Sub Folder

A drawing of a skull with a striped background You’re really, REALLY sick!

You arranged to get a substitute teacher who needs information so your students can have a successful day and you can take care of yourself and feel better.

Instead of laying in bed at home feeling sick AND guilty because you’re not sure how the day is going for your students, feel a bit better because you’ve left a sub binder for the teacher who is taking care of your students while you take care of yourself.

Create your sub binder with enough information for a successful day. Try to avoid too many words that would require a lot of reading in case your sub doesn’t have a lot of time to read your information and your lesson plans.

Consider underlining or highlighting key information.

Use a binder, clearly labeled on the spine so it’s easy to find on a shelf. Tuck in a “Notes from the Sub†sheet so you’ll get feedback about the day. Make sure other school staff know where to find the binder. What to put in the binder? This list can get you started:

  • General school information
    • map of the school, indicate where teachers eat lunch and the nearest staff bathroom
    • procedures for lock down, lock out, earthquake, tornado, and/or fire drills
    • general school rules
    • names of who to call with questions or concerns during the day
  • Information for your classroom
    • where to find lesson plans, materials, first aid supplies
    • your signal for getting the class’s attention
    • all about the kids
      • class roster that includes pronunciation guides for unusual names
      • seating chart that includes images if you have them
      • names of students who are reliable and will give accurate answers to questions
      • names of students who have health or behavior concerns or need special accommodations (be careful about privacy issues)
    • class rules
      • a list of rewards you use for good behavior
      • a description of consequences for poor behavior
    • schedules
      • daily and specials
      • students who leave the classroom during the day
      • support personnel who may be coming into the room
      • parent volunteers
      • duty-do you supervise at recess or lunch?
    • procedures
      • how you start the day
      • how you end the day
      • bathroom breaks – need a pass? take a buddy? sign in and out?
      • sharpening pencils – what time? simply replace a dull pencil with a sharp one from a container?
      • getting a drink of water
      • student jobs – a description of each job might be helpful
  • Details that may or may not apply to your situation
    • transportation
      • who takes a bus and which one
      • who walks home
      • who stays for an after school care program
    • technology passwords
    • referral forms
    • suggestions for what the substitute teacher might do with extra time, tasks that could be completed during your regular planning time or after school

Check your sub binder at the beginning of each month to make sure it’s up-to-date

Here are additional resources for creating a sub binder that you might want to check out!

5 thoughts on “Sub Folder

  1. How helpful this information is to new teachers. They never want to get sick because of all the “stuff” they need to plan. Now it is somewhat done before the need arises. Well done Barbara

  2. It can help if you add tabs to the sides of the pages, even if it’s just sticky notes turned sideways. Maybe “maps”, “rules”, “student info”, “schedules” that sort of thing.

  3. Thanks for the resources of what needs to go into a Sub folder! You never know when you’ll get sick, so having stuff organized and ready is such a great idea. This is on my list of things-to-do before school starts… in 3 days. Thanks!

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