[NB. Since the advent of google classroom, and the online curriculum from COVID remote learning, I don’t plan sub lessons anymore. Rather, I have the sub instruct students to check google classroom on their phones and/or laptops, where they can find instructions and/or links. However, teachers of younger students, or those in schools that require physical sub plans, may find the following helpful.]
there are many ways to plan for an unplanned absence, or for a day when you have to be there physically, but just can’t be present with the students.
You may have come across blogs and websites which give very detailed advice for great sub days. But the truth is, you cannot control your classroom when you are gone, and there is no guarantee that the person in the room will follow through on any of your instructions. So let it go. Then set up a scenario in which students will interact with the language, culture, and each other in positive ways, and then stop thinking and worrying about your class.
I have the most generic sub plan possible, in a folder just in case i am not able to send any directions. I printed 150 of these, and it can be used with any activity, reading, textbook, wtc, as long as there is a story. (please copy and paste the following link)
(The template is inspired by Martina Bex)
Another idea is to combine this template with a fvr day, and have students read alone or in story circles and then write in the sheet for the last 10-15 min. It doesn’t have to require stress, planning, or a bunch of grading afterward. And they’re getting input and a chill class period. Let’s go easy on ourselves.
If you set up these kinds of routines as part of class, then you can send along very simple instructions (I do it on google classroom) then the sub only has to write a few words on the board, or tell them to get out their phones and check GC, and class gets going no problem.
They will likely have a printed copy of a story that we are working with. But I also have a bunch of fvr novels and classroom sets of 3-4 textbooks which contain stories they can access. If you create stories with your classes, a “write and discusss” document will give you and students access to those texts, either as a printout, or via a link you can share on GC.