Summer Substitute Series: Preparing Your Lesson Plans

We’re back again to talk about substitutes! Our thoughts for you today are short and sweet, but is something that is overlooked by most teachers sometimes.
Some schools require that teachers turn in their lesson plans each week/month/six weeks. Generally when you are writing lesson plans, it is simply to give yourself a basic guideline of what day of the week you are going to teach something. {Unless your admin makes you include your standards, goals, and all that other good stuff}. 
Regardless of what is required in your plans, usually you are not including specifics on what your students have learned on the topic, points that need to be covered, etc. Here a few things you might want to note in your plans to make sure your substitute is being an effective teacher and making progress while you are out of the classroom. 
1. Are you starting a new topic or is this something the students are familiar with? If you were teaching this particular lesson, you would know if the students have background knowledge on a topic, if you are six weeks into a subject and the students are mostly independent, etc. Let the substitute know how familiar your students are with a topic so they know how in depth their instructions and/or lecture on a topic should be.
2. Don’t assume your substitute knows everything about a topic. When you are teaching about Thomas Edison, either you have taught about him for years and know all the facts about him by memory or you have recently brushed up on your facts. Chances are you substitute was teaching fractions, P.E., or in the office the day before. They may be an expert on Edison, but probably not. Make sure they know enough information to effectively teach your students.
3. Leave detailed instructions or rules for independent, partner, or group work. Every teacher allows their students to do or not do certain things when you are not working as a whole class. Don’t make the substitute ask a student {who will probably take advantage of the situation} for the rules. Students love the question “What does your regular teacher do?”.
4. Be more specific than complete pages X-Z. Let your sub know if they need to teach, read aloud, have the students work independently, etc. Without specifics your substitute will waste more time during the day figuring what the students should be doing than actually getting things done.
Basically, we’re saying don’t just print out your regular lesson plans and expect the substitute to figure it out on their own. If you really want your students to keep learning while you are gone, take 20-30 minutes to type out some specifics for your substitute. It will make their day much easier and you should come back to a class who actually finished their assignments and gained some knowledge while you were gone.


Posted on June 24, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is awesome! I think this is so helpful! I'm also your newest follower.

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