Calling All Teachers! — The Bump
March 2017 Moms

Calling All Teachers!

wintersongwintersong member
2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
edited February 2017 in March 2017 Moms
Share your long term sub planning wisdom! Some questions:
1. How long are you planning to be out?
2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials?
3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? 
4. What direction has your principal/admin given you?
5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans?

I have been looking online for thoughts as I finish up my sub binders...it's pretty crazy how many teachers respond to this question with, "they should be able to make their own plans." Where is the sweet spot between organized enough and just plain doing too much?
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Re: Calling All Teachers!

  • Not currently teaching high school (just university classes, and I solved the problem by not picking up any classes this spring :smile:), but I figure I would share what I did when I went on mat leave with DD

    1. I was out 9 weeks total (1 for bed rest, and 8 weeks on top of that). It was perfect because it was 1 full quarter, so my sub did all of the grades for that quarter. 

    2. I had them in a binder in order. I had a tentative schedule for her with the corresponding homework and notes, but figured she could use wiggle room for when she actually wanted to assign it. Luckily the other bio teacher and her consulted (and we shared a lot of materials), so she had someone to go to with questions or make sure she was staying on schedule. Basically I told her, getting through chapters x, y, z. 

    3. Left my notes and homework assignments. Not a ton of written detail, as much instruction that I give the students who are doing the assignment. I figured if she was teaching the material, she should be able to do the work too. Mostly the detail I wrote out involved classroom policies and how to grade what. 

    4. None, they left it all up to me. 

    5. I left the sub a flash drive with extra materials along with the teachers manual of the book which had additional activities in it if she wanted to use them. 
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    wintersong
  • I'm a first grade teacher and I've been stressing about this all year (probably more than I need to be)! I've been working on my lessons/materials for the past month and I'm finally almost finished. I'm an overly organized
    person though so I may be going overboard. 

    1. How long are you planning to be out?
    7-9 weeks . I'm planning on coming back the last two weeks of the year to close out my classroom while DH stays home (he's a teacher too).

    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials?
    I have a big binder which I dubbed "The Sub Bible". In it I have very detailed plans for each day; a calendar with standards/curriculum lessons/writing topics, etc; accounts/passwords; students groupings; and general info about my classroom structure. Then, I have two very large file baskets where I have each week labeled and divided into subjects. I have all the worksheets and master copies sorted in there. On the computer I have a file for each week with all my smartboard and powerpoint lessons. 

    My grade level team will be helping my sub print/administer tests and will provide her with extra resources as well.

    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? 
    *see above 

    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you?
    My principal said to plan in detail for one week and then let the sub pick it up from there. I don't feel comfortable leaving that much work and organization on someone who hasn't taught before...especially going into end-of-year testing. I feel like it wouldn't be fair to my kiddos or the sub. I would probably feel different if I had an experienced/retired teacher as a sub but our district only has two of those and they are currently in other classrooms filling vacant positions. 

    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans?
    I left a file of master copies so that if they run out of something they can make more. I feel like the calendar keeps things very organized too and gives them a big picture. I just downloaded a generic calendar off of teacherspayteachers and typed in all the information. 


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    wintersong
  • 1. How long are you planning to be out? I requested 13 weeks for maternity leave since that's what RI allows for their version of FMLA. Once I deliver, my midwife needs to write a letter stating how long they recommend I am out for. They said they would write it for as long as possible, so I'm hoping. I have the right to 2 years parental leave, but then you pay all insurance premiums and DH's insurance is double mine. So.. I'm hoping that baby will stay put and I won't have to request parental leave at all, go back for a few days and get my lump sum summer check and continue with insurance.  :p 

    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials? I'm in a unique situation this time around because the other reading specialist just came back from her maternity leave, so they are using the same person who is just working as a building intern right now until I go out. For my son, I had a very organized binder with logistics, potential placements I thought for the following year and such. 

    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? Feeling blessed to not have to worry much about this this round. 

    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you? Um......... none!

    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans? Not this round. I think the most helpful thing is getting to have a day or two with the sub before you actually go out. 
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    wintersong
  • Share your long term sub planning wisdom! Some questions:
    1. How long are you planning to be out?
    Gonna come back for the last week to pack up my own room and see my kids off to middle school. 

