Something that’s proven invaluable for us in our ELA classrooms time and time again has been the emergency sub binder we have sitting on our desks. Even though emergencies are highly unlikely, and we’re generally able to get some sort of relevant sub plans together when calling in sick, it’s always better to be prepared!
Here’s what we include and how we organize ours. Feel free to steal some of these ideas to help you get your sub binder together and in place!
1. List of helpful students’ names.
2. A class roster/seating chart/line order list.
3. A class schedule.
We have our schedules color coded, which you can read about here, so everything is clear (every day the rotation is different for several of our classes). It might also be helpful to include the teacher’s names, as well as the building and/or room number where each class is located.
4. List of daily responsibilities.
This includes all of those little details we might otherwise forget to tell a substitute. For instance, when and where you have yard duty, do you have clean-up duty in the faculty lounge, meetings that you’re in charge of (i.e., Yearbook, Student Council, etc.).
5. List of logistics.
All of those minute details we take for granted just knowing how to do, a sub might not have a clue about! For instance, does your class line up outside your classroom each morning when the bell rings? Do you have to walk them to their specials? Do they walk in a specific line order? Where do your students eat lunch? How does the end of the day go? Is there a carpool line that you’re responsible for? Do students have class jobs that they complete? Etc.
6. Emergency lesson plans.
While it’s rare that we don’t know in advance when we’re going to be out, it has happened, so we include print-and-go lessons. (Last year, Jessica was unexpectedly out the first two days after Christmas break and these emergency plans were a lifesaver!) We created these emergency ELA sub lesson plans that are not simply boring “filler” activities. The worst is when students sit there reading a passage and answering questions – how boring for them! And what a bummer for you to have to come back from being sick and have a huge pile of busy work to grade.
We like to have a class set of each of these activities (labeled behind binder tabs) with the substitute instructions for each activity all ready to go. That way, if an emergency does come up, no one would technically need to be able to contact you in order for your sub to teach your students for the day. The lesson plans are all set and ready to go!
What are some must-have’s that you’d put in your substitute binder that we missed? Please share with us in the comments below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Looking for Emergency ELA Sub Plans to add to your own binder?
Check out what we use here!
These plans are challenging, yet engaging ELA lessons that are NOT those boring filler activities we were talking about earlier. Your students will be analyzing and reviewing all while having fun! We all know teachers can be control freaks and even our most detailed lessons don’t get done exactly the way we want them to with a sub. Then we have to end up reteaching the content and lose even more class time. These emergency plans solve that problem :)Our subs have all told us how helpful it was to have these easily accessible, and we felt more at ease knowing our kids were in good hands!