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YayaSub YayaSub is offline
 
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Things to let the sub know
Old 02-13-2018, 10:26 AM
 
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I know we've had lists like this before, but I thought of some new things I wish teachers would remember when preparing for a sub.

1. Policy for restroom/locker etc. Do they have to surrender a "pass" to go? Do they need to sign out?

2. Are they allowed to go to the library or go see another teacher during study hall?

3. Current seating chart, and let me know if it is different because of a group project.

4. Leave a roster with full names in case of a drill or emergency. I've actually been in a foreign language class where I only had their "Spanish names." No way to call in attendance from that.

5. Are they allowed to listen to music while working?

6. What is the cell phone policy?

7. Are there special circumstances for anyone that it would be best not to push them too much with assignments?(learning disabilities, English language learner...)

8. Will an IA be present and leading the lesson?

9. Are they supposed to turn in the class work or keep it with them?

10. Usernames and passwords for any websites or apps they have to use. There's always one or two who "can't remember" it, and I have no way to help them.

Bonus points if you are able to leave me an iPad with a way to monitor their screens, especially during tests.

Thanks, teachers! Most of us really want to do a good job for you and run things the way you do it to the best of our ability.

Anyone think of others?


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Old 02-13-2018, 12:13 PM
 
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These are good ones! One thing I can think to add is "If they don't finish an assignment, is it homework?"
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:22 PM
 
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I wish. Most teachers just leave me a worksheet and don't really think about how their class is doing to self destruct, like today.
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Amen
Old 02-13-2018, 05:39 PM
 
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Totally accurately
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:41 PM
 
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#7, definitely #7.

I know teachers cannot think of everything, and I know from personal experience how time-consuming it is to get ready for a sub. Most of the time, the teachers I sub for are very good at leaving clear plans. I only sub in elementary, so I donít have to deal with some of the issues with the upper grades.


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Old 02-13-2018, 05:46 PM
 
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A current list of phone numbers for the office, counselor, other classrooms, etc.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:25 PM
 
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Who has severe allergies/health issues.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:54 PM
 
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While I agree that most of those things would be good to know for subs, most of it isn't crucial to getting the day done. What it would do is make the amount of things we need to leave for subs to an unmanageable amount. Subs could never have the time to read all of that material. Much of those things I have in a binder that is available, but I can't imagine a sub having time to look in it. Sometimes it is hard enough to read plans before you are teaching it!

Thanks for everything you do. We need subs who are conscientious and care about their job.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:48 PM
 
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These have all been covered in older threads, but it doesn't hurt to refresh some ideas. The above are excellent suggestions. A few I would add are:

Leave sharp pencils.
Leave answer keys if available.
Do not remove all the plugs from your ELMO. Have it ready for us.
Let us know where to find blank or lined paper.

Sometimes I "cheat" by going into the teachers cabinet or bookcase to get out the teachers edition with the answers when teachers only leave me with a student edition.
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kahluablast, you are spot on!
Old 02-14-2018, 03:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Subs could never have the time to read all of that material.
Most teachers I work with leave a "general" page of information followed by the lesson plans. I tend to skip right to the lesson plan. The question I want to be answered first and foremost is:

What do I need to teach today and what are the time frames to accomplish it?

I tend to be an early arriver but even with that, I might have 20 minutes to prepare for the day so there needs to be some balance and prioritizing in the information I'm provided... I've had a couple of teachers ask for suggestions, which is really cool. I like a cover page of "must know" stuff: fire drill procedures, etc. Next comes the lesson plan with times and any duties (lunch, recess, etc.)... at the end comes any "nice to know" stuff.

Nice to know might include "It's Sally's birthday and she gets to..."

Organized teachers often have the cover page as boilerplate... the lesson plans come in different forms and with varying levels of detail... I once had one handwritten in four different ink colors. By the time I was figuring out the color-coding the kids were coming in (high school).

Yes, teachers sometimes forget things, but we also get some flexibility in this job. If I can't figure out the document camera, we'll do something else. My one almost absolute (I primarily work in elementary and middle grades.) is an accurate roster. But I confess I've sometimes had to have the kids help me with that... "Oh, she moved away..."

As a side note, the list might be different for planned versus unplanned absences. (That's when the boilerplate cover page comes in handy.) I once took over a class from a very sick regular teacher with the lesson plan on five yellow (small) sticky notes. I'm not sure how she managed to get that done... we made it through the day, minimal accomplishments but no disasters.

It might be interesting to have the equivalent of an MEL (minimum equipment list) used in flying. The list includes the absolute minimum working equipment, etc. that must be present before the plane leaves the ground. I've been told most people do not want to know how little it actually is.


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Old 02-14-2018, 09:40 AM
 
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I don't disagree with either of you, but each item on my list has caused an issue for me at some point. If I haven't been told otherwise, I do not want a neighboring teacher to come in and yell at the kids for listening to music while they work, for example.

I have seen the opposite extreme, where I was given a huge packet of minutia and it was hard to glean out the important points. It works best when there is a page for today's essentials and then a separate page (or well organized sub folder) of "nice to know" items, that would not be written up new for each absence.

I also agree that I happily overlook a lot when the absence is unplanned. I'm sure writing a sub plan is the last thing they feel like doing, and I get that.
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For me
Old 02-14-2018, 10:01 AM
 
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A seating chart is the most important item. Everything else I can pretty much wing. And I'm not with students long enough to really remember the minutiae. Unless you're in elementary, then it's a whole different ball game.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:29 AM
 
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I teach elementary, so the more details the better.

