I came across a pin on Pinterest the other day that really hits the nail on the head. The pin linked to a blog post about teachers being sick. Needless to say, I was inspired and decided to share my own thoughts on this matter here on Teacher Thoughts.
My first problem is that I am a control freak. I like things to be done the way I want them done and not how a substitute teacher thinks I want them done. So I write step-by-step plans to describe to the substitute not only what he/she should be doing but what the students will be doing, as well.
I think this should go without saying, but this takes a lot of time.
Last year, my principal decided to have us all make up a folder with emergency sub plans to be kept in our mailboxes in the office. Basically, this is for times when you need to miss work and were not planning to. Almost every absence I have is a planned one. My absences are almost always for professional development. I rarely need/use sick days....mostly for the reasons I've already stated. These plans are basically only to be used in the event that your sub can't figure out what to do, OR that you would prefer the sub follows those plans instead of trying to follow yours.
Most of the time, if I end up calling off sick and wasn't planning on it (like in October when I woke up and couldn't talk.....), I grab my phone, mentally recall my plans, and email detailed instructions to one of my fellow sixth grade teachers to print out and give to the sub.
Truthfully, this is also about leaving your "kids" in the hands of someone that you probably don't know! I don't like not knowing what will happen in my classroom while I'm gone, but sometimes, it's just that hard to get out of bed and go. My school has a severe substitute shortage, and you never know if you'll actually get a sub to fill your absence.
And that, my friends, will be in the next installment of Teacher Thoughts....sub problems!