Students Collaborate on Substitute Prep
November 01, 2012
When I know in advance that I’ll miss time in the classroom, I prepare the substitute with help from my students. I show my students the actual notes I plan to leave for the sub. Sometimes I even give them copies of the sub notes. The students and I go over these notes together, which gives me time to answer any questions they have. They also suggest additions to the notes when they see things that need clarification or that will help things run smoothly (e.g., “Students may use computers if they like.” “Band students will be leaving early for the pep rally.”).
This works really well with upperclassmen and honors students, but I’ve done this even when I taught general students from 8th grade to 12th grade. Students understand that they are responsible for getting their work done, not the sub; even if the sub forgets to tell them a step of the assignment, they know I expect them to do it.