The lesson plans are usually pretty clear. The one thing that's often missing is whether there will be IAs or parent volunteers coming in. It really helps me to know in advance who to expect and what their tasks are for the day.
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student contact info
Old 02-14-2018, 02:48 PM
 
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And when you are in a field trip, not only is this handy

"current list of phone numbers for the office, counselor..."

but also caregiver's phone numbers! There was a time when a student had an accident and we had had to call home. Thankfully, we had a list of students' home phone #s.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:27 PM
 
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Some districts provide the folder that has all the numbers and drills procedures. I usually prefer if a teacher can get everything into a page or two. Anything else gets hard to go through when referring back to the notes as I'm teaching. I call those the "War and Peace" notes, and some teachers really do leave too much info when they expect all of their classroom procedures to be followed to the letter.

The thing I really appreciate is notes about 504 or Iep kids who need time away from the class or who need to be addressed in a one on one with instructions. I have had kids just shutdown when redirected and I had no idea they were on a 504 or something.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:01 AM
 
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I happened to be in a classroom yesterday subbing as a para... I know the regular teacher and I know the sub who was filling in for her. Both are good.

Things were a bit "out of control" though... because the lesson plan was based on a schedule that, somehow, had been changed... I'm guessing the regular teacher used a template and didn't realize it was no longer accurate. The sub kept going over her plan with the kids--literally reading it to them in an attempt to stick to it and the kids kept arguing--except for the ones who took advantage of the situation to pretty much do what they wanted.

It didn't take too long to sort things out and get on track, but the challenge was to stop dissecting the problem and find a solution.

Subs have to be flexible and able to think on their feet. (I've had some regular teachers tell me they could never sub--they need to much structure and control.)

I'm not diminishing the value of lots of accurate information. But we have to be problem-solvers--it's the nature of our job.
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To MaineSub
Old 02-15-2018, 10:48 AM
 
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Good example, and you're right...we need to be problem solvers and flexible too.

But I'm also mindful of my own accountability as the "teacher in charge" for the day. We are expected to follow the lesson plan as closely as possible. We could pay the price if we try to wing it. So I think it behooves the teacher to provide good lesson plans that contain the essential information.

I think one of the biggest helps is when there's a substitute teacher binder along with the lesson plan. Others here have also mentioned this. The binder includes essential information such as office and staff phone numbers, bell schedule, school map, emergency procedures, student disciplinary forms and procedures, hall passes, etc.

When I first arrive, I usually ask the office staff for the office phone #, a school map and bell schedule, as well as student reward tickets (most grade schools have these). It helps to be prepared.

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 02-15-2018 at 02:55 PM..
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That a...
Old 02-16-2018, 07:23 PM
 
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...group who discusses family planning is scheduled to arrive in your English class that day.... *face palm*
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:37 AM
 
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* Does any student NOT SPEAK ENGLISH? Yes, this has happened to me many times. Sometimes I did not figure this out for a while, or until another student told me.

* Are there any students who cannot read? Again, I've gotten to 3rd grade classes where this is happening.

* Is there a diabetic in the room. (Again...)

For older kids-- just the policy on when they are allowed to leave (to go to the library, to get a copy of their student ID, etc.).
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How Long?
Old 02-17-2018, 02:02 PM
 
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I am not sure how much longer I will be able to sub. I quite often get these lesson plans by some teachers that are very unclear, confusing, or incomplete.Then I have to ask questions to the kids. I think a few teachers don't reread their lesson plans a couple of times to see if they even make sense. I do not have any problem altering the plans and bringing something else to the table. But if you're a regular teacher, and you don't have time for a detailed lesson plan, then make a note that it is okay for us to make a few changes.Now I do this anyway when something is confusing, but I really think it's important to communicate the okay. I tried my best to make clear plans for the substitutes when I taught full time. Or, I had an emergency plan in a folder. I actually prefer to call a teacher and we talk about the plan for the day. That way, they tell me exactly what they want done, and sometimes they give me some flexibility for another activity.
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Questions for main teacher
Old 02-18-2018, 08:15 PM
 
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These are very typical questions, questions that perhaps should be standardized, and included with every set of sub notes.
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Log in to the teacher's computer
Old 02-23-2018, 10:46 PM
 
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Log in is especially necessary if the teacher leaves a DVD behind for the day.

Can't show the movie without getting into the computer.

Also, wish I was allowed to take attendance using the computer. Would save me the hassle of having students bring it down to the office. You never know if they'll go straight to the office or not.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:46 PM
 
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I'm an elementary reading specialist, so when I'm gone I'm writing plans for K-5 small groups that come in every 30 minutes. I'm sure it is a LOT of info for a sub to take in, but having an organized and labeled sub folder ("Emergency Procedures", "Daily Schedule", "Group rosters" - including first and last name and homeroom number, etc.) is something that is usually mentioned as being helpful in notes my subs leave for me.

One thing I always include because I know I make mistakes or something might be confusing is the names and room #s of other teachers in the building who would be able to answer questions about my lesson plans, where things are in my room, or the students.
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Love it!
Old 02-25-2018, 04:46 AM
 
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Quote:
One thing I always include because I know I make mistakes or something might be confusing is the names and room #s of other teachers in the building who would be able to answer questions about my lesson plans, where things are in my room, or the students.
Awesome, WGReading! Since I'm in one of two schools consistently I know most of the teachers, etc. and have prepared a version of this for myself: who to contact in the event... with phone extensions, etc. Some teachers will actually leave their cell numbers, depending on why they are out.
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