Monday, August 25, 2008

Getting a Sub

It won't be long before you will need a substitute teacher, because of sickness, personal leave or a TDE (Temporary Duty Elsewhere). The person at Chets Creek that knows EVERYTHING about subs is Julie! She will be your new best friend.

Normally you will be given a list of preferred subs. They are subs that only sub at Chets Creek or that have been recommended by one of our teachers. It is still early in the year to have that list, so if you need a sub and don't know anyone, do not hesitate to ask Julie for a recommendation. You can also ask teachers on your grade level/ subject areas for their favorite sub. Within the next month you should get a list from Julie, but it changes often, so always feel like you can ask her for a recommendation.

To put in for a sub, go to the Kelly sub web page - You should look for the KASS sign in. A teacher's ID number is her identification number with enough zeroes on the front of the number to make eight digits. A teacher's PIN number is the last four numerals of her Social Security number. Julie will be glad to walk you through the first few times you need a sub.
Whenever possible you should contact the sub before putting her into the system to make sure she is indeed available. Just because she shows up as available on Kelly does not mean she can take the job. Even in an emergency you need to contact the sub first. If it's really early in the morning or a last minute problem, call Julie or send her an e-mail. She checks her e-mail first thing in the morning and usually knows who is available. (I told you Julie would be your new best friend!)

Julie will put a leave form in your box when Kelly notifies her that someone has requested a sub. It is the teacher's job to fill it out, sign it and return it to Julie as soon as possible. Actually, if you leave the building during the day for any reason or don't come to work at all you must fill out a leave form - even if you don't need a sub. If the absence requires a sub it has to be a half or whole day. If, however, you do not need a sub, then you may take leave for just the time you are gone.

Sometimes you will not need a sub after all and need to cancel. To do this, call 245-7555. This is another job Julie will do for you if you ask.

What should you leave for a sub? To facilitate the tasks of a substitute, minimizing interruptions of the normal routines, teachers should provide a folder that assembles the following information:

A. Daily schedules (including lunch). Identify those on free and reduced lunch for substitute
B. Resource classes and times
C. Class roster/Fire Drill roster
D. Seating charts
E. Student lists for instructional groups
F. Transportation plans for students (walkers, bus riders and bus numbers)
G. Names of students who may have medical problems or who require special attention
H. Directions for locating instructional material and equipment
I. Names of classroom helpers
J. List of additional academic activities (listening games, stories, songs)
K. Other pertinent information specific to class needs
L. Name of a buddy teacher should assistance be needed

All other activities and objectives such as art, physical education and music should be noted and the activities to be covered listed. Plans should reflect required time allocations. Lesson plans are to be used daily and placed on the teacher's desk for easy access.

Advice about subs from 3rd grade teacher Jenny Nash:

During my first year of teaching, I was introduced to the concept of a "sub binder" by my mother-in-law. It has proven to be a lifesaver for me, and I've had many thanks from subs over the years. Before my first absence each year, I compile (or update) a neatly organized binder, complete with a front page letter of welcome and thanks from me (which I sincerely mean!), that explains EVERYTHING about my classroom! (class list(s), rules, behavior management plan, incentives, daily schedule, general classroom policies such as helpers/jobs/routines, etc.) I also preserve my name tags from the first weeks of school in a basket and include information on where to find those for the students, in the event the sub would like to use them. My mother-in-law originally recommended to include extra work that could be used to fill time if needed, but I've never found this necessary. (Most often, they don't get to all the plans I leave, anyhow. I guess I tend to over plan.) My lesson plans are detailed. I include examples, etc. so they are very clear to someone who may or may not have any background in education. However, thanks to the permanent sections in my binder, I only need to detail my expectations for the teaching and student activities. I also star a few names on the class list(s) indicating reliable students to ask questions if/when something comes up. I also leave REAL work and plans for the subs. I do this knowing that the lesson will most likely need to be reviewed upon my return, but I have found that students who sense a difference in their academic rigor (i.e. movie vs. lesson) are more likely to act out and push limits. (This is another positive comment I often receive from subs, "Thanks for letting me teach!") Finally, I also ask for a note from the sub letting me know what they got to/didn't get to, as well as kids' behavior, etc.

I'll be happy to let anyone stop in and check out the binder if they're interested. I keep it in the same place all the time and inform my officemates where it is, in the event of an emergency absence. Worst case scenario, I email plans and they've got all the rest in the binder! :)
If you want to see a seasoned teacher's sub plans, just ask. They will be glad to share. Just remember that it is always your responsibility to make sure that the substitute has plans for the day!


Michelle Ellis said...

I would also tell your office partner where you keep your emergency plans. We keep a set attached to our bulletin board in our office so anyone can easily see them. You never know when both team teachers will come down with the same stomach virus overnight. Also know that usually you can call your grade level coach and they will come to your aid in an emergency.

Miss Sharpe and Miss Brown said...

Instead of telling you all that Brooke and I do, I will leave you a link so that you can see our sub letter that we always leave (along with the plans for the day) Just copy and paste: into your browser and you will see our plans that Brooke typed up and we "tweak" every year (obviously not this year yet!)

Anonymous said...

Leave a comment? I want advice!

Tom -- A 10 year Teacher