What to Do When You Need a Last-Minute Substitute

In an ideal world, you would always know when you were going to need a substitute teacher well in advance. You’d be able to pick the person, leave a detailed lesson plan and have all the resources the sub could ever need. You would come back to a class that still learned what it needed to in your absence. Unfortunately, that is not always (or rarely ever!) the case. Here are some things to do when you need a last-minute sub.

Notify Other Teachers

If there’s another teacher for your grade or subject that you know well or work closely with, let that person know that you’ll be out. They may be able to print extra copies of their lesson plans for the sub or offer them some help or structure. If your school has teacher’s aides, they may be able to offer help for your sub. Plus, if another teacher or aide knows your kids, they’ll also be able to answer questions or inform the sub about discipline, allergies or any other student issue.

Buy a Sub Kit Online

There are so many online resources now for teachers in a pinch. If you don’t have the time to put together a kit or lesson plan for a sub, you can buy one from another teacher. Steve’s Classroom has plans for all grades and ages that cover a variety of subjects. These are especially helpful when you’ll need to be out unexpectedly for more than a day or two.

Always Be Prepared

This requires a bit of planning and foresight, but having an emergency sub kit will make it easier for everyone. A folder with seating charts, student information, detailed schedules and a class set of worksheets will go a long way toward making sure that your class doesn’t get completely derailed when you get sick or can’t make it in. You could also leave an information kit with another teacher so they can answer any questions the sub may have.

What are some of your best methods when you need a substitute teacher?

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Steve Hiles

I am a retired military and elementary school teacher living in Tennessee. I am an avid reader and love to write. I am very passionate about helping teachers. I hope you find my educational tips and strategies useful and enjoy hearing about my personal journey. Thanks for visiting!

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