Tips and Tricks for Writing Long Term Sub Plans

I only have a week and few days before my big due date and my baby could literally decide to come at any moment. I'm happy to say that I'm 99.9% (can a teacher ever really be 100%!?) ready for my maternity substitute to take over for me whenever baby gets here.

This is my second time completing maternity sub plans, and although I won't claim to be an expert, I have learned a thing or two about writing sub plans.

Here are my tips and tricks for getting ready for a long term sub:

1.  Start early
It will probably take longer than you think to get everything ready. Between typing up plans, organizing materials, making copies, and the 100 other little things you'll need to do, it helps if you get a head start on things.

2.  Make a Sub Binder
I wanted to have all my lesson plans and every thing in one place so my substitute doesn't have to search for anything around my classroom. I tried to streamline it all into pages in the binder so my sub doesn't have to switch from planner to lesson plans to important information. Everything is in order (and in page protectors and divider tabs) in the binder.

3. Type It All Up
You never know when you'll need another long term sub again, so just to be safe, it's ideal if you can type everything up so you always have a back up copy. My sub binder will be good to use for the rest of the school year (obviously the lesson plans will change), but lots of the important things like my classroom procedures and and important school information will stay the same. 

4. What to Include in a Sub Binder:
This will probably vary by grade/school/subject, but here are some important things to include in a long term sub binder:

- Important school information: 
emergency information
important school policies
school calendar

-Classroom information:
basic student expectations
list of important class procedures
behavior management plan
classroom routines
attention signals
bathroom policies
seating charts

master school schedules
week at glance schedule
daily schedule

-Lesson Plans
lesson plan outlines
teacher directions
special instructions
master copies
answer keys/rubrics (if needed)

5. Extras
Think about what else you class will need. Is there anything that will be helpful for your substitute or students while you are gone?

For me, I put together a PowerPoint with tutorials for a few of the lessons/activities that I have planned. This way my sub can put the instructions on the board and my students will be able to clearly understand what they're supposed to do.  

It's definitely not an easy job.
 It takes A LOT of work and time. 
It will give you a headache & make you want to cry.
It will all be worth it in the end!

(Stay tuned for an official birth announcement!)

Do you have any advice to share?
I'd love to hear what else you've learned about sub plans.
Leave a comment so we can all see some more helpful tips!


First Grade Funtastic said...

These are all great ideas. Under emergency info, do you have a school map, fire drill, tornado and lock down drill procedures? Can't wait for your new bundle of joy to arrive. ;)

Ann Mitchell said...

I was laid up 8 years ago with foot surgery. My sub was retired from my school, so perfect. Took me forever to prepare. She planned all math. Laid up from after Thanksgiving to middle of January. I even prepared a box with Christmas projects!

Cathy Hoffart said...

I allowed my sub to make all of the copies! She and I spoke beforehand and she was comfortable with it. So, I made files for each week (although I like the binder) with all of the masters and she knew the # of copies and everything. Then, when she was done, she just put the files back and it was easy for me to "clean up" when I got back! This was pre-Daily 5, so it would probably be more intense now, the way I do my Word Works. But, it worked.

Cindy Gilchrist said...

I don't have any advice to add, just wanted to say BEST WISHES! How exciting!!!!!

Unknown said...

One of my favorite activities is to have the children write what they think I am busy doing when I am not at school. There is a cute book I read years ago that dealt with this...the kids really think we do some crazy stuff when we aren't with them. Also enjoy baby! :) they grow so fast!

Sakhi Sawant said...
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