When I was a substitute, I found that knowing the names of students in the room was key to the success of my day. Students of all ages will test the will of even the best substitute teachers and knowing the names of the students in the room provided immediate authority when speaking with and getting to know students.
PRO tip: leave a little note on the seating chart as to who the trustworthy and helpful students might be. These students can help pass out supplies and will be happy to step up if the sub finds themselves in a little pickle with a difficult student.
This includes your teaching schedule, the school’s bell schedule, room numbers, and helpful notes for navigating the building. My admin gives us this information in about four different papers. Having it all on one master sheet for your sub will save them so much time especially if the environment is new to them. Nobody likes to get left with a mess or be in the middle of a sentence while everyone walks out because the bell rang. And if you teach in multiple rooms like I do, be sure they know where they need to be and when.
PRO tip: Spend a few extra minutes creating a master schedule for your sub folder. Not only does this master schedule help your sub, but I find it helpful to carry with me during the entire first week of school. The extra 15 minutes to type it all up will save you loads of time in the rush of the first week.
High School Art Room Classroom Management:
Things in the high school art room are different from the regular classroom. My current school uses a demerit system while my former school didn’t have any formal discipline procedures and left things like detention up to the teacher themself. Spelling out common procedures and explaining your school’s policies will give the substitute the autonomy to control the situation.
Pro Tip: Use my Substitute Classroom Procedure template to help you get organized.
Download it here for FREE.
Emergency Sub Plan:
What if this isn’t a planned absence? Have some one-day art lessons for substitutes that can be completed with little or no supplies to use in case you are experiencing an emergency that just doesn’t allow you to prepare anything. KEEP it SIMPLE and keep it in your subfolder!
PRO Tip: Explain where basic supplies like plain drawing paper, colored pencils, and markers can be found in the room. Photocopy some adult coloring worksheets and leave them in your subfolder with instructions on where to find the photocopier. Remember, this is for just one day, this is for the times when you just can’t deal with making a proper plan…an adult coloring page is still better than a study hall!