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    Sub Folder
    By Amanda K.

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    I have a "sub folder" that I leave on my desk. It's one of those binders with the clear plastic cover on the outside, and I've slipped in a bright pink paper that clearly reads "Substitute Teacher Folder," with a "Welcome to our Class" logo. My colleagues know where it is, too, just in case. I usually leave detailed plans for the teacher even when I am very sick, but there have been times (especially when I was pregnant and put on bed rest a couple of times until I could see the doctor) when the sub folder was VERY helpful.

    Here's what I put in it:

    Front pocket: lunch count tickets, referral slips, office passes

    The first thing I put in the rings of the binder is the seating chart. My school has a very good substitute teacher handbook that includes things like how to contact the office, etc., so I don't need to put those things in the binder. I like to keep it simple. I also add in this section a list of the games my class knows how to play, and how to play them, in case the sub has extra time.

    The rest of the binder is divided into daily sections with binder dividers with clearly marked tabs so the sub can find things quickly. I have a divider for each day, and in each section I include detailed plans for how each day typically goes. These plans include who the helpful students are, as well as advisories about the not-so-helpful ones. I tell the sub where the T.E.s can be found, as well as my lesson plan book. I let the sub know that the page numbers for each lesson are in the lesson plan book, and what time everything is taught. I am fortunate in that every Tuesday in the year is pretty much like every other Tuesday, and so on, so it makes it easy for me to do these "typical day" plans. I let the sub know that if there is anything special in the lesson plan book, like a science lab or something that is not set up for them, then they can do one of the worksheets from the back of the binder instead.

    In the very last section, I have four or five spare worksheets, with enough copied for the whole class. These are usually fun review worksheets, such as hidden picture coloring math. This way, the sub has something to give them if he/she has spare time. This has also helped when subs for other teachers have come by asking if I have any extra work because someone didn't leave enough to do. I could just reach into the folder and grab something.

    As I said before, I don't usually rely on this folder because I like to leave specific plans for my day of absence. But, it has come in very handy for me a few times and I'm glad I have it.



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