Discussion in 'General Education' started by ancientcivteach, Jul 28, 2008.
Jul 28, 2008
I'm putting together my sub binder, and I was curious what other people left for their substitutes.
We were not require to have a sub folder. I usually knew when I would be out so I would write plans the night before. If I was sick in the morning and I did not have plans I could go to school and throw something together because I live close. I could also e-mail in plans. My two colleagues would also throw things together if need be for the sub. I have done it for them if the need arose.
Here's my stuff-there is a copy of my plans on the page. This year I'm going to get super organized and have all of this ready BEFORE the year starts. Wish me luck!
My sub plans consisted of:
lesson plans, worksheets, printouts for the day
books to be read
teachers to contact for help (class room or phone #)
any important info. about students (behavior, health problems, etc.)
I usually just leave a note for the sub to take attendance and then assign pages in the textbook or leave a worksheet from the chapter we are doing. I was out 5 times this year and only about 1/2 the class did it - even when it was collected. But thats HS kids for ya.
When I have a sub usually leave a detailed time by time list of what to do. I also put post-its on the necessary worksheets, manipulatives, etc ("math", "science", "language arts"). This way there is no confusion on what worksheet goes with what.
My old school provided binders for teachers to have in their rooms. They would have school policies and places for us to put information.
I'm going to be making an emergency sub tote in the coming days. I've moved to a new school this year, so I think it might be harder when I don't have specific plans laid out.
Having been a sub for several yrs, in addition to the usual (schedule, student list, fire drill procedures, etc.), if you really want to be thorough & helpful, it helps to also have these:
- names of few students that may be helpful (you won't know this until you've gotten to know your students yourself).
- suggestions for discipline (i.e. name on board, minutes off recess, etc.)
- Anything specific or unique that we should know about a perticular student (i.e. Mary needs to take medications so send her to the nurse at 11:30 or be especially firm w/ Ted & Nancy or else they misbehave).
- Add helpful things as the year goes. Don't just have something ready at the beginning of the year & never open it until the last week of school.
Class lists, seating charts, first aid pamphlets and materials passed out to us, any medical information about students (who has asthma, allergies, diabetes), scedule of classes for the week, map of the building, and list of "substitute teacher's responsibilities" as given to me for inclusion. If I knew I would be gone I typed up all the lessons in detail according to how the events of the day would happen.
I also try to fill out information spaces on the folder itself: teachers who can help with any questions, kids who are dependable and those to keep an eye on, lunch time, discipline procedures and the like. I put the sub folder inside a larger file folder thing with sides and include worksheets for filler activites or additional lessons as well as some ideas for games or other fillers (like brain quest and madlibs). As a sub, I loved having everything I might need at my fingertips.
I was also a sub for a few years and there was nothing worse than going into a room with no plans. I always have a seating chart in my attendance book. On Friday planning days I organize all week's coming into folders for each day. I also try to write my plans in my book as if I am going to be sick. I live 30 miles from my school. I have a sub folder I fill out every year with all the important stuff. And I try to have extra work around if a sub needs. My team was good to help.
I thought your question was about lesson plans, but most of the answers are about the sub folder itself. Since I'm unsure, I'll give you both.
Lesson Plans: I leave exactly what I'd be doing if I were there, only I modify it if needed. For instance, if I'd planned to lecture for an introduction, I'd leave it in written form for the kids to read. I always leave several folders of "extra" work, but I've never had anybody need to use it.
Sub Folder Contents:
"Where to Find It" List for materials in my classroom
operating instructions for the technology
seating charts with student photos
overview of my managment plan
specific class information (modifications/medical issues, etc.)
emergency plans (fire, tornado, earthquake, etc.)
reliable students and "go to" teachers
form to leave me notes
my cell phone number
My TEACHER BINDER consists of several different items. The first section is "Teacher Stuff". The next section is lesson plans. Next, I place my SUB Folder. Finally, there is a folder for Emergency Closing Days.
The Teacher Stuff section consists of my daily schedule, a master schedule of both PE and music, lunch schedule, meeting dates for PLCs & such, door duty, etc. The "stuff" you get when you start planning your schedule. I also include some school policies and procedures (fire drill, tornado, security, etc) in there. My class list is in here both in a list form and on a chart sheet should the sub need it. (I have several of those class rosters printed and stored in a plastic page protector so that the SUB can take one out to use.) I also include a map of the school and a complete list of staff.
The 2nd section is lesson plans. My lesson plans are documented on an Excel spreadsheet. I get a week's worth of lesson planning on a single-sided sheet. On each week's lesson plan, I include the name of 2 helpers called my Teacher Assistants.
