I want to share a tip about preparing a substitute notebook. My substitute notebook is insurance when I may have an unplanned absence and for whatever reason I can’t leave my substitute plans. When I can schedule or anticipate in absence, I will leave plans from my students that first fit the substitute who will be in the gym for me and lessons for each of my classes that fit their learning for that time period. But on the untimely situation that I don’t foresee my missing school, I have a substitute notebook.
This notebook is set up to assist a person nice enough to substitute for me, even if they have never been as a substitute in our building. First in the notebook is a short note welcoming them to our building and thanking them for working with our students. It includes my daily schedule where students get dropped off or who picks them up.
It includes where everything in the gym is and how it works. For example, the sound system, the equipment room door combination, bathrooms, how to use the projector. It includes lesson plans for multiple days and the lesson plans that I write can be inserted anytime during the year. They are lessons that a person who is unfamiliar with PE can implement such as a video off of PE Universe explaining a game such as scooter ball. Videos work extremely well for me. Our substitutes are given a substitute Chromebook so they can easily view my notebook electronically if they choose and then they can watch the instructional videos. The other lesson that I always leave is simple stations where my students already know the directions for each station. I always include what the substitute should be looking for saying and doing during the lessons. General procedures is another tab that I put in there. How to line students up, what the procedures are for using the bathroom, for using the drinking fountain.
Another tab is emergency procedures, what to do in a fire drill, what to do on a lockdown, what to do in a lockout. I also include my class lists. I include what to do in different situations such as a student isn’t being respectful. Students are unable to resolve a conflict and how I handle those situations and how they might choose to handle them and probably most important, I include my cell phone number and encourage them to call me with any questions. I also include two different people at our school who can help them with any questions. I found that once my notebook is set up, I just need to change a few things each year like updating my schedule on my class list. Some years I never even have to use the substitute notebook, but it gives me great peace of mind knowing that if I would it, it’s already ready to go.
Do you use a substitute notebook? I’m curious what you include in your substitute notebook. I’d love to hear from you. What you do and how you help a substitute be successful.