Most school districts require every teacher to have backup lesson plans available in the event that something unexpected comes up.
However, just as the lesson plans are often disconnected from the regular classroom routine – and, even worse, the topic being discussed by the class, details of the schedule and pertinent procedures are often lacking.
To ensure that the day runs smoothly and to leave a good and professional impression, create a Substitute Teacher Communication document that features a checklist with check in points, an area for notes, and a place for feedback for the teacher for whom you are substituting.
Your checklist should detail the following information in order to ensure that the basics are covered and to ensure that you are where you need to be, doing what you need to do:
- Room number, location, and map
- Office contact information
- Class roster
- Lesson Plans folder
- Teacher schedule
- Extra duties, times, and locations
- Emergency Procedures
- Medical information of students, if necessary
The notes area pertains to the lessons and classes, and it will fluctuate depending on the grade of the students.
For example, if you are substituting for a classroom elementary teacher, you might have the same students for the full day, but if you are substituting for a specialist, middle school or high school teacher, you’ll probably encounter several different class groups.
The notes are ultimately for your benefit, and can be used for reflection or to help you recall information that you want to relay to the teacher.
Finally, add a feedback form to record the highlights of the day for the absent teacher and to thank him or her for the opportunity to sub.
In this way, you’re more apt to have a positive experience and likely to be asked to sub again.
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