How to Leave Easy Lesson Plans for a Substitute Teacher

A teacher who takes the time to leave easy plans for a substitute teacher is a teacher who cares when someone else is taking over the class. A substitute teacher usually is called in without notice, and this can leave even the most veteran substitute teacher feeling a bit anxious. To come into a classroom and know exactly where to find plans for the day makes the substitute teacher's day a bit brighter. Here are ways to leave easy plans for your substitutes.

The Substitute Teacher Folder

Having materials already prepared for a substitute teacher is easy on your part. The packet can be placed in the same place all the time, making it easy for a substitute teacher to find. So, what do you include in this award-winning packet? Here are some suggestions:

  1. List of students in the class. Not only have this list, but mark the students who will be of particular help to the teacher, and mark those who may try to give them some trouble. Giving a substitute teacher heads up on these students can help in a big way.
  2. Description of class routines. Let the substitute teacher know how the day flows in your classroom. Do you have children in charge of handing out papers? When do you have bathroom breaks? How often do you let children have quiet time? Let the substitute teacher know these things in order to keep sanity in the classroom, and the kids will not miss a beat.
  3. Lesson plans. Include low preparation lesson plans for a substitute teacher. Have the lessons printed off and placed in the folder for easy access.
  4. List of classroom rules. It is a good idea for a substitute teacher to know your classroom rules. They may be posted somewhere in the room, but having it on paper helps even more. The substitute teacher can alert the students that he or she knows them, and this will help make sure that the students are behaving as they should, even though their regular teacher is absent for a day.
  5. Classroom Management Ideas. It is very important to leave the substitute teacher ideas on how to manage the classroom. For instance, let the substitute teacher know what signal you use to quiet the classroom down, so they can utilize the same signal. Also suggest that the teacher write "Recess" and "Break" on the board. Every time a student misbehaves, they can erase a letter, and if the whole word disappears, so does that particular privilege.
  6. Substitute note sheet. Provide a sheet that the substitute can use to leave you comments and notes. This is where he or she can tell you of any children who did not behave, children who were a big help to them, students who were absent, and other comments about what was accomplished throughout the day.
  7. Policy handbook. Leave the substitute teacher this handbook, so they can quickly refer to things that they may have questions about. It includes things like playground rules, lunch rules, fire drills, Internet usage, and much more.
  8. Filler activities when there is extra time. Give the substitute teacher a handy list of activities that you use when there is extra time in the classroom. Engaging students in a review game is much more productive than allowing them to talk and be wild.
  9. List of contacts. Leaving the substitute teacher a list of contacts may prove to be very helpful during the school day. Include contacts of the following:
  • Principal
  • Secretary
  • Custodian
  • Nurse

10. Important Places. Make a list of the importance places within the school that a substitute teacher may need to know about. Places might include:

  • Teacher's lounge
  • Custodian's room
  • Audio-Visual equipment
  • Nurse's office
  • School supplies room