Tips on Planning for a Sub

It can feel overwhelming to miss a day of school. You have plans to create, resources to pull, and all of this is on top of your regular planning and prepping. We have created a list of helpful ideas and tips on planning for a sub that will make your job easier. Your sub will also benefit from these tips & ideas as it will make their day in your classroom a breeze. Don’t let unexpected sicknesses or planned absences cause you stress. We’ve got you covered with these simple ideas & tips!

Keep reading to get the tips you need and join the exclusive waitlist HERE to be the first to get the FREE sample from the NEW Substitute Teacher Bundle from Simply Kinder!

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#1 – Ensure Classroom Management is in Place

Our first tip for planning for a sub is to make sure classroom management is a priority. Students do best when they understand expectations and routines. Establish these early and reinforce them often so that a change in teacher doesn’t mean a change in expectations. Make sure students understand the daily structure and operation of the classroom and they will seamlessly continue with the flow in your absence.

Tip: Offer a special incentive to encourage good choices while you are out. Create and laminate a goal chart that the sub can use to document good choices or print and use the positive reinforcement printable from each set of our emergency plans!

#2 – Keep a Sub Binder

A sub binder is a helpful tool to hold important information that any sub would need on any given day in your classroom. It holds everything in a convenient location for them to reference. Items to consider for a sub-binder are listed below.

  • Daily Schedule
  • Student Roster
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Medical Alerts for Students
  • Emergency Contact Information (Administrators, Support Staff)
  • Dismissal Chart
  • Classroom Management Plan
  • Specific Student Needs
  • Other Procedures (lunch, recess, dismissal)
  • Emergency Sub Plans (for the unexpected absences that don’t allow for prior planning)

All of these are included in the Editable Sub Binder pictured below:

Or create an editable flipbook for a fun way to learn more about your class with a flap for welcome, important information, schedule, class rules, emergencies, class procedures, and daily routines. Fill it out using the pre-made template or create your own!

#3 – Keep Daily Materials Organized

Another tip for planning for a sub is to keep your daily activities and materials organized in a cart or filing system. A rolling cart makes a great tool for holding printables, books, and other materials that a sub will need for any day of the week. Keeping materials and activities organized by the day of the week gives your sub easy access to the items they will need to complete activities in your sub plans.

Tip: Organizing materials/activities by the day of the week is also helpful to you and creates the space to plan ahead.

#4 – Keep Sub Plans Simple

Each sub will have their own way of doing things. Give your sub an outline of activities for the day and explanations for activities without making plans too wordy. You want your sub to feel confident about the activities you have planned without getting lost in a sea of words.

Tip: Create Google Slides or a PowerPoint presentation that follows the flow of your day with links that subs will need and images of activities. This will help subs easily explain each activity you have planned. Throw in a few brain breaks as well!

#5 – Have Emergency Sub Plans

Pre-planned absences are ideal, but not always realistic. Be sure to create emergency sub plans that any sub can easily access and follow. Place these in your sub binder. Include activities that can be implemented at any point during the school year (think review activities).

Grab a set of our daily emergency sub plans by theme which include no-prep review activities that are ideal for a substitute, and engaging for students!

Planning to teach the Letter M while you’re out… problem! Just open up and print that set! Or getting ready for pumpkins…grab that set filled with what you need!

#6 – Consider a Sub Bin

We all have activities that we prepped, but never happened. Don’t waste these activities! Toss them in a sub bin. Let subs know they can pull an activity from that bin if everything you planned for was completed. You don’t want your sub scrambling to fill time.

Secondly, things happen and don’t always go as planned. Having a sub bin provides plenty of backup activities should they be needed.

#7 – Show Appreciation

Subs walk into your classroom and give it their best to make a successful day for your students. Let them know you appreciate them by leaving a treat and/or note for them. A piece of chocolate or a small snack makes a BIG impact!

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have everything you needed for a sub right at your fingertips and easy to prep?

Let us help you get ready for a sub by joining Simply Kinder’s waitlist HERE for our NEW sub plans bundle. You will find everything you need for a sub from an editable sub binder, editable flipbook, themed lesson plans, positive behavior reinforcement, and TONS of themed activities.

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

With Unmatched Printables & Engaging Classroom Ideas, Simply Kinder is your TRUSTED TEAMMATE.


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