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Help!!
Old 08-17-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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Due to cancer surgery, I will more than likely not be starting the school year with my students. So much of the timing of this is up in the air until I see the oncologist next Tuesday. I am trying to get as much done as possible at school to help whomever comes in for me.

For those of you who have been on leave at the beginning of a school year, what do I need to do to help the sub? I don't know how long I will be gone... depending on if cancer has spread or not. I want the year to start smoothly, but I have never done this before.

Please help me with suggestions.... I want to be able to relax and focus on some fun in the next few days before we see the oncologist, but my mind keeps flashing on school... HELP!!!


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Routines
Old 08-17-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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Make sure you are very specific about the routines you want put in place. If you can meet with the sub, do it. Also, map out at least a month or two of curriculum-not full lesson plans, but just an idea of what to tach and when. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.
I'm sorry about your situation, you'll be in my prayers!
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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First of all, good luck to you, hopefully things will go well with the doctor, I'll say a prayer for you tonight.

Secondly, I was in this position last year, although I filled in for a maternity leave that was known months ahead. The woman I was in for met with me about procedures, following the text, (high school class) and a schedule of when things needed to be handled. We spoke on the phone twice a week, both for her sanity and my own. It went pretty well, and when she came back, we were in the classroom together for three days to transition. THAT was ideal, because she and I could confer in front of the students precisely WHAT had been covered. Kept everyone honest. Of course, the district had to sanction it, not sure all districts would do that. Overall, it worked pretty well, and I made a new friend to boot!

Again, I am thinking of you and hoping for the best possible outcome.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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When does your school start? What is your grade level?

I have some thoughts and will share them when I know just a little bit more.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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4th grade. School starts Sept. 4th, but not sure when surgery will be for me.


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Old 08-17-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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I strongly encourage you to taper off on doing things for school! First of all, it sounds as if you've been in contact with your school about needing time off, so they should be getting on the stick to get someone lined up.

I took a long-term sub job for 4th grade last year and believe I was probably hired because I am a veteran teacher and had taught 4th before. The job began January 2 and went through mid-April, but the principal couldn't let me in the building the weekend before the job started because the custodians had just waxed the floors? (Seriously, when aren't custodians waxing the floors? ). So I went in on that Monday with basically nothing. I did do some googling and had ideas in mind, and it worked out.

Woolie's situation sounds like a lovely way of working things out. The teacher I was in for did not communicate with me at all. I was definitely on my own.

I believe if you could sit and think tomorrow morning about the things you care most about and then make notes on them, that would be a good place to stop. Then enjoy the rest of the weekend and Monday. I hope you can find out all the information you want to know on Tuesday so you won't feel out in left field.

Should you contact your principal to see how it works with long-term subs? Your district may have a certain way of doing things.

Decide what you want your students/their families to know and how they are to be told about your health.

Procedures are crucial to teach at the beginning of the year, but they can easily be changed. That depends on how you feel about it.

If you have your class list, be sure to let the sub know if you have any students with IEP's or 504's, custody arrangements, and/or allergies. If you don't have access to that, please put this at the top of your note for the sub to find out.

What do you want the sub to take grades on? Will you want her/him to record in your book or on a checklist that can be transferred to your gradebook later?

Do you want the sub to contact you: never, 1-2 times/week, etc. Or do you want to do the contacting?

If you have received any school calendar of upcoming events and meetings, be sure to put this in the pile of important papers for the sub.

Talk with one of your grade level partners to see if he/she would be willing to answer questions for the sub. Then let the sub know who this is.

Does your school have a pacing guide that you all follow fairly regularly? If so, put that out for the sub. If you all don't really use it, then don't put it out.

If there's no pacing guide, write a general outline of what you do for each subject for the first few weeks.

If you have information in files as to what you use at the beginning of the year for the different subjects, put those files in a crate in the order that the sub may use them.

If you have the info on your schedule, i.e. specials, lunch and recess times, etc., note that for the sub.

That's all I can think of, but I understand how your mind must be whirling right now. I think if a sub walked into a long-term with this type of information all ready for him or her, it should be o.k.

After you make these notes, please enjoy the rest of your weekend! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Thank you
Old 08-17-2012, 06:20 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the ideas. I have to admit my mind is racing and it is hard to stay focused. All of the ideas given are wonderful and I will be busy getting things ready and then I am going to forget about it. I have wonderful colleagues from all grade levels who have adamantly offered to help whoever takes over for me, so I know he or she will be in good hands. I am a control freak who loves to have things all planned out, but life is not allowing for that now and I am slowly coming to accept that I cannot do it all!
I will take your suggestions to heart to try to ease the burden on my guest teacher, but I am going to keep my health in mind also!

Once again, THANK YOU!!!!
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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First off, I hope you have a speedy recovery and smooth transition once you get back. It sounds like you really want the substitute teacher to start things right. I am in the same position who took over for a teacher who missed the first few weeks of the start of the school year. The teacher provided detailed notes for the lessons for each week of class. Class rosters and seating arrangements were also planned ahead of time so the sub knows where students are at. Probably the most important thing is procedures, procedures, and procedures. I cannot stress enough the importance of procedures and routines, especially at the beginning of the school year. Once these are emphasized enough, your transition will be a lot smoother as the students already know what is expected of them. I also communicated with the teacher every week to give updates for the class and to make sure we're on the same page. Hope this helps. Good luck and stay strong!
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Everyone has great suggestions...
Old 08-19-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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and, most importantly, I want to wish you all the best and a quick recovery and sending positive thoughts your way.

I am currently doing a long-term for a teacher who is out for the first month of the year. Being able to contact her via e-mail or text if I have questions has been extremely helpful. Questions have come up the past few weeks, and it just helps for me to send her a quick message and get a an equally quick response.

I had about three days to prepare when I found out I'd be needed. You have the advantage of having a couple of weeks to touch base with your guest teacher before school begins, which is a good thing. I am glad you have a great support system at school - the other teachers will be a great resource for the person who takes your class until you return.
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