The 3rd section is my SUB SECTION. In there, I again place a master daily schedule. I include my "intro/beginning of the year" brochure for their review. I also try to add procedures for bathroom breaks, dismissal, lunch room, etc. I "try" to include a seating chart but I move my students too often to keep up with that. Instead, I make a picture "menu" of sorts. I take a pic of each child with his/her name on it and print out a master copy so that the SUB can at least identify students. I might leave a BRIEF notation about a SPEC ED student... HOWEVER, I do not leave details. Why?? Because I can not control WHO reads that information once I leave it on my desk... worried about FERPA. I ask the SUB to call me so I can give her/him a "heads-up" verbally about certain students or I mention that they need to contact a colleague of mine for an update PRIOR to the start of the school day. Also included in this section is my behavior management plan. Finally, I leave my personal cell phone number and ask that the SUB calls me with ANY question s/he might have.
The EMERGENCY CLOSING Folder is assembled by the office staff. In this folder there are two different items... a class list and an EMERGENCY PLAN sheet for each child. The parents fill this sheet out at the beginning of the school year. It asks parents to acknowledge how they want their child to return home should we close in a weather emergency or something of that sort. The class list includes a spot for "signing" out the child if a parent comes to pick the child up if s/he does not ride the bus home.
Jul 29, 2008
I try and leave my lesson plans very clear. This year I modified my lesson plan template to include a space for materials needed for that lesson. I think this will be more helpful for a sub. Also, I put a binder together with important info, classroom procedures, rules, building map, teacher numbers, discipline plan, reliable students, etc. This year I want to add a section of quickie games that we play, like word wall games, etc. I have my sub binder in a desktop organizer box and inside the box is a file with master copies of "extra" worksheets, a bingo game, and a poetry book.
Aug 1, 2008
Thank you for all of the ideas for sub folders, ladies! I've added those to my list.
I was actually asking about the sort of things you leave for substitute plans - I'm very envious of those of you who can leave your regular work!
What are referring to? Perhaps I didn't read your original post correctly.
For my sub plans, I leave everything on my lesson plans just as I have for myself. The ONLY time that I adjust my plans is if/when I am doing a project or a lecture that would obviously be too time-consuming or too detailed to "type up". After having been a sub, I could tell when plans were totally "watered done". I felt disappointed that the teacher didn't think highly enough of me to make sure that I was teaching her/his kids rather than just babysitting them. My lesson plans are created on a spreadsheet and include the subject, time for the class, and what to do-- collect ___, review ___, teach ___, do together ___, and assign ____. The plans are in choronological order with my specials noted as well as lunch/recess times. Additionally, I have a folder on my desk with "time-fillers" should they need those including some artwork, brain-busters, and Mad Libs.
I'm totally anal and I have pictures of everything in my sub folder. I have pictures of cabinets and then pictures of what each cabinet contains, pictures of each folder bin I use and what can be found in each bin, pictures of each student in my seating chart (I take pictures the first day)... If a picture is worth a thousand words, my sub folder has roughly 12 billion words in it!
That aside, I have some generic lesson plans, a list of sponge activities, and some busy work master copies that are in the folder.
As far as the pictures go, I have had subs that are preparing to teach come to me and thank me for having things so lined out and retired teachers come tell me they wish they had thought of using pictures, so I would recommend using pictures if at all possible.
A bottle of aspirin and a pre-dated Get Well card.
One of those folders that has blank spaces with pertinent information all over it. It's completely filled out. List of trouble makers and helpers, lists of assignments, and directions to where I stash the 12 Trials of Life VHS tapes I keep on hand.
In my Jurassic Park class, we watch some of the Trials of Life, so I usually keep 20 Million Miles to Earth and Valley of Gwangi with related worksheets.
I'll be blunt:
This COMPLETELY explains why schools can't get quality substitutes.
What a brawl. What a mess. "I leave this" "I leave that".
You leave for a day and it's the Roman Coliseum? What is wrong with you?
Substitutes (and I am currently in a program out of a MILITARY BACKGROUND in which to get a teaching license) expect more than what you think is 'okay'. I see teachers who couldn't lead their way out of a wet paper bag.
This isn't a game. Federal money rides on the class' performance. Walking away when you have a day and just not 'feeling' like doing something constructive is insulting.
Personally, I strongly, STRONGLY feel that no teacher should set foot in a classroom without at least a year subbing.
I'm being truthful.