    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials?
    planning on using a 'Sub Tub' it's a file carrier that I will put copies, etc in. 

    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? 
    Not much. I'm going to have all the papers I definitely want used ready to go in for copies with a general outline of when to do things. 

    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you?
    Nada! I haven't even managed to get my AP into my room to do my observation! 

    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans? Can't wait to see what everyone else has for this, I've got nothing. 

    wintersong
  • 1. How long are you planning to be out? I'm taking the full 12 FMLA weeks, even though it will affect our budget. Nobody has given me a clear answer though on whether the week of Spring Break counts in there or not, so I'm not sure on my return date. 

    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials? Not leaving anything physical--my classroom printer is crappy. I created a super-organized Google Drive with a folder for each grade (10th and 11th) and sub-folders for each unit. I made an Excel-sheet-type calendar and, per week, explained the objective, readings, assignments, rubrics, lecture slides, and assessments that should go there. So she has a ton of guidance and materials but leeway to be creative too, if she desires.  

    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? I was going to try to do day-by-day plans, but when I was a long-term sub, all I was handed was the pacing guide that said what readings and skills belonged in each quarter. No assessments, assignments, nothing specific. It sucked but I survived. So... I gave up after making like 2 detailed lesson plans, because that calendar and all of the resources I uploaded in my Google Drive are miles ahead of what I had. She should be grateful. ;)
    (I like the sub they hired, and it's a two-way thing... she is trying to get a full-time teaching job and my admin are aware that a spot is opening up next year due to a retirement, so if she does well with my class, there's a good chance they'll be able to move her into that position next fall. Therefore her showing some independence will probably be in her favor. Or something. I just really don't want to do any more lesson planning than I already have.)

    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you? None. :( But she knows I'm considered one of the more organized teachers so I think she's just assuming I have good plans. 

    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans? I created some info lists for her, like: the students who are a little bit trouble-makers and students who are helpful; contact phone numbers for the important people like the secretary, custodian, and librarian; the most helpful fellow teacher of each grade, so she has a place to start if she has any questions about curriculum; some "filler" assignment ideas from an AVID resource book so if there is an awkward day, she can fill it with an activity that will still be meaningful; etc.
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  • Some questions:
    1. How long are you planning to be out? I plan on being out for the rest of the year. 

    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials? I just asked another that earlier today. She was out for surgery. I was wondering if she did the full DTA lesson plans we had to do. We all mostly use google classroom and create a lesson plan the kids can follow. She said she printed off that and left it. So I'm going to probably do the same. 

    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans?  So my sub is the person whose job I took over 3 years. He taught 2 of the classes for the last 30 years so those 2 classes I probably won't go into much detail. I'm also the 11th and 12th grade work study coordinator so I'm going to create plans for hopefully a month then leave the curriculum outline for the rest. Our situation is funny because our seniors get out of school like the middle of May so once they leave my classes reduce dramatically in size. So that's why I'm going to leave it up to him to teach what he see fit. 
    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you? She told me to ask him what he wants. His response was whatever I wanted to do. He has been back in the building subbing since December and I think has gotten to know some of the kids. 
    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans?  Class policies and procedures but he should be aware of those and may want to bring back his own.


  • @EnglishTeacherMama At least in my district 12 weeks is really 60 work days...so spring break doesn't count :)
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    saraeric
  • wintersongwintersong member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 2017
    Okay, so here are my answers so far. I'm finding this really helpful!!

    My school is unique in that we have semester long classes. So the sub will teach almost the entire course: I'll only be there for 1.5 units! It will really be his/her class. 

    1. Until the end of the semester...I'll take a leave of absence until literally the teacher work day at the end of the semester and pack up. 

    2. I am leaving a sub binder with info about procedures, etc, and class binders with hard copies of a bunch of materials. 

