What Teachers can do for Substitutes in the Classroom

  • Prepare your class early in the school year for a substitute teacher by clearly setting expectations. If possible, remind students the day before you are absent of expectations for the day. 
  • Leave one plan/schedule out for the day (not lesson plans found in three different places). 
  • Leave regular lesson plans and engaging activities for your substitute to teach, rather than videos and busy work. 
  • Keep an accurate seating chart. 
  • Make a list of reliable students the substitute teacher can call on for help. A better suggestion is to choose a "student ambassador" for the substitute to call on. 
  • List students who have special medical and/or physical needs with a reminder that this information is confidential. 
  • Have a schedule for students who leave the room for special classes. 

 

  • List students who have behavior problems and options for dealing with them. 
  • Display a class list, class rules and list of consequences in the room. 
  • List the name(s) of neighboring teachers who can be called on for assistance. Your substitute will appreciate having a "buddy" teacher. 
  • Near the phone, post numbers for the office, nurse and "buddy" teacher. 
  • Let substitutes know about instructional assistants and/or volunteers who work in the room and leave specific instructions for these individuals. 
  • Make sure the school map is current with restrooms and teachers' lounge highlighted. 
  • Be specific when listing times for lunch, p.e., etc. One or two minutes can make a difference. Include how much time should be allowed for travel to cafeteria, etc. 
  • Write down dismissal time, including time it takes students to get ready to leave.