What’s worse than spending forever writing sub plans? Spending hours writing sub plans that are not followed! There are few things that annoy me as much as a sub who does not follow my carefully crafted plans.
Stop writing the plan to the sub. Write the plan to the students. It took me like 9 years to figure out this one (duh!) It makes a lot more sense: The students know me, they know my expectations, they know where the materials are….and they’ll have to answer to ME if they don’t follow my plan!
I write my plan in google slides and when I am absent, I ask a colleague to turn on my screen and project my plan. All the sub has to do is click through the slides…all the activities, reminders, instructions and notes are written on the screen for the students, in the correct order. (If you can’t project a power point when you’re not there, you could type out the plan and leave copies for your students which I bet would work out as well.)
To help out my sub I start with the course and period, in English because my probably won’t speak Spanish.
Then I write a note to my little darlings….
And I remind them of a few important things that they’re likely to “forget” when a sub is in the room. Of course, even for my Spanish 4s, all the important stuff is in English…not because my kiddos won’t understand it but because I want to be sure the sub does!
Then I give them directions for the day’s activities…
And I usually include a Song and a CLOZE activity to do with a youtube video…
And lastly I print out a hand out and write any additional notes to my sub. It makes it easier for the sub to know what’s coming next.
Once I’ve made my template, it’s easy (OK, easyish!) to change out my activities and keep the structure of the powerpoint the same for every sub plan. If you’d like to see the entire plan (it’s nothing amazing!) here it is.
Writing sub plans is darn near at the bottom of my list “Favorite Things about Teaching” but I’m always happier with the way a sub day goes if I write my Sub Plan to my students.