    3. In my class with an end of course state test, I'm leaving literally all the activities and other activities the sub will use. I created a list of objectives and ordered list of activities for each unit, and annotated each activity with direction. Kind of anal, but with only 13 weeks of instruction to cover 1500 to the present I'm not taking chances in my government class I created quizzes and tests essentially based from the textbook and left an index of resources from the book. Seriously the pearson government book is amazeballs with the resources available. Interactive medua, traditional textbook work, webquests, interactive journals...all there. I did add in some extension assignments. The sub can do whatever he or she wants in that class...they can be creative or just stick to the resources from Pearson. 

    3. See above. I AM leaving detailed day by day plans for all of unit 2 just as if it were any sub, to give the sub time to adjust and breathe. 

    4. None, but I like it that way :)

    5. I'm going to suggest he/she do a "first day" PowerPoint reviewing procedures they want to keep that I've established and changing anything they want to change (example: cell phone policy). I'll leave him/her my first day pot to modify. I'm also leaving:
    - descriptions of established classroom procedures
    - classroom environment lists, such as posters available for each unit
    - pretest data so he/she can add posttest info
    - general pacing calendar with suggested test dates for each unit 
    - electronic copies of everything on the shared drive

    I hesitate to rely much on Google classroom this semester because I have no idea how tech savvy my sub will be. 


    Another question:
    Are you getting your sub a good luck gift? Of so, what? 
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  • 1. How long are you planning to be out? 
    I'm planning on being out from spring break through the end of the school year. I'll come back in August when school starts again. 
    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials?
    This is my 8th year teaching 3rd grade so I pretty much know what I usually do during 4th quarter. I've made copies for the rest of the school year. I also made a table in Word that has weekly plans for the rest of the school year. It has the subject area and what they should generally be doing that week. I made up a substitute teacher binder for my first long term sub a few years ago so I just added to and modified that a bit. 
    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? 
    We're expected to have two weeks of fairly detailed lesson plans to get the long term sub started. After that, it's really up to them. Like I said early, I laid out week by week the reading story, science topic/lessons, and social studies topics. Math will be the only thing she really has to plan out. 
    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you?
    none, my principal is very hands off
    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans?
    I also detailed what our daily routine looks like, typed up all of our classroom procedures, what weekly routines we do (mainly quizzes), monthly routines (changing desks, calendar, etc), how I grade assignments, how to access all curricular websites (all my log-in info), student schedules (sped, ELL), weekly/daily schedules, etc. 

    My long term sub for my first pregnancy was an absolute joke. He had terrible classroom management and did not follow my plans at all. Unfortunately, I had no say in the pick. This time, I know my sub and think she'll do a much better job!. 


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    wintersong
  • Share your long term sub planning wisdom! Some questions:
    1. How long are you planning to be out?
    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials?
    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? 
    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you?
    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans?

    I have been looking online for thoughts as I finish up my sub binders...it's pretty crazy how many teachers respond to this question with, "they should be able to make their own plans." Where is the sweet spot between organized enough and just plain doing too much?
    1. March 10- beginning of next school year (due date is March 28) ... the last day of the quarter is the 10.. and I work in a small school with kids with social/emotional disabilities. They can get very physically aggressive so it's not the best place for a very pregnant lady to be. 

    2. My classroom will be run by my assistant, I've been working on lesson plans for her since October and I'm leaving her 9 weeks worth of lesson plans. They are in a binder with all the materials in the back of the binder. 

    3. She knows how I run the classroom but has severe anxiety over my leave so I tried to leave them somewhat detailed (def more than I do for myself) but they aren't too over the top. She has been working with me for 3 years now and has a teaching license so she'll be fine. 

    4. Nothing really, I met with HR to discuss the leave and I'm a mentor so I discussed the leave with admin about that. I'm not sure my principal knows how much work i have put into my plans. But we are going to be having weekly meetings starting this week to discuss the leave. 

    5. I'm leaving her a schedule of the day, and schedules of the kids therapy times (mental health, speech, ot, pt, etc). I know she'll have a lot to do at the end of the year as far as turning things in so I'm also thinking of helping her by pulling out some of the more important paperwork to have it ready. 

