Preparations for a Substitutes
Prepare a sub folder ahead of time. Contact the school secretary for information to be included in this folder. A well prepared folder is critical!
Try not to schedule a quiz or test for a substitute to administer.
While planning lessons, take precautions not to incorporate manipulative materials, laboratory supplies and/or objects you don't want to be mishandled.
Don't assume the substitute will be knowledgeable in your content area.
If you feel the substitute would have difficulty following your daily lesson plan, leave one day's activities in a special folder for the sub to use.
You may want to request a particular sub and ask colleagues for recommendations.
Have a "buddy" teacher who can welcome your substitute and offer him or her help. When you return, check with your "buddy" teacher to see how effective the sub was in the classroom. This arrangement can be reciprocal.
When you return, ask the students how the day went and then put the day behind you and begin anew.
Remember that you don't have control over what the substitute does or does not do during the day. Don't judge your effectiveness by someone else's standards.
Remember that some substitutes feel alone. Substitutes are people too. Make them feel welcome. Call them by their name.
You may want to inform the students ahead of time that you will be absent. If possible, preview the coming day's assignments and your behavioral expectations. This preparation demonstrates to them your confidence that they can handle your absence.