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Lilly Redd's Message:


I am getting ready to work as a substitute for High school. What should I have in my ‘just in case’ sub bag? I know that teachers will usually leave materials and lesson plans, but I want to have a plan B at all times. Thanks!”

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Phyllis 11-13-2018 09:30 AM

1. Copies of an outline map of the United States. If there is no work, you can have them write the names of as many states as they can on the map.

2. Give them a list for writing the states like this: (This could be written on the board with numbers instead of blanks.)

A ____ ______ _____ ______

C _____ _____ _____
F ______
G _____
H _____
I _______ _______ _______ _______
K ________ _______
L _______
M 8 spaces
N 8 spaces
O 3 spaces
P _______
S ______ ________
T _______ ________
U ______
V _______ _______
W _______ _______ _________ _________

If I didn't miscount, that is it. (You might like to see how many you can fill in.)

AZsub 11-13-2018 05:56 AM

Bandaides! You would be surprised how many times I am asked for one.

Steve D 11-07-2018 11:57 AM

Here are a few things that may come in handy:

Marking pens
Name tags
Seating chart forms
Literature selections
Hand sanitizer
Jogging shoes or flats for P.E. and recess duty
Assignment calendar
Time sheet
Small cooler or lunch box and thermos
Change of clothing (in case teaching assignment changes after your arrival)
Copy of your own discipline plan (laminated and ready to post)
Special objects or items that you would like to use with the class that may motivate them during the day, such as stickers, award badges, certificates, and incentive charts
Teaching journal
Blank forms of a regular classroom teacher report (to be completed and left at the end of the day)

Lumberman 10-22-2018 03:06 AM

Good post, in case there's a lot of downtime, if you have access to equipment a movie/documentary maybe appropriate.

Since students at this age are mostly self directed, you could offer study hall but keeping structure is important so you could offer some novelty games especially if you have them structured in teams. Team that wins earns extra credit as a suggestion.

This is really is an opportunity to become a McGyver of teacher because whatever activity you provide may also depend on the physical space of the room and whatever material/equipment you have at your disposal.

Daydreamer19 08-22-2018 02:22 AM

Hi Lilly Redd,

I have never really worked as a substitute teacher but I've been working full time for 2 years. I think you should have a 'word bingo' game in your bag. All you need is a selection of any glossary or terms and definitions which are accessible from the textbooks. The students can then draw the boxes in their books.

MrsPhysics 08-14-2018 08:24 AM

I think the first response was a great list.

A few tips on endearing yourself to the staff and other teachers...

1. When you look at your schedule and see an extra period off (other than lunch) ask the administrative assistant or whoever gave you the schedule if there is anything else you could help with that period. You will probably be bored anyway and they will really appreciate the offer.

2. Leave brief notes on how each class went. Just a few words is fine, but it’s better for the teacher to know about any problems rather than hear from the students later.

3. Have a few cheap business cards made and leave them behind with your notes. That way they can find you if anything comes up at a later date. I did this and it led directly to my first long-term sub job. (Well, first they made me the go-to sub for the department so that I got lots of days with them. Then came the LTS.)

Lakeside 08-14-2018 03:13 AM

I have more experience with elementary, but when I do cover high school, I like to have:

hall passes

loner pencils (I bring short ones I have replaced at home, so I'm not really concerned about getting them back)

a list of writing prompts as emergency plans

a few math or logic puzzles that I can put in the corner of the board for early finishers

Lilly Redd 08-13-2018 04:38 PM


I am getting ready to work as a substitute for High school. What should I have in my ‘just in case’ sub bag? I know that teachers will usually leave materials and lesson plans, but I want to have a plan B at all times. Thanks!”

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