Sub Plans, too much?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by KinderKatie, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. KinderKatie

    KinderKatie Companion

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    Mar 28, 2007

    Hi all,

    I am a teacher but I have a question for those of you who sub.

    I have a sub folder on my desk and it is filled with info like my daily schedule/routine, rules, procedures and also a few emergency sub plans in case I have called out sick and don't have something left out.

    But if I know I am going to be out, I always leave the sub plans on my desk along with any materials needed.

    I had a sub complain to me that I left too much for her to do with the kids. But written in my plans was, "If you have time...."

    I knew I was leaving maybe 1 or 2 activities too many but I figured too much was better than not enough. I did not want her to be stuck in a room with rambunctious Kindergarteners without any work to do.

    I subbed before, and it is not fun to suddenly have no work to give the little kids.

    So what do you think?

    Also, do you have any advice for me on what kinds of things subs like to have left for them? Or any advice at all? Subbing is stressul, I know! So I want subs to enjoy being in my room and have good days while there.

    TIA :)
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I don't think it was inappropriate of you. I think it was nice actually. Maybe you could reword it to say, "Backup plans if you need them: xyz activity" that way it doesn't sound like you really want her to do those extra activities. Maybe she felt judged if she didn't do them. Who knows.
     
  4. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Mar 28, 2007

    I recently took a two day sub job. The teacher left mounds of worksheets plus a thick file of extra worksheets. She made it clear in her lesson plans, just to do as many worksheets as possible and if I didn't get through them all that was fine. I also had another class where the teacher had more involved teaching activities, same school, she also said If you don't get through it all don't worry. Most of the teachers have explicit left on lesson plans times that must be exact (to specials, duties, lunch), and times that are approximate.

    I think you are doing the right thing by leaving what might be too much. The sub should have read your plans more exact and saw you wrote "If you have time."


    (I prefer active activities, but even if I don't like it I will follow the teachers plans a close as possible, I expect the same when I get a classroom teacher job)
     
  5. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    I agree with CutNGlue about possibly rewording "If you have time.." It sounds like you as the regular teacher would be able to cover those activities and therefore they're not really extra time fillers. The sub may be racing around trying to fit it all in. Perhaps you could put these extra activities in a different color font and state that if the sub finishes the regular activities and still has time to kill use these as a backup.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 28, 2007

    I leave my "extras" with a sticky note attached which says, "If you need it".
     
  7. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

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    Yes I agree with everyone else=--reword it so that the sub knows you don't necessarily expect to do part of it but it is there in case she needs it. It is better to have too much to do than not enough
     
  8. jhendrix

    jhendrix New Member

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    you sub was obviously not thinking clearly. I would much rather have too much than too little. being prepared is best.
     
  9. KinderKatie

    KinderKatie Companion

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    Apr 9, 2007

    Thanks for your advice. Yes I did word it in my plans, "If you have time." I did mention that in my original post. Maybe I will put more of an emphasis on that. I do not leave worksheets, well maybe 1 or 2. I try to leave activities that the kids can do on their own without a sub needing to teach them, just in case they don't want to teach.
     
  10. irish2teach

    irish2teach Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2007

    Hi KinderKatie,
    First of all...thanks for asking!! I, as a Sub, really like desk name tags (or headbands in Kinder) so that I can connect with the students quickly! Also, like you said in your Sub plans..."IF YOU HAVE TIME!" A good Sub can judge usually within the first hour (or two at the most) what is going to get accomplished on any given day. But more plans the better I say! I always arrive at least 40 min. prior to the 1st bell so that I have a chance to go over whatever plans are awaiting me. That way I can gauge what will be accomplished before 1st recess, lunch, 2nd recess, end of day.
    Also, I ALWAYS bring a few lesson plans along with me that are grade level appropriate in the event that the teacher may have forgotten to leave plans or, didn't leave enough. My degree is in Education & I'm in a credential program so I have a lot of experience writing plans. I also bring a book or two in case there is a few minutes to fill.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Wow! Kids that age would love to wear name head bands. They might play with them too much though.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Wow! Most of our supply teachers don't arrive until 15 minutes (or less) before the kids come in. I'm never sure how they are able to find the classroom and locate the plans before the kids arrive, much less go over them thoroughly! You're showing that you take your job very seriously.
     
  13. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Apr 10, 2007

    I would love that kind of time before class too. Here subs cannot sign in and get a room key until 7:30am. The first bell rings at 7:45. I tried to come in early once and they made me wait until the preset time. That's one thing I like about subbing high school. If I'm lucky I'll have a free period first and can situate everything.
     
