December 3, 2012

Tis The Season...To Get Sick!

I have been working on a few blog articles, but none of them are ready to be published quite yet. I need to record a few videos, and I am waiting on some guest blogs to be finished up. I thought I was stuck, but today I was walking in the hall and was thinking about all the runny noses, coughs, and wait how many Guest Teachers (that is was we call Substitute Teachers at my school) do we have in the building today? This got me thinking, why don't I write a quick blog about best practices when you can not be in the building.

Are You Ready?

So you wake up tomorrow morning and you feel like a truck hit you! You are coughing, sneezing, and of that achy body.  Are you ready to make the call? Now listen... I HATE to miss days, but there comes a time when you have to consider the well being of your students and fellow teachers. I am very lucky this year! I have a fantastic co teacher and we think very similar. We are trying the team teaching thing this year which has its benefits and pitfalls, but one of the benefits is that if one of us is sick the other can lead class that day while the sub helps out.

Well You Are Lucky, But What About Me?

Not all teachers are this fortunate. Either they are the only teacher at their school or teach separate classes as their co teacher. If this is the case, do you have your sub folder ready for that emergency morning? Is it visible and/or does someone know where to find it. I can tell you from experience, that is the worst feeling. Waking up feeling like that and then have to drag yourself out of bed to send in or call and tell someone where to find your sub plans. I made that mistake once and it will never happen again. It is not that I did not have sub plans, but that I was working on them and had them in my book bag at home with me.

What is in Your Folder?

OK... You have your folder... Check! It is known where it can be found... Check! Now what are your plans for the sub? Are they your actual lesson plans for that day or is it a totally different activity unrelated  to what you have been doing. We sat down this year and discussed this very topic.  At the beginning of the year we decided to teach a few easy games that practiced some of our standards and put all of the equipment needed  for those games into a mesh bag. If it is not in the bag, it is clearly visible in our storage room. This way the sub isn't runing around looking for equipment, doing any major set up, or wondering which size or type of ball to use.


Sub Plan Check List

These are some things that I think about when creating a sub plan:
  • Do you have all your information? (Plans, Class Management, Class Rosters, Class Schedule, Emergency Plan)
  • Are the directions clear enough and/or in enough detail for anyone to understand? (Draw Pictures!)
  • Have you told the sub where to find the equipment needed?
  • Is the activity safe?
  • Will the kids enjoy the activity? (unhappy or bored kids = major behavior problems for a Sub)
  • Will the sub enjoy the activity? (Are the kids screaming all day)
  • Did you leave a whistle or let them know how you get the attention of your class? (most subs are in the classroom - not a gym - when they come in, so a whistle might not be part of their arsenal)
These are just a few ideas of what I feel is important to ask yourself when building your sub plans.

What do you do when you are sick? What do your plans look like?  What is your favorite activity to leave for a substitute teacher when you are sick?  I would LOVE to see some feedback! If you have something to share, click the comments link below.

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