Saturday, October 11, 2014

It's Cold & Flu Season- Get that Sub Binder Ready!

Let's face it.  The inevitable will happen.  You may get sick at some point during the school year.  As a teacher, I've always hated getting sick because it just seemed like more work to get sub plans ready.  It is especially labor-some when you're not feeling well.  I think most teachers would agree.  So, make it easy on yourself and plan ahead. 

To make things easy, I create a sub binder with all kinds of information for a substitute teacher, plus I include some emergency substitute plans.  The emergency sub plans are for just that- an emergency.  A few generic plans that a sub can do in a pinch.  

Still, even though I have those emergency sub plans, I get my substitute lesson plans ready and drag myself to school (looking like death, by the way) and put my plans and copies on my desk. That's just me.  

I will admit that sometimes I change my weekly plan if I get sick.  For instance, your class may be at a pivotal point in a chapter book and YOU just want to be there to read it to them.  So, call me a control freak, but instead of having the sub read the chapter and do the lesson, I'll slip in something else for the day.  Come on, you know you've done it too!

The sub binder is a great reference tool for your guest teacher.  Here's what I include in the binder:

  • Welcome Letter- I tell the guest teacher a little about what they'll be teaching and what to expect for the day.  I also leave my cell phone number- just in case I've forgotten something important or they can't find something.
  • Who's Who?  Include a staff roster so your guest teacher will know who to contact if they need assistance.
  •  FAQ sheet- this is just a catch-all sheet with all kinds of information. Include information about restroom procedures, incentives, etc...
  • School Map- highlight places where your guest teacher may have to take students.  Indicate where the adult restrooms are located.
  • Phone List
  • Attendance Procedures / List of Students- At my school we take our attendance on the computer, but when you have a guest teacher they don't have access to the system. They need to send a paper copy to the office.  I keep copies of my homeroom class list in this section so they can mark who is absent.
  • Class Lists
  • Seating Charts
  • Lunch & Recess Procedures- Remember to include what students may do during an inside recess day.  
  • Specialty Class Rotations Schedules (PE, Music, Library, Art, etc...)
  • Duty Schedule- include information if you have arrival, dismissal, bus, cafeteria, or recess duty.  Be specific, tell them where to be and when.
  • Class Procedures / Class Expectations
  • Safety Procedures- Information for tornado, fire, intruder on campus, and lock down drills.  Include map for where to go for tornado drills (if you have these- we have them in Oklahoma!) and escape routes for fire drills. 
  • Discipline Plan / Referral Slips
  • Dismissal Procedures- Include a list of who walks home, who is picked up by car, who rides the bus, who goes to Extended Day Care.
  • Calendar of School Events
  • Emergency Sub Plans- a few generic lessons that anyone can do in a pinch.
Use binder tabs to separate information in your sub binder.
Some teachers have bins or tubs with lessons, activities, and books that are bundled together and ready to go.  This is a great thing to have, along with a sub binder.

Remember to be kind to your guest teacher.  They are not YOU.  They don't know your class like you do.  They will do their best, but if things don't go as planned for the day, it is not the end of the world.  You'll get them back on track once you return to school.

Do your best to keep yourself well and healthy.  Take your vitamins, eat your veggies and fruits, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.  Oh, and wash your hands like crazy!  And, remember that Chlorox Wipes are your best friend. Wipe down your tables and desk area often. 

If you feel a cold coming on, here are a few things that my teacher friends like to take right away that might help.  Airborne was actually invented by a teacher! 
Always check the label and check with your doctor to see if this is right for you.
Stay Well! (but, be prepared...just in case!)

1 comment:

Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts with The Teacher Dish!