  14. Mr. H

    Mr. H Rookie

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    Apr 18, 2007

    Lote of sub plans

    From personal experience, to many lessons the not enough of them are always preferable. Also leaving a note of which students to keep an eye on (behavior problems) is a big help. :)
     
  15. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    Apr 18, 2007

    We are required to be in the classroom 1/2 hour before school begins.
    "If you have time..." seems pretty clear.
     
  16. tech ok

    tech ok Rookie

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    sub plans too much?

    I appreciate extra work. Friday i had about 5 second graders who finished their regular work so fast! i used about 3 of the extra work sheets to keep them busy. as long as you noted it was extra, or just in case i see no problem. :)
     
  17. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 7, 2007

    I subbed before I got the job I am in now, and I always loved the teachers that left too much work. I think the worst thing as a sub is to get called at the last minute (of course, unavoidable), rush to get to whatever school you're going to (I subbed in 6 schools so it was hectic just remembering which way I was going when I got in the car) and get to the classroom only to realize that you don't have enough time to get yourself and the stuff ready for the kids before they come in. I always loved the teachers that made a point to leave everything I would need. I agree with possibly separating those "if you have the time" things, but as long as you made it clear that there were certain things I HAD to get done and certain things that were back-up for my own sanity, I would love subbing for you!!
     
  18. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    Other things subs like...

    When I subbed, it bothered me when teachers just wrote "prepare for dismissal" or "go home" for the end of the day. Some schools have bells, some don't, some have announcements. What order do the kids line up? Do you walk them to the busses or just to the door? Everywhere is different, and it's so important to know the dismissal procedures in a new school/class!
     
  19. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    By the way, I love having extra work available...."if you have time" seems pretty clear to me. :)
     
  20. kem

    kem Companion

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    May 10, 2007

    When subbing for kinder, or any young children, I think that it is helpful to know what the teacher usually does for trasitions (ie a song, a bell, lights, etc.). Knowing what to do at calendar time is always a question for me too! Every classroom does it so differently. I rarely have a teacher leave me what is done for behavior management, or the type of system that they use. I always find that odd being that a sub probably needs it the most!
     
  21. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    I really agree with you, Kem, about the calendar!! I get a chorus of little voices saying, "That's not how we do it!"
     
  22. Christinak6

    Christinak6 Rookie

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    May 23, 2007

    Leaving too much for a sub is not a bad thing because a child will always ask you "What do I do next?". I've subbed for 2 years straight and it bugs me when you're in a classroom that you've never been to and you're walking around thinking huh, "Where do I start?". It's always nice to know who do go to even when lesson plans are left vice versa. I've been through the credential program and know what it takes to be a full-time teacher, so it's interesting seeing how other teachers run their own classroom. On another note, I'm sure that you're going to need a sub more than once and each sub has more or less experience, but I would assume that you may get someone with no experience one day that you're not at work. On another note, if a sub has clear directions on what to do, who to talk to, and knows where to go, it's good for the kids.
     
  23. DramaQueen!!

    DramaQueen!! Rookie

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    Sounds to me like they either didn't read the directions very well/at all - or they didn't want to put the work into actually having the students do that work.
    I just got my degree and license and have been subbing for about two weeks now. The hardest classrooms to sub for are the ones where they leave just a single post it note for the whole days work. It is so much more helpful when you have an "overly informative" sub binder. I get over giddy with excitement when I see a note from the permanent teacher in the sub folder from the office that "all information is in the sub binder on my desk."
    Also, letting the sub know what you expect from them for every group of the day helps. Often times they leave no instructions for their 10 kin advisory and it is all that I can do to stop the middle schoolers from tearing the room apart for ten min.
    Maybe it is only because I am new to subbing and because of my degree 90% of the classes I will go in to sub are not in my licensure area, but I think there is NO SUCH THING as too many plans, notes, information, ideas or anything else that could possibly be relevant to teaching in a sub folder.
     
  24. username

    username Rookie

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    May 31, 2007

    i love it when teachers leave loads of work because it keeps the kids busy (although some still don't do work in the jr. high level) and when they finish one thing you can hand them something else. a teacher can never leave too much to do with kids.
     
  25. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    I don't think that there is anything wrong with what you did. I am currently subbing day to day, and I LOVE it when teachers leave detailed schedules, and plenty of work to complete. However, I do sometimes feel pressured to finish everything- but that feeling is chased off when a teacher leaves a note like "finish what you can. I wanted to leave enough to keep them busy".

    Just star the things that MUST be finished, and make a note of what activities are supplemental. That way, the sub knows how to prioritize, and feels confident that she completes all the necessary work, without stressing herself out. Also- she has plently of things to fall back on!