    I realize im doing a lot and honestly if it weren't for the fact that she is my good friend and works really hard to help me in the classroom, I wouldn't do everything that I have. She has stressed to me all year how nervous she is about my leave and I just want her to be as comfortable/confident as possible. I'm just glad she told me early in the year she was wanting this much support, I was planning on only leaving around 2-3 weeks of lesson plans and then letting her go from there! 
    hisqueen78

  • 1. How long are you planning to be out?
    from whenever baby comes until September. We have a summer session program so I'm taking off from that too 

    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials?
    I teach special ed preschool in an aba/vba setting. My little munchkins are all on the spectrum and are all at varying levels so everything is done per kid. I have my weekly themes all planned out and organized with the accompanying books, crafts, sensory activities, etc in a big filing cabinet. 

    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? 
    Not too much detail. Each kid has their own needs and pace so they work on the same activities at the same times but they each finish at a different pace and require different supports. I have 4 aides in the room with me so they'll be helping the sun with all the fine tuning of the plans 

    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you?
    nothing reallly. 7 of my 8 kiddos are moving on to kindergarten in September so I'll be starting fresh with a new crop of kids. 

    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans?
    my aides are amazing. They can pretty much run the room without me so I'm not too worried about leaving any additional stuff for the sub. 
    wintersong
  • Completely unrelated.... But since we all work in education I just had to take a moment to express my overwhelming disappointed in our new Secretary of Education. Literally every single person commenting on this thread is more qualified than her. It doesn't help that our senate doesn't support her either - for the first time in history, the Vice President had to step in and cast the tie-breaking vote on a confirmation. I'm not feeling very confident as an educator with her as my Secretary of Education right now... 
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  • I teach preschool at a very small Lutheran school so my situation may be different than others, but I will share how I am handling the sub things (and following to get more ideas myself :smile: )!

    1. How long are you planning to be out? I will be out the rest of the year. 
    2. How are you physically organizing your lessons and materials? I've got everything in a binder right now. I've also started labeling all of my cupboards and filing cabinet drawers. Being the only teacher in the classroom for three years, I hadn't labeled anything because I knew where it all was but I thought that would be helpful. 
    3. How much detail are you leaving in the actual plans? This year I have been using weekly themes in my classroom. I left her a list of themes I had planned to use for the remainder of the year and the books/resources that I have been pulling activities from. I also told her to rearrange the themes or incorporate her own as much as she felt comfortable. 
    4. What direction has your principal/admin given you? Not a ton, really. He has just kind of left it to me as far as getting her acclimated and said to let him know what I needed from him.
    5. Any additional things you think will be helpful to leave for the sub in addition to plans? This week I sent a note home to my PreK families explaining who the sub would be, and that she would be visiting the classroom to observe...having her sit in for the day was really helpful, I think. She got to know the kids, saw my routine and was able to ask a lot of questions and write a lot of things down. 
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  • Completely unrelated.... But since we all work in education I just had to take a moment to express my overwhelming disappointed in our new Secretary of Education. Literally every single person commenting on this thread is more qualified than her. It doesn't help that our senate doesn't support her either - for the first time in history, the Vice President had to step in and cast the tie-breaking vote on a confirmation. I'm not feeling very confident as an educator with her as my Secretary of Education right now... 
    Er.....my Facebook feed is totally taken over with politics. Maybe TB can stay politics free? I seriously don't even read my newsfeed anymore, I don't want tb to become the same :( 
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    jrde50eb12shines721
  • Sorry @longliveregina - you're completely right. You can skip over my comment and I'll keep it politics free from here on out. Ironically, my Facebook page is actually politics free - I usually don't talk about this stuff but when it comes to education I can be a bit protective. This is not the place though. 
    wintersong
  • So, my long term sub is coming in for an observation....on the 16th!! EEE! Now I am trying to get everything ready by next Thursday so he can take it home with him. Heaven help me, it's gonna be a looooooong week! 
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    kjd291
  • @longliveregina oh goodness! How exciting/stressful! Good luck!

    We are almost to our leaves!!! I have parent/teacher conferences tomorrow so I'll be at the school until 7 :( it's such a long day!!! 
    wintersong
  • @longliveregina It will feel so nice when it's done though!! 
    For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.
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    wintersong
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