Inside: Learn how to organize your sub tub, so you don’t need to stress about sub plans last minute ever again!
It’s no secret that having a sub in your room can be more work than just trudging through the day sick. This shouldn’t be the case, but many teachers don’t use their sick days for this very reason.
By organizing your sub materials way before you need a guest teacher in your classroom, you’ll be more at ease and have a lot less work when you return. I’m sharing my sub tub ideas with you to get your emergency sub plans ready to go so that you are prepared for any absence.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure.
Gather your sub tub materials
Here’s what you’ll need to organize your perfect sub tub
- A container for your sub tub. (I often get asked where I got the cute one used in these pictures. If you’re wondering, this is the one I used).
- Hanging File Folders
- Emergency Sub Plans to fill your sub tub
- Optional: Ready To Go Sub Plans
- Worksheets & Activities to go along with the lesson plans
- Printer & Ink
Organize student copies in your sub tub
Get a container to put all of your sub plans in. (I used this cute one from Amazon). This will be your sub tub. Organize student copies by day of the week, time of day, or content area depending on your grade level and schedule.
Put the student worksheets and activities in the hanging file folders inside the sub tub. Let your sub know the schedule in your plans, and then all they will need to do is pull out the papers needed from the designated folders. Easy!
Add a folder for your sub at the front of the tub to include lesson plans for your substitute.
Additional folders may also be included. I love adding one for brain breaks or games. These can be used during transition times or for early finishers in the classroom.
I also like to create a “morning” folder and an “afternoon” folder. The sub can easily pull out what they need in the morning and again after lunch. And if you’re only gone for a half-day, they’ll just pull out the one they need!
Keep a binder of master copies.
This is an excellent tip regardless of whether or not you have a sub in your classroom. Kids may lose their homework or need to redo assignments to demonstrate understanding. Pulling a copy out of a binder instead of searching through physical or digital files is so much easier.
This tip will make your sub’s day much easier and protect your personal files. They’ll be no need for a sub to rifle through your file cabinet to find the copy they need. Plus, if you keep an answer key in the binders, your sub may just find some time to grade some student work for you. (Trust me, it does happen!)
I like to keep master copies of my sub plans in my sub binder. I share my tips for creating a brilliant sub binder in this post.
Label where your sub tub is located
It does no good to have an organized sub tub if your substitute has no idea where to find it! Let your sub know where to find the organize your perfect sub tub by attaching a sub tub label. You can get a free sub tub label like the one pictured above in my shop.
If you keep your sub tub in a cabinet, consider placing the label on the outside of the cabinet so it is easy to see.
Having your materials placed in an organized fashion will help your sub and your students be prepared when you are gone from your classroom. You can also let some of your co-teachers know where your sub tub is located, just in case, your sub can’t find it!
Don’t forget substitute notes and thank you cards
Leave notes for your substitute to let you know how to use your sub tub and the general flow of your day.
Be sure to leave a place for notes for the sub to fill out at the end of the day. This serves as a reminder to your sub to leave notes for you and helps you to know how the day went.
It’s also a great idea to keep thank you notes on hand because we appreciate substitutes who give us the break that we need!
Need help with sub plans or sub tub ideas?
Being absent can be stressful for you, your students, and a substitute teacher if you aren’t organized and prepared. Being able to organize your perfect sub tub will help everything run smoothly whether you’re out for a morning or a week! You can learn even more about preparing your sub plans in our comprehensive guide to emergency sub plans. This post covers absolutely everything that you need to know!
Or listen to this podcast episode, where I talk all things sub planning with one of our Wife Teacher Mommy Club members. She shares her experiences with sub planning and how she gets everything organized in her classroom.
Want an EASY way to get your sub tub organized?
Putting together a complete sub tub from scratch can take a lot of time! Are you a work-smarter-not-harder kind of teacher? I’ve made Ready To Go Sub Plans JUST for you!
Teachers have loved that these sub plans are literally print-and-go. Each set of Ready To Go Sub Plans includes an ELA lesson, reading lesson, writing lesson, science lesson, math review, math lesson, social studies lesson, brain break, art activity, and an educational game!
The lesson plans are simple to follow, with engaging learning activities for the kids. Each set is guaranteed to last at least a full day. (You can also find these on TPT)!
When you grab the bundle of all 5 sets for your grade level, you’ll save 20% on your purchase AND get the sub tub bonus! And, by purchasing the bundle, you will get the sub tub organization bonus with a sub tub label, hanging file folder tabs, binder tabs, sub tub organization tips, and more! Check them out for your grade level below:
Preschool and Pre-K Ready To Go Sub Plans Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
6th Grade Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
4th Grade Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
3rd Grade Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
2nd Grade Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
1st Grade Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
Kindergarten Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
5th Grade Ready To Go Sub Plans Print + Google Slides BundleProduct on sale
What have teachers had to say about Ready To Go Sub Plans?
Teachers LOVE how these sub plans take the stress out of sub planning, so you can take the days off without pressure. Check out what some teachers said about Ready To Go Sub Plans:
“I have purchased several sets of emergency sub plans, and they just never really fit my needs. These, however, are just what I’ve been looking for!! Easy prep, easy for the sub to follow! I recommend this to anyone needing emergency plans.”
“Amazing! I heard back from my sub today and she said that the kids LOVED the activities today and were so engaged! AMAZING quality and unbelievably thorough. I’ll never worry about making sub plans again!”
“I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this resource! Each day comes completely laid out, and walks a substitute through every step of the way! I will keep this forevvvvver!!!!!”
As you can see, these sub plans have been a lifesaver to many teachers! I hope they can be a great resource for you as well. When you purchase these ahead of time, you can be well on your way to having a full sub tub prepared for the next time you need to take a last-minute absence. Teachers work so hard, so you deserve to take a day off when needed without all of the stress.
You can also find my sub plans in my Teachers pay Teachers store!