    :)
     
  26. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2007

    As a sub, this is what I like (in no particular order):

    1. Plain paper, a pencil, and a pen on the desk so that I don't have to fish out mine and can leave you notes.

    2. Your policy on bathroom use, sharpening pencils, getting drinks, and students without pencils.

    3. Approximate time frame for each activity.

    4. Specific procedures for dismissal (walk out with students? where? wait?), lunch (stay?), enrichment in another room (music, library, computers--do you stay with the students?), picking students up at the beginning of class (or do you just open the door) and so on. Things that are so obvious to you but that is different for subs in various districts, grades, and schools.

    5. If a VHS or DVD is to be shown, have it all set up (test) so that the sub just has to put the power on the TV and player and hit play.

    6. Two copies of the plans, one taped to the whiteboard, just in case we misplace the copy on your desk.

    7. Seating chart or name tags.

    8. Space on the whiteboard to write plus markers (lots and in colors is fun) that work.

    9. Be clear about what papers are to be collected, which are to remain in students' desks, and which go home for homework.

    10. Don't bury duty in your notes. If there is yard or recess duty, for instance, put it clear on top in bold and then repeat the information again in the right time sequence. Sometimes we have to read sub plans as we go...

    11. In your subfolder, have a bell schedule, map of the school, emergency exit plans, and phone numbers. Also, for middle/high school: referral slips, passes to office, iPod policy, food and drink policy, dress code, etc.

    12. Name a teacher who can help if needed (just in case).

    13. Are any students diabetic or have other medical concerns? Please let the sub know. (Also, any peanut or other food allergies I should know about?)

    14. Please don't assign a religious holiday activity without first checking that all the students are okay with it. Not everyone celebrates Christmas and Easter, for instance.

    15) Optional--list helpful students or tips on anything (such as Joey and Jose provoke each other--avoid having them sit together on the mat).

    16) If possible, leave some room for flexibility and building rapport. For example, let the last 15 minutes be sub's choice (can be something fun if the class was good), or this optional work if the sub prefers that.

    17) If I have to give a test in middle or high school, and the students share tables (science class, art), please consider taking the extra time to make two (or more) versions of the test. It would be the same questions, just arranged differently. This will help cut down on roaming eyes and cheating.

    18. For middle and high school--which period is your lunch? Which is your prep? How about a list showing what class (and grade level) you have each period?

    19. If you have candy stashed in the cabinets, please let me know so that students don't steal it. Any info along those lines.

    20. Do you have Teaching Assistants or Parent Aids. Please let me know, and also, what are they supposed to be doing? Are the TAs allowed at your desk at the computer?

    Thank you for asking!
     
  27. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Our administration requires us to have a Substitute Folder (it's actually a binder with page protectors) with much of the same information that JazzMinJoy suggests (BTW, thank you for a very inclusive list!), and we're required to update it frequently. The Sub Folders are kept in the office for those times when the teacher has an unplanned absence (like when your son barfs at the breakfast table.) :( I have a storage crate in my room called SUB STUFF (pendaflex kind of thing) with worksheets and activities for substitutes, filed by subject. I give directions in the Substitute Folder on how to find it. I also have a form in the Sub Folder where the sub can fill in sections on how the day went: Things that went well, Problems, Suggestions, etc.

    And BTW, I LOVE the headband nametag suggestion from Irish2teach earlier in this thread.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We also have a Sub Folder (really a binder) like the previous poster talked about.

    I always try to leave comprehensive sub plans with all the information I think a sub might need (or at least all the information I would want if I were new to the school).

    What bugs me is when I go to all that effort and the sub doesn't do what I've asked and lets them have a study hall or social hour for the period. Ugh!
     
  29. DramaQueen!!

    DramaQueen!! Rookie

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    I don't understand why a sub would do that to begin with!
    I know in one of the districts that I sub in- the teacher and the building principal need to fill out an evaluation form on the sub and turn that into human resources. The other district I sub in they are so small and they all talk- I heard about all the bad stuff subs do while I was student teaching. I actually needed to step in for a sub while I was student teaching because she wasn't doing what she was asked to do... ... Have I just not encoutnered the "hard stuff" yet??
     
  30. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    I subbed for a Jr. Kindergarten, and the kids each had a T-shirt with his/her name on it, front and back, in big letters. It was great! (I think they got to add to the shirts with fabric paint after each school event. For instance, after visiting the zoo, they got to paint a small animal on their shirts.) The shirts stayed in the classroom. They didn't wear them everyday, so wearing them for a sub, auditorium event, or field trip was "special."
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2007

    I leave 'idiot proof' plans. Most of our subs are great but there is occasionally one who really needs the support of FULLY DETAILED plans (turn to page 43, say this, ask this...) I also leave a folder marked "If you need more..."
     

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