Teaching Tip Tuesday – Supply Plans

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I have written about the importance of being prepared for each and every single day in the classroom. Today I would like to expand on this.

How do you prepare for a day when you will be away from the classroom?

Most teachers I know spend quite a lot of time preparing for a day that they have to take off. They prepare worksheets and lessons that a supply teacher can easily follow. These same teachers often don’t leave detailed plans on their desk every night. They often find themselves rushing and struggling to put together a day’s worth of work at the last moment. They often don’t get it all done.

Supply teachers come into the classroom and then don’t have a solid plan to follow. It is difficult enough being a supply teacher. I don’t think we should expect them to just go with the flow. That is why I write detailed lesson plans for each and every single day. I know that if there were any sudden emergency, a supply teacher could come in and would not have to guess at what they needed to do or come up with new ideas or lessons on the spot.

I know a lot of teachers would find my day plans a little bit hard to do on a day-to-day basis. For these teachers, I suggest that they draw up one detailed lesson plan for each day of the week. I do this myself as well. For example, I have a file folder in my desk drawer labeled “Supply Plans – Monday.” I have a one-page lesson plan in the folder, along with each lesson’s worksheets already photocopied and ready to go. If there are any special resources needed, I leave a letter so the supply teacher can easily find them. I have a folder set up like this for every day of the week.

I don’t have to worry about taking a day off, either expectedly or unexpectedly. My day plans are detailed and clear. And just in case, I have back up plans for every single day of the week. It takes a bit of time to set up but it is well worth it. I draw up these plans in early October when I am familiar with my class schedule and routines. These plans then stay in the desk drawer filing cabinet all year. If they never get used, it won’t bother me. It’s always good to be prepared.

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2 Comments on Teaching Tip Tuesday – Supply Plans

  1. Witgirl // March 4, 2009 at 6:47 am //

    I think it’s absolutely incredible how organized you are. I know this is something I will implement when I have my own classroom. It has never been fun supplying for a teacher who does not have solid plans for the day. Kepp up the great advice.

  2. Hi Witgirl,

    I came across so many vague day plans when I started supply teaching. Sometimes a teacher would only have a weekly calendar on their desk with one or two words scribbled down for each block.

    I would stare at a math plan that only said “patterns” and wonder what I was supposed to do.

    After coming across this so many times, I was determined to have a good plan on my desk each and every day.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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