It’s easier to come to school than it is to make sub plans!” Teachers everywhere understand. You may have said those words yourself! What about those mornings when you have to decide if you can make it through the day with a stuffy nose and no voice? How about feeling pressured to schedule medical appointments during breaks or summer? Teachers try to be in class every day, but life happens. Meetings pop up on the calendar. Family members need assistance. Even superhero teachers catch the flu.
That’s why substitute teachers are so important. Unfortunately, arranging for them is increasingly difficult because the pool of potential subs is smaller than ever. That puts another layer of stress on already fatigued teachers who must cover for co-teachers who must be away from their classrooms.
What do substitute teachers need to succeed?
Everyone agrees on one thing, no matter who takes over when teachers are gone. Students deserve a meaningful day of school. That’s why teachers have substitute folders loaded with essential details for success.
School emergency procedures
Maps of the building
Schedule of events
Health concerns and accommodations
Names of nearby co-workers and responsible students who could answer questions or help in a pinch
Teachers need lessons that keep students moving forward with purposeful learning opportunities no matter who takes over the class.
Substitutes need activities that can be done quickly and easily. Emergencies cause some substitutes to walk into the classroom with the students! There are options that work. Art projects that relate to novels or social studies topics. Writing prompts. KWL Charts (Know- Want to know-Learned) for upcoming units to do independently or whole class. Review and practice pages in math.
There are also activities that can be tricky. For example, every substitute isn’t comfortable with reading aloud. Students might struggle to read the text silently or take turns reading to the class. Meaning could be lost, and you end up rereading the material when you return.
What’s the best solution when planning for substitutes?
So how do you plan for substitutes without having to reteach lessons and wade through piles of paperwork after returning to school? Solid lessons that provide clear guidelines for completion with processes students know are the best alternatives.
There’s a way to choose activities your students can do independently, and you can check the status of assignments from a distance.
Look to your online resources, like ExploreLearning math and science solutions.
You can be sure that your class has research-based activities delivered through proven instructional methods and aligned to standards.
There is no need to set up alternative assignments for certain students to differentiate instruction. Our programs are adaptive and individualized. Students simply follow the prompts for lessons based on best practices!
What about the youngest learners? ExploreLearning Science4Us has online resources that continue and extend critical knowledge for K-2 students when you have to be out of the classroom.
Eliminate busy work for substitutes! You might still choose to have extra activities like
coloring pages and crossword puzzles available to fill in the gaps, but you can rest assured knowing that your students received consistent instruction. Save the day– and your stress level about absences– with lessons that matter!
Want to learn more about our math and science solutions? Take a look!
Incite curiosity and invite interactions in STEM for students 3-12.