Creating sub plans can sometimes be a hassle. However, there are 7 things you must include in every set of plans to set your students and the substitute up for success.
Keep Your Routines
We know that students thrive on routines, so make sure when writing your sub plans you keep your daily schedule and routines as normal as possible for them. It’s usually when we stray from their typical routine that student behavior issues can arise. They try to argue with a sub that this is not how they normally do it or they think they can get away with things since you haven’t shown them how to do something.
If you do need to vary your routine or schedule, tell the sub that this is new to your students. You could even leave a note for your class, telling them you know this is new, but you know they can handle it because they’re leaders.
Communicate with Your Class
Telling your students that you have the same expectations for them even though you’re not there, can help them realize their behavior stays the same. You can leave a note for the class or individual students. You can record a video of yourself sharing this information.
Over Do Your Sub Plans
I would rather give a sub too much work than not enough. When students don’t have anything to do is when they often get in trouble. This doesn’t necessarily mean busy work, but making sure you’ve given early finisher options can be just as helpful. I keep all of my sub plans and information for my substitutes in a Sub Notebook.
Provide Extra Incentives
There’s a lot of temptation for students to misbehave when you’re not around, especially if the substitute does not have high expectations for their behavior. So adding an additional incentive may help with behavior. I like to leave coupons for the sub to give to students who go above and beyond in behavior. I also like to leave whole class incentives because sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing!
Empower Your Substitute
When I’m leaving plans for my substitute, I give them the power to give or take privileges for students. My subs are allowed to give and take Class Dojo points. In my sub plans, I leave notes that gives the substitute a choice. They are allowed to decide if students can work in groups if they are behaving. I say things like, I usually allow them to sit around the classroom during this time, but if they aren’t doing a good job handling this, feel free to tell them to work in their seats. Leave information about students with special circumstances like Bobby needs a 5-minute warning before transitioning or Sara might want to work with her headphones on during a group activity. This can help the substitute ward off issues before they arise.
What are some ways you help substitutes to be successful in your classroom?