You must be absent from school, now what?
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Teachers are professionals! Just as we expect our students to attend school each day, the same expectation is that teachers report to work every day. However, there will be rare occasions where you may need to be away from school. Those examples may include illness or the funeral of a loved one. In those cases, it is imperative that you give your supervisor (Administrator and other designee--school secretary) an advance warning of your need to be away from the building. It's the professional thing to do!

TIPS Ways to have successful substitute experience!
1. Plan ahead: Things happen when we least expect it. Do not wait until an emergency to begin thinking about materials for the substitute. Plan ahead. During the first two weeks of school, organize and collect materials.

2. Use a 3 ring binder: Use a three ring binder to organize materials for the substitute.

3. Use tabs to organize the binder: Divide the binder into categories that will ensure easy and quick access to necessary information. Use sheet protectors to protect your documents from coffee spills, etc.

4. Keep an electronic copy of resources: Keep an electronic copy of everything in your substitute notebook in the event that the substitute accidentally leaves with your notebook or it gets misplaced during an unexpected move. Better safe than sorry!

5. Have a designated location: Keep your substitute binder in a designated location (i.e. on the top left corner of your desk). Make sure that members of your PLC or PLT know where it is located in the event of an emergency.

6. Components that are recommended for your substitute notebook:
MAKE UPDATES AS CHANGES ARISE!!*use dividers for these different categories so that the sub has quick access*
1. Clearly label your binder with your name, room number, and grade level/subject (if your binder has a clear sleeve on the front, you may choose to insert this information there)
2. Office contacts and phone extensions in the event of an emergency
Job Title
Phone Extension

Assistant Principal



Buddy Teacher

3. Map of classroom and school--(where to find cafeteria, playground, Specials classes)
4. Emergency procedures for tornado and fire drill
5. Daily Schedule (include students that have pull-out instruction--procedure for leaving, time that they are out of class, name of teacher that does pull-out, room number, phone number)
6. Student Rosters (*indicate known health concerns and/or food allergies*)
7. A generic letter to the sub that explains the personality of your class, classroom helpers/assistants, the identification of a buddy teacher in the event that the substitute needs assistance, etc. In this letter, you may also request that the substitute write a letter to you at the end of the day to tell you how their day went with your students and to make you away of any issues or concerns.
8. Seating chart (labeled with student names)

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9. Classroom management plan (rules, rewards, consequences)
10. One week of detailed lesson plans that cover previously taught material. Do not include coloring sheets or connect-the-dots. Your children deserve the best! Include all copies of activities--the substitute will not have time or necessary codes to make copies. The amount of copies should be enough for all students plus one extra for the substitute. All materials should be prepared for the substitute. Also,a substitute should not be responsible for introducing new content. The only exception to this would be for a long term substitute assignment during maternity leave which in the event, your administrator will give you more information. Make sure that you over plan and leave activities that will have the students constantly working. Down time may lead to serious discipline issues. UPDATE THIS MATERIAL MONTHLY!
11. Emergency Contact Information-a list of students with their parents' names and phone numbers in the case of an accident. (Check with your administrator to see what the procedures are for accidents (i.e. playground accidents) that could occur when you are out. Know if the substitute may be responsible for making calls to parents.
12. Detailed procedures for the following:
  • Arrival/Morning work
  • List of classroom helpers and responsibilities
  • Restroom
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Water Fountain
  • Recess
  • Lunch
  • Hall & Hall Passes
  • Transitions between activities
  • Management of materials (where extra pencils and extra materials are kept)
  • Centers and group work
  • Computer use
  • Dismissal
  • Bus Duty (list of how students get home--be specific with bus numbers, etc.)
13. Resources and forms (discipline referrals, lunch tickets, checklists)