I also strongly feel no teacher in the USA should be allowed in a classroom without teaching in an inner-city area for a year. A full year. But paid! The student teaching thing is dumb; I resent it. It's like a fraternity. If anyone wants my vote, they need to say, screw sending people out of the US, and send educated folks into the inner cities and poor places.
As an alternative as to going into the endless wars?
Ok, I don't mean to be offensive, but I'm going to be blunt - I (along with most of the teachers on this board, I'm sure) have days when being in the classroom is not an option. There are conferences that are held during the school year, and in order to attend, we need substitutes.
Sometimes, family members get sick or, sadly, die and in order to deal with that, we need substitutes.
Sometimes, teachers get sick to the extent that being in the classroom would be more detrimental to students than being gone for one day and guess what... we need substitutes for that, too.
And why do we offer advice to a colleague who questions what to put in a substitute folder? Because we all know that while there are some absolutely spectacular substitutes out there, there are also many substitutes who are little more than a warm body and we try to prepare for the unfortunate instance when one of those subs is in our room.
Again, I want you to understand that I'm not trying to be offensive, but I find it incredibly disrespectful when people get on these forums to criticize when all we are doing is trying to support and offer help to other teachers. Unless you know each and every one of the posters of this thread or are somehow qualified to judge overall teaching ability by the content of a sub folder, your "vent" was completely unwarranted.
Whoa there, JLW! Your vent is definitely misplaced. Please understand that many of us posters have been in this "battlefield" for many years and know how to properly strategize. That being said...
Substitutes... As a former substitute, I worked my butt off! Why? Because I have a passion for education... I want my students to be successful each and every day in all areas of their lives. I also knew that being a successful substitute is the ONLY way that you get into teaching in my geographical area UNLESS you have some experience from another area and "know" someone. I did everything that any teacher asked and more. I stayed late, corrected extra papers, organized, etc. Now, as a 10+ year veteran, I have had very FEW substitutes do what I did. They come in 15 min before the kids enter and leave with them... and, yes, many of them EXPECT to get a job. And then there are those that barely have a heartbeat and can barely manage lifting the Teacher's Guides. Yes, once I know "who" is in my room, I might modify my plans. And while I believe that no person should get a job right out of school without substituting for at least 1/2 year, there are exceptions. I also feel that "alternative certification" programs do not always do the educational system justice. I also believe that student teaching is of vital importance to developing a strong educator... if they have a good mentor/cooperating teacher. I feel that all teacher candidates should also have several other experiences in the classrooms... practicums of varying times, lengths, expectations, and settings.
To me, giving advice as far as what should/could be in a SUB Folder is showing professional courtesy. Teaching is a profession that is ever-changing, growing, and intense. It behooves all educators to learn from one another to provide the best possible situations for our students.
uh, yeah, that's what my rant was supposed to sound like!!!
You said it better than I could have.
"Walking away" because we don't feel like doing something constructive? Are you joking? Do you really think that teachers don't get sick, and when they're off, it must be because they want to slack off?
An emergency sub plan is a good idea. Teachers don't usually use it; they'll leave plans that they think their subs can handle. The emergency folder is just that...for emergencies. Like I might get in a car accident on my way home, having forgotten to turn on the headlights as I work my way out of a paper sack.
I should be professional and delete this. But I'm exhausted from putting in hours and hours so that my kids have the best education I can give them in an environment conducive to learning. And I don't like it when attention to detail and enthusiasm for the profession is knocked.
Aug 2, 2008
I have spent a year and a half subbing, inner city schools as well. A list of helpers and problem kids, complete details on how the day works, and some emergency work to through in just in case along with a cell phone number is enough.
If I'm throwing up during Walking with Prehistoric Beasts kids won't learn jack 'bout Darwin, and that's happened. I take leave when I need to.
Well, I'm a bit offended on two levels.
First off, teachers get sick just like everyone else. Even military people, however we are able to call in to our work and spend time getting better at home instead of just forging through. Its the job we chose. People going into the military know that their job, though sometimes it resembles a civilian job..isn't and they accept it, if not leave.
