Yesterday, a teacher emailed me a link to the plans that he left for the substitute while he was gone. We have been talking about the concept for awhile, but now that I have actually seen them, my mind is spinning. These are so cool, and I think they have a ton of potential. Take a look at Mr. Howe’s work:
The cool thing about a sub plan like this is that the students time in class for the day was not wasted. Believe me, I am not taking a stab at substitutes here. They have a hard job, walking into a classroom and trying to teach a class that they most likely don’t know a whole lot about. Then there are the classroom management challenges. On top of this, the teachers rarely leave good plans. All of this combined makes for a very unproductive class period. With a plan like the one above, there is some structure that will get students engaged in a lesson.
I have done some rough math and found that approximately 10% of class time through the course of the year is spent with subs. This is a lot of wasted instruction time.
One question that has come up is, “How do teachers make the plans if they get sick in the morning and can’t make it to school?” To remedy this, teachers need to make, well in advance, several “timeless” video lessons that will fit into any class at any point in the school year. Then, when the teacher is sick, they come in, prepare the room, write a note or two for the sub, and they are done. This is a whole lot easier than going in and writing out a detailed plan (which makes a sick teacher feel even sicker).
If there is anyone who has ever tried this, I would love to hear from you.