In past years I’ve struggled to develop sub plans. Generally, I just instructed my subs on keeping the current projects going. It worked because I was only teaching high school. It kinda worked. Often there would be messes when I returned–ruined paint brushes and the like. I realized that regular classroom teachers needed to be told to give the students 5 minutes to clean up at the end of the period or they just wouldn’t give them the heads up. Weird, but I guess it’s not usually something they have to worry with.
Since taking on middle school in addition to high school classes I’ve had emergency plans printed and ready to go. This year I got even more prepared. Thank you to “Draw The Line At” blogger Jen for posting her Sub Tub for Art. I haven’t gotten as fancy to include photos–yet. I may do that sooner or later. I think my room is pretty organized and I have labels with pictures on everything. I may just include a hand drawn map with labels for where materials are. I did adopt her idea for a binder/folder that explains everything.
At my school, teachers sub for other teachers most of the time. We rarely call in subs, though we have a few for really busy days or long-term needs. Since my subs know the kids and the building, I don’t have to worry about them needing to know what to do in case of an emergency, but I still included that in my folder. I labeled my folder “Sub Folder: Read This First” and I keep it in the front of my “Sub Tub.”
My tub is just a milk crate that I have hanging folders in. I have them labeled by lesson and organized by class. Each class has at least 4 different sub plans with handouts and instructions in each folder.
This took some time to put together, but it was there for me when I had a stomach flu and was out for 2 days. It was there for me when my kids had the stomach flu a different time from mine and were home for 4 days. It’s there for me when I have a meeting coming up and I can just make the note for the sub to do lesson such and such in the 7th grade section of the Sub Tub and thanks! all instructions are included and read the folder cuz it has important stuff in there.
My favorite part of my sub folder is the “How’d It Go?” page. Even though we leave sub slips for each class and our AP does it for us when it’s an emergency absence, most teachers do not leave any comments on them. No feedback! None. I can tell by the state of my room how it went, but still, they should let me know something. By having the “How’d It Go?” page in there my subs have left me notes about classes and what they got finished and where the work is and who was absent and who was missing their sketchbook and it’s just nice to get a little insight into how the class went. I’m really thankful to the teachers who take the time to do that for me.
I think there are some other policies and procedures that I want to add to my sub folder and I know I will add more lessons. It is a work in progress and will probably always be, just as everything is in my job.