Sleep More Soundly With a Sub Tub
I have the worst trouble sleeping right before the start of the school year. So many to-do lists running through my head, so (seemingly) little time. One of my nightmares is that I get sick, in an accident, or otherwise unable to come the sch
ool the first week. What do I do?
Here’s a Teacher Geek Best Practice that, once set up, will put your mind at ease. It’s a SUB TUB. This is a box (NOT just a folder) containing plans, guides, books, worksheets, games, and any other things a substitute might need to conduct your class for the day. For teachers that switch rooms (a la middle or high school) the Sub Tub can be portable, perhaps a handled file box for easy carrying. In elementary school, the Sub Tub lives, clearly marked, in a visible spot under my desk.
If I have a planned absence, I put all materials into the Sub Tub the day before and leave it out on my desk. If I have an emergency absence, the main office and my colleagues know where to direct the person covering to find it. In my Sub Tub, I have the following:
- A discreet folder containing photos as descriptions of students that need modifications, special attention, or just a little TLC.
- Emergency plans such as fire drill, storm drill, etc.
- Discipline instructions or “Guest Teacher Handbook” (more on this in future posts)
- Main Schedule including pull-outs and push-ins, and any recess/lunch duties
- 3-4 Read Alouds (this gets refreshed as the subs read them)
- Centers Procedures
- Copies of Math Worksheets, Reading Response sheets, etc.
- Simple games the students like, such as multiplication bingo, Brainquest, etc.
Do not procrastinate! Have this ready the first week of school. Be sure to regularly purge and replace outdated items. Here is a photo of my Sub Tub in all of its gray glory. She’s not much to look at, but she’s a lifesaver.