Believe it or not, many teachers do not have a substitute binder put together! (I would know, since I’ve been a sub before!) And honestly, it’s completely understandable. There is so much information to put all together, and a substitute binder can easily become just another cumbersome task that keeps getting put off. However, it doesn’t need to be that way!
Coming up with everything to include in your substitute binder is part of the daunting task, and I’ve done that part for you! Simply follow along with these steps, type up your information, and put it together in a sub binder. (I’ve even got a freebie to help you get started!)
Here’s what you want to include in your sub binder:
Cover labeling the substitute binder
Including a cover on your substitute binder is important- not only because you can add some style to your binder- but it also clearly labels what it is. Have your sub binder labeled and placed somewhere that will be easy for the sub to find (such as on your desk or in the top drawer). Luckily, my sub binder includes an adorable cover that you can use to label your sub binder! Grab your freebie below.
Note to your Sub
Include a note to your sub to thank them for being in your class. After all, they are making it so you can take a day off and taking care of your kiddos for you. You can also make this explain what is included in your substitute binder (and your plans) as an overview.
Your sub will want to know the bell schedule and your normal schedule for the day. This will help the day run smoothly! Additionally, including a specials schedule can help your sub because then they will know if there are any activities (such as library, computers, P.E. or music) that they need to be aware of. And last, but certainly not least, if you have an alternate schedule (such as an early release day), include this as well.
School & Classroom Info
It’s important for your sub to know who some important people are at the school. This includes other grade level teachers, the principal, the nurse, and the custodian. You should include anyone who your sub may need to contact during the day. This could be your sub’s first time in your classroom- so it’s important that they know some crucial things about it. Most importantly, your sub should know how many students are in your class and the names of some “student helpers”- reliable students who they can count on to ask a question. You’ll also want to include where the supplies and first aid kit are located.
The school and staff info page is included as part of the substitute binder freebie as well! You’ll also get access to my free resource library with sub plan mini lessons and more. Grab your freebie below if you haven’t yet.
Obviously, this is important so your sub knows the students in the class! This can help for roll call as well as helping the sub to (somewhat) learn the names of your students. (Especially if they may be returning). Be sure to include a class list in your substitute binder.
Arrival & Dismissal Procedures
As a teacher, you know that arrival and dismissal are two of the craziest parts of the school day! We tend to have set procedures to make these times go as smoothly as possible- but the substitute doesn’t know what the procedures for YOUR class are. Include them in your sub binder so the day can run as smoothly as possible!
Class Rules & Management Procedures
Let your sub know what the basic rules are in your classroom- as well as school-wide policies. This goes hand in hand with including behavior management procedures when students are not following the rules. Do you want the sub to do something in particular for behavior management (such as send them to another room)? Do you want them to leave you a note and you’ll deal with it when you’re back? Let them know! Also include classroom management procedures, such as attention prompts and how you transition, so the classroom can run as close to normal as possible while you’re away.
Important Student Info
Be sure to include important information the sub will need to know such as students who may have behavior contracts, students who may be pulled of class, students with health issues or allergies, as well as any other special needs for your students.
If (heaven forbid) an emergency were to happen while you’re way, you would want your sub to know your procedures. Include routines for a fire drill (such as where to line up), potential natural disasters in your area (such as earthquakes, tornados, or hurricanes), and lockdown procedures.
Differentiation & Lesson Plan Adjustments (If Needed)
Is there any differentiation your sub will need to do for any of your students? Are you using any pre-made lessons (such as my Ready To Go Sub Plans or any other lesson from TpT) that you would like to be adjusted in any way? Include any differentiation or lesson adjustments that my be necessary.
Substitute Notes Form
You want to know how the day went while you were away, right? When you leave a notes form for your sub, they are more likely to tell you what you’d like to know about the day. This is a great addition to your substitute binder!
By the way.. you can grab this adorable “How Did Your Day Go?” form in the freebie below if you haven’t grabbed it yet!
And that’s it! While that may seem like a ton of information, it’s so important to have on hand because you never know when (or how long) a sub may need to be in your classroom. You can get started with your freebie by clicking the button above! If you would like the complete sub binder, with all of the pages pictured above, you can grab my full substitute binder here! It has quickly become my most popular resource, despite being one of my newer resources (at the time of writing this post). Teachers love how easy it is to fill in, how stylish it is, AND the low price!
The complete sub binder is also included with every purchase of my Ready To Go Sub Plans, which thousands of teachers have trusted when they need to be away from their classroom. So if you want your substitute binder made easy AND your sub planning done for you, that’s the way to go!
And if you haven’t grabbed your freebie yet, be sure to grab it! You’ll also get access to my FULL resource library- which not only includes the sub binder form sample but several substitute mini lessons, worksheets & activities, and more!
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