Monday, January 13, 2014

The One with the Sub Binder

What does it feel like to be in the classroom teaching?  I've almost forgotten.

Between bad weather, appointments, and field trips I was in the classroom a total of two days last week.  This week isn't much better.  Today I had the opportunity to serve on an interviewing committee.  I have to be out again on Thursday.

We all know it is easier to just be at school than it is to miss and have to write sub plans.  Why are sub plans such a pain?  

Our district has some fantastic subs.  But even with the very best of substitutes, there is truly no replacement for us being in the classroom.

We know our students - their needs, their struggles, their strengths.  They need us.  And I don't know about you but I need them.  I miss my students.  It's been almost a week since I was able to be in the classroom with them helping them be successful in Math.  I am excited to get back in there with them tomorrow.  We are going to master adding and subtracting fraction over the next two days.  

I believe we need to do everything we can to help our sub be successful in our classrooms when we have to be out.

Don't get me wrong.  I've been guilty of leaving those skeletal lesson plans and praying the sub comes out alive at the end of the day.

I've done it more than once.

But I try to leave everything my sub might need to not just get through the day, but to have a good day.

Last year I purchased a Sub Binder on TPT.  I LOVE it!  Of course it helps that it has an owl & chevron theme - two of my favorite things.  

I plan to make my own next year - only because I'm going to have a new theme (already planning that).

If you don't have a sub binder I recommend that you create one.  It can makes things so much easier for both you and your sub.

Here is the information that I keep in my binder.

1.  Thank you letter.  I want my sub to know that I appreciate them filling in for me.  
2. Table of Contents - Don't make them search for the seating chart or roster.
3. Contact Info - Who can see for help?  
4. Daily Schedule
5. Rosters for each class
6. Seating Charts
7. Class Expectations 
8. Lesson Plans
9. Materials - Supplies for both the sub and for the students.  I have a toolbox on my desk that makes it easy for my sub to find a pen.  
10. Procedures - Everything from attendance & lunch count to using the restroom & lining up.
11. Student Info - Who can be trusted to run an errand?  Who has allergies? Who needs modifications?
12. Forms - Attendance slips, behavior slips, and anything else a sub might need.
13. Maps 
14. Dismissal
15. Notes - A place for the sub to leave me a note
16. Emergency Situations
17. Emergency Sub Plans - for those days you wake up too sick to write sub plans

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