Our Mail Is Missing!

Well, our mail was missing. We found it and we’re all grinning about it. Teachers have substitutes and so do mail carriers. A few days ago a colleague noticed that our outgoing mail had been picked up, but no mail had been delivered. Or so we thought. Later in the day our mail was found in an unlikely—yet totally likely location. A substitute mail carrier had placed our mail inside the jumbo-size mailbox prop that’s on display in our lobby!

For me this incident was a great reminder that it’s impossible to prepare a substitute for everything. As teachers we can provide lesson plans, time fillers, and the daily schedule. A teacher might have a super-duper behavior incentive in place that a sub can use with a group that is particularly unpredictable. I’ve known teachers who have special substitute helpers. A seating chart that features student photos is also helpful.

Do you have a sub prep tip to share? Or maybe you have an enjoyable story about a recent sub experience. Or perhaps you’d like to give a shout-out to substitutes. All are welcome!



8 thoughts on “Our Mail Is Missing!

  1. Add a treat like a candy bar to
    Your sub plans. That way the sub has something special to look forward to especially if the day doesn’t go well

  2. Yes to the candy! I plan extra things for the sub and leave a note to choose two or three of them. I set aside tests for when I return; the kids never do as well with a sub, especially on spelling tests. Also, a fun learning game to reinforce previous lessons keeps the kids more cooperative with a sub.

  3. I always leave extra work. Plus, I leave extremely detailed notes. I worked as a substitute before becoming a teacher, so I know what it’s like to be in a substitute’s shoes.

  4. I have a spiral bound pocket folder that I keep extra copies of all of our emergency procedures, extra nurse slips, and attendance slips in at all times. My aide knows where it is kept, so if I have an emergency if it readily available. When I have a planned absence, I put all of my plans in it as well. I also add some extra work to it in case it is needed. Sometimes I add a small snack, usually a bag of microwave popcorn. This year I ended up being sick and missing our Valentine party, so I made sure to leave my sub a box of good chocolates to thank her for taking my class. I know what it is like to sub on a party day, and she had already subbed for me two days that week while I was at a conference. I have awesome subs.

  5. I always leave a note to rely on the Instructional Assistant in the room. Classroom Assistants are the unsung heroes in every school – they know your routines, your methods of instruction and your classroom management style. They are the glue to hold it all together when you are out!

  6. Our small school relies on a couple of very special ladies that substitute for us whenever needed. Shout out to Ann and Kristie for their flexibility and energy to deal with anything and everything from our littlest students to our most challenging teenagers!

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