Preparing for an elementary school substitute teacher

Like many elementary school teachers, you might be reluctant to attend off-campus meetings or take a personal day off for fear that your classroom order and lesson schedule will unravel in the hands of a substitute teacher.

Substitute teachers often struggle in the absence of lesson plans and detailed instructions about classroom procedures. As the classroom teacher, you can provide this critical information in an organized, easy-to-use format and help ensure a beneficial experience for everyone.

First, establish class rules and expectations for both your students and the substitute teacher. Discussing expectations in class beforehand can prepare and motivate students.

Next, create and maintain a substitute teacher instructions folder that contains essential information and tools. Detailed lesson plans can help your substitute teacher address student questions more effectively.

Finally, provide a feedback form that the substitute teacher can use to give you the information you'll need to follow up with students, and to improve the experience for substitute teachers in the future.

The following links provide information and tools to prepare your elementary school classroom for a substitute teacher.

  • Help your substitute teacher succeed (Article)
    Learn how to prepare your students and substitute teacher for success in your classroom.
  • Substitute teacher instructions (Template)
    Use this template to create substitute teacher instructions, including essential information such as administrative contacts, classroom policies, and lesson plans.
  • Lesson plan list (Template)
    Use this Word template to create a lesson plan.
  • K-3 class rules (Template)
    Use this PowerPoint template to create a class rules presentation to share with your students.
  • Substitute teacher feedback form (Template)
    Use this template to create a feedback form to be completed by the substitute teacher.
Applies to:
Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003