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Home : 2003 : Jul : 31

    By mmw

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    I was a classroom teacher who used subtubs 14 years ago and more recently, I've subbed for the past three years in many K - 6 rooms that use subtubs. I like the ideas others have written - Here's what I'd like to add:

    Your idea of leaving a subtub may or may not work - it depends on a number of factors.
    Tubs are great if ALL the supplies are in one place. I hate searching for the supplies teachers forget or aren't where the teachers said they would be.
    If your students thrive on routine, forget it. They'll fight anything that breaks the routine... even if it's fun.
    Tubs works great with the strong willed "Teacher #2 wannabie" - they're completely thrown by a new schedule.
    As always, if you don't leave enough work, the sub will curse you. The end of the day can feel like a long ways away when you notice that it's ONLY 10:00 a.m. This same is also true if the plan lacks detail.
    Be sure to prep a "it's once of those days and nothing is working" tub. (The day you discover you're leaving the sub with a fire drill, rain is in the air, the flu is going around wastebasket, the sub will go through her/his bag of tricks pretty fast*). These are the thankfully few and far between days when the best note I can write as a sub is "We didn't get anything accomplished, but the kids and I survived and there was no permanent damage to anything or anyone."
    Above all, leave enough material so the sub can be flexible and maybe even pick and choose. I tell classroom teachers to "idiot-proof" their lessons and then give me the latitude to adapt their ideas to my own teaching style.

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