Sub lesson plans are essential for all teachers. In the midst of a global pandemic, planning for absences is more important than ever. Here are some ideas to help you stay organized.
Sub Lesson Plans Binder
Have a detailed sub binder available in your classroom. Make sure it contains all of the necessary information your replacement will need, including:
- Technology logins
- Detailed schedules
- Class rosters and student information
- Special education and IEP information
- Class rules and procedures
- A seating chart
- Extra work for early finishers
Tips for Sub Planning
My top tips for a successful sub experience are to keep things as low-tech as possible and prepare printouts in advance. Your materials should be ready to go, and require almost no explanation. Subs should not have to print or make copies the day of—neither should your administrators or colleagues to cover for you.
I design all of my resources to be easy to implement and straightforward—so much so that a sub could pick any of the pages up and use it without training. Although many teachers would prefer to avoid worksheets, they are probably your best option with a sub.
Have at least five days of printed work ready for all of your students. Clearly label it and make it easy to find. (To ease your mind, here is why printing paper is not as bad for the environment as you may think.)
Read this blog post where I review free printables for ELA sub plans that you can easily print and use.
Long Term Sub Plans
For long term subs, I recommend novel units. Reading a book in class and working on a related unit is a nice, cohesive activity for someone who will be with your class for a month or more. Check out my favorite ELA Novel Units here!
Finally, I recommend developing a strong relationship with your favorite subs. A small thank you gesture, note, or email can go a long way. Having someone you’re familiar with, who works well with your students, is priceless.