Secondly, I'm in alternative certification ..and i've subbed..and I've worked MY butt of in both arenas now completing my SECOND Masters degree in order to achieve my licensure. I subbed for over 4 years, I graded papers, I did field trips. I LOVED having everything laid out and organized so I didnt have to imagine what the 'real' teacher wanted me to do that day. Back to JLW for a second, sometimes its better to modify your plans for a sub, alot of times lectures are specifically created by the teacer with core content and standards in mind, substitutes might not know what these are and may skip over something of vital importance. Keep in mind, I said MIGHT..not all..but SOME may not know. Back to the alt cert., in alt cert, MANY people, like myself have to do a version of student teaching, I am getting ready for my second semester of having someone come in to watch me in my own classroom. My professor came in twice last semester and will come 2-3 times this semester. I DO have a mentor, someone who has been teaching about 10 years and is in the same department as I am. Don't knock something that is bringing teachers to classrooms until you know the situation. There are some traditional teachers that are horrid, just because someone goes the 'normal' route to licensure does not make them a great teacher. Many alt certs are embarking on a second career in education and bring alot of experience of another nature that can assist them in making a wonderful run as an educator, alas, there are some that no matter what-they don't belong in a teaching format..however, that's for the administration to decide-not us.
Now, back to the topic of the thread.
Since I was a sub, like many here, I know what I wanted and liked seeing. I have a folder that I bought at a teacher store that says SUB FOLDER on it. It has areas to fill out the schedule of the classes, lunchtime, principal names, helpful teachers/students and those classes/students that need 'special attention' due to behavior. I put in the schedule of lunches in hard copy, the bus duty schedule, the bell times, the emergency exits, write up slips, lesson plans (modified if necessary) and extra work like my History Trivia game (it gives students extra credit). I advise them of any fire/tornado drills we might have that day. I do like the idea of adding my cell #, I will do that this year. That's generally about it, I usually add a personal note in there letting them know about bathroom passes and to leave me any notes about bad behavior. I think its personal preference of what you want your substitute to do and if you know the person, what you think they can handle.
Cell phone number sounds like a good idea. I know they'd only use it if it was important. I also have been known to write the name of a teacher near me who knows how the class is run.
We don't have subs at my (small, private) school. Instead, an aide or another teacher will be pulled to help cover the class. What I need to leave is different, as a result, than if I were at a public school; the staff all knows all the kids already. Basically, they'd look at the posted calendar in the classroom to see what page numbers the kids are on in each subject, and hopefully they'd know where to look for any needed copies or materials for other activities. If I knew ahead of time I'd be out, I'd prepare work that an aide could have the kids do...otherwise, I'm not totally sure what would go on, lol, if I didn't have instructions written out. I am going to put together something better this year, though, to practice for when I need one later on.
JLW, your rant is completely uncalled for. You sound just like what your moniker labels you on this forum, a rookie. High in ideals but almost completely baseless in the realities. "You leave for a day and it's the Roman Coliseum? What is wrong with you?" Do you honestly think most of us would just decide that we simply want to sleep in and play hookie? Could it not be that perhaps we are so sick sitting up makes us nauseous? Or that a child or parent or SI had to be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night? Or that this was a planned absence and we did plan the material, write out the plans, have everything ready to go? Perhaps there was a wedding or funeral or conferences at our child's school or workshops we were required to attend or etc. etc. etc.
I am highly offended that your rant makes it sounds as though teachers are simply filling up space and nothing more than the glorified babysitters the country at large seems to believe us to be. I can't speak for all teachers here, but I get 8 sick/personal days each school year. 8! You military folks get 3 weeks of leave time! Maybe that depends on your rank, I don't know. But the general public gets at least 2 weeks of vacation time, and I get half of that. And I might use three days of the time. Don't you dare accuse me of just leaving because I "don't feel like doing something constructive". Some teachers in the profession are not very good, but then every profession (including the military) has its level of not very good/incompetent people. However, I think you will find (if you bothered to look) that the vast majority of teachers, both here and in the profession as a whole, are very dedicated to their students. If you think the education system is run like the military, you are in for a rude awakening to a painful reality. And if you honestly think the military's way of doing things is so much better, by all means go away and leave us to the business of teaching. Those who are disenfranchised with their current situations and are simply looking for something different should apply their efforts where it will do the least amount of damage to future generations.
I appreciate all of your input, to help me be... well... 'the best I can be'.
but really, I deal, personally with teachers all the time who I know took a job for second income and are doing their profession no good at all. I distinctly recall a teacher who told me her husband worked as a fireman, and they pulled down 70K a year, and she held the kids she was teaching in contempt because they didn't 'apply themselves'.
Far too many teachers never left school. They marry other teachers, or get into that civil service circle, live in that life, and have no 'life experience'. They just don't.
I suffered through a class with a teacher who bored his poor class with an endless talk about his experience in the Peace Corps in Malaysia when he was 20. He is now 52. What has this guy done since then?
Sorry if I offended folks, I had a bad night at a teachers' party.
