list of the classroom procedures -- which I will have in place! -- and also more information on the students.  Last year I had several challenging students.  My friend knew their needs, but random subs did not.  That's not really fair to the substitute.

I will also try to include lessons that are easy to follow and accomplish.  I don't like just giving busy work.  It's just a waste of a day for the students.

I feel like just being more organized and having procedures in place will help everything run more smoothly.

The one thing that went well last year was that I had a student trained to change the literature stations.  It came about by accident because I kept forgetting to do it.  She started and was great.  She always did it and I never had to worry when there was a substitute.  Having students assigned to real jobs like that is great.

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Naletta
CharlotteL

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Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #27 
I have been very fortunate as my school district requires we set up a substitute handbook for our class. It has all important information, emergency procedures, student roll sheet, health alerts, seating chart, emergency lesson plan, class schedule, my duty schedule, important numbers, and dismissal info.
I have found the most important thing is having a script for the substitute, and breaking down the day by class subjects. I'm a self-contained second grade class and the sub should know what to do for each subject. Also, what students are helpers, who has what job for the week, where the materials are found. Several substitutes have mentioned this has been very helpful. I recognize this script would be helpful for myself in teaching procedures, etc. In the first days of school.
OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcham
One thing I have always included is a Welcome Letter.  The letter is always filled with current information (is updated each week or two) so that the substitute is getting the newest information for the class.  I include appreciation for their willingness to take my classroom and also provide information that I feel will be important for a smoother running of my classroom.  

I try to write the letter in a way that helps them to feel more comfortable in my room so I include information that provides an insight to many of the students they will be working with that day or days.  I feel if the substitute has some background information on many of my students, they might have an advantage in any issues that may creep up throughout the day.  

Even though there is a schedule with the substitute notebook, I provide additional information in the letter to help the substitute better understand how that schedule works and what it looks like from my point of view.  

To me, the letter is an important part of helping the substitute's day run a little smoother.

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Ona Beth Day 
OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #29 
I think the welcome letter is a great idea. I also include an application to join ATPE.
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Ona Beth Day 
OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #30 
I like the Welcome Letter idea. I have a sub tub with all of my procedures, class schede, expectations, and now I will add a Welcome Letter. I include inormation about ATPE as well.
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Ona Beth Day 
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