Emergency Sub Plans

Every teacher/class needs emergency sub plans. These are for the day when you’re too sick, stressed, caught off guard to write sub plans… *gasp!* Things you must have in your emergency sub plans:

Substitute Folder Checklist
Use this checklist to prepare a notebook for substitute teachers. It will ensure that
your classroom runs as smoothly as possible in your absence.
____1. Fire Drill Procedures
____2. Evacuation Procedures
____3. Emergency Situation Procedures/Key Codes
____4. School Discipline Plan (including names of teachers the sub can contact if they need help with a student)
____5. Classroom Discipline Plan (including notes about students with unique circumstances, and something to help the teacher gauge how much to use the plan/what warrants certain rewards)
____6. Discipline Forms (referral forms, detention forms)
____7. CURRENT Seating Charts with essential student information included for all classes and students who come in your room (photos if possible)
____8. Emergency Procedures
____9. Daily Schedule (with duty location, parent helpers who come in weekly, special classes, etc.)
____10. Bell Schedule
____11. List of contact people (helpful students, staff members)
____12. Lesson Plans for the week–or–suggested activities to reinforce
concepts and/or skills

Numbers 9 and 12 are the zingers in my opinion. How do you keep updated plans in your sub folder and how can you write a schedule when every day is so different!?

Here are some tips:

A. Use old math assessments (from the previous units or grade). Chances are most kids will have seen them before. When you finish a math unit, stick a class set of the unit test in the folder. Even if you never have to use it when a sub comes, you can use the copies at the end of the year to review for testing.

B. Writing activities. Choose a fun writing activity (that includes an example and good instructions). Leave directions for how to publish the final draft (does it get glued on colored paper? Does it need to be accompanied by a picture?)

C. Just do it. Some teachers put off gathering sub plans and then they regret it. Just do it at the beginning of the year, and then set yourself a reminder (in your planner, Google calendar, whatever) to check it every month. It’s always better to prepare than to repair.

D. Put the sub plans in an obvious place and let your team teacher know where they are also. I put mine in a neon pink binder with huge letters labeling it “Emergency Sub Plans.”

E. Extra milers will prepare plans for each day of the week. Many schools have weekly schedules, where days of the week vary because of fine arts classes, computer lab times or library schedules. Save yourself some time and do it all at the beginning of the year. Again, anything you don’t use during the year can be used for end-of the year review and activities.

emergency sub plans


Also make sure that your sub plans satisfy the requirements of your school and/or district. Good luck!


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