As I said, there ARE teachers in classrooms that have NO business being there. But, don't lump all of us into the same category and assume ALL teachers are like those you've encountered.
That is like us 'civilians' thinking all military is ultimately going to rape, abuse or murder their partners, spouses, and/or significant others because we see it on the news and read about it in papers. Which I know isn't true because I know many very good and dutiful military personnel.
It is not for us to determine if they are good or bad, if their administration thinks they are doing a fine job, then its on them, allow the parents of the students to file a concern.
How do you KNOW the former Peace Corps has done nothing? Perhaps his greatest moments were in the PC at age 20 and he wants people to consider joining it? Don't assume....
Having lived both lifestyles, there really is no comparing military and civilian life. Yes, servicemembers get many DONSAS (holidays) and 30 days of leave time a year--but they also usually don't get to choose when to take that leave, either. And if you are sick, you go to sick call, and they usually just give you motrin and tell you to go back to work because you aren't that bad off (at least that's what the infantry people told dh). In that sense, teachers (and those at other jobs) have it easy. But of course, I'm also a teacher, and I know we definitely don't actually have it easy.
Every profession has its ups and downs, and military/civilian are truly two different worlds. It was culture shock when dh enlisted and we moved out to a base, and then culture shock again when he got out and we moved back home. However, I think that being in the military, and teaching, are two of the most respectable and honorable professions a person could choose. There are people who give the profession a bad name in both, but both also have many more who live up to and exceed the high standards of each.
And as far as subbing vs. regular classroom teaching...either way, you're teaching. Many subs hold credentials and are "real teachers"--many more have a ton of experience and that also counts as being a "real" teacher in my book. The ones who are new and need detailed plans and ideas for classroom management and the like--well, we were all new teachers once, and even someone who knows what they're doing could still benefit from knowing all about the class beforehand, rather than finding it out as he/she teaches.
I hope this all makes sense...I haven't had my morning coffee yet!
I've taught 7th LA for the past 3 years, and this year I will be teaching that as well as 2 social studies classes.
For my sub plans, if I know I am going to be out, I leave something fairly close to what we would be doing in class. If we are in the middle of a class novel, then I have them read and answer chapter questions, or write something about the reading. If possible, I leave an audio version of the reading so I can guarantee that they do read. Sometimes I leave a story from our literature book to listen and answer the questions at the end.
In my emergency sub plans, I pick a story from the literature book that is really high interest. I also have two scholastic magazines that I got in the mail for free with instructions to make a class set of copies and have the students read the articles and answer the questions on their own paper. I leave ones that are high interest like celebrities or school issues like drugs.
I plan to do the same thing for the social studies classes this year.
Don't leave busy work in an emergency sub folder. But review work is fine. Kids always need a good review.
A prinicipal I know had every teacher have a folder in the office the secretary gave the subs , it contained plans and activities to keep the students busy all day. It was to use if the teachers didn't have any plans to follow. As a one time sub, I can tell you nothing is worse than having nothing to do with the students.
As a teacher, I want my sub to follow my plans. I have had subs who have done nothing all day with them. It is really hard to come back to your room and get them back into the routine after they have played around all day. I realize how little subs are paid but I still expect a professional job.
I get 10 sick days a year. I do not come to school if I am sick. It is not fair to my students to have a teacher who is concerned if they need to run to the bathroom all day. I was stuck at school one day, throwing up and no sub. Not fun for me or the kids.
I would like to recognize that ancientcivteach is being proactive by using part of her summer to put together a sub folder. I respect her for asking for help. After all isn't that what this forum is her for?
In my district you don't have to sub to get a job. There is a teacher shortage and a teacher with little experience ends up being better than a string of subs.
haha...now that's funny!
Who knew this was such a hot button topic! Anywho, I kind of have the same problem because I am expected to turn in 3 emergency sub plans at the beginning of the year but I'm curious how other secondary teachers do this/would do this. In particular, social studies teachers because there is no telling where I will be in order to make three blind plans. Does that make any sense or am I losing my mind...
Aug 3, 2008
No, I've thought about doing this too. Do you need three plans for each class/day? That would be a lot. I don't know what you cover in social studies, but I think basic review work on a concept taught early in the year would be good.
It seems as if you hold teachers in contempt. If that's the case, why do you want to be part of the culture?
What about a map project?
Aug 4, 2008
Careful, we don't want to respond to a group attack with a group attack.
Very true. I'm an Air Force brat though, and this was commonly understood. My uncle's in the Army too, and his is the same so...