Sub Plans — no one ever enjoys writing them! In my district, you never know whether your substitute will know how to use technology much less not break it themselves! This year, my school hired full time a teacher who had been a sub for the past 5 years. So I asked her, what are 5 things that sub plans must have?
Schedule of Classes
Sometimes feel like my classroom is a revolving door — I get a class in and then it’s time to leave. For substitutes, they don’t know your schedule. When I’m writing my plans, I always try to include some buffer time at the end to make sure the class gets out on time to their teacher.
Directions on How to Use the Required Technology
Just because we use our projector on a daily basis, doesn’t mean the sub knows how it. Thankfully, directions to technology are easy to write up in master plans and not have to change it till you get new technology. I also try to take pictures of how desks, computer carts, etc. should look so they can make sure my room is left in good condition for the next day.
Usernames and Passwords ….to Everything!
How many times have we walked into our rooms and all the computers have restarted overnight? Can you imagine how it would be to walk in there as a sub and not know how to sign in. In my sub plans, I always put master student username/password to the computers. If you are planning on having the students getting on a specific website, I always make an extra username and password for any new students that are there or in case someone can’t get logged in.
When I taught 3rd grade, it was easy to leave sub plans for the day knowing someone on my team would go over and check to make sure they understood. If the sub didn’t understand, they’d fill in the gaps or help them. Now being a computer teacher, I don’t have the luxury of someone on my team going to check. I always try to leave multiple people’s contact information in my sub plans in case they have problems. Think about the people who are “tech savvy” in your building or whose schedule can be more flexible if something goes wrong.
Unplugged Lesson Ideas
The most important part of my sub plans is including something that’s tech-free or “unplugged”. What if the internet goes down while they are all trying to get on the website? Or you are like me last week and they changed my substitute to be on a cart all day — there go my plans! One of my favorites are the Crack the Binary Code worksheets. I usually have enough copies made for a day’s worth of classes. The great thing about them is all you need is a pencil and you have about 20 minutes worth of lessons!
What are some other things sub plans should include?Leave your suggestions in the comments!