The Top 7 Myths about Emergency Sub Plans [episode 61]

Click below to hear the top 7 myths about emergency sub plans :

“It’s impossible to take a day off!”

Have you ever said this to yourself?  As teachers, we often feel an obligation to be at school instead of taking a day off. We come up with every excuse in the book: my class won’t be okay, it’s harder to make emergency sub plans than actually be at school, I need to prioritize my job over my health, and so much more. Because of this reasoning, we so often don’t bother putting together emergency sub plans.

Have you ever asked yourself, “what if it isn’t impossible?”  That’s the question we address in today’s episode all about the top 7 myths about emergency sub plans.

I’ve been helping teachers with their sub plans for over 8 years at this point, and I’ve heard every reason why not to take a day off and why they can’t leave emergency sub plans. From, the sub shortage, to letting down the students, to not having time!  In this episode I talk about all the reasons you SHOULD have emergency sub plans and give actionable advice on how to be prepared with emergency sub plans.

One of the biggest stressors as a teacher is creating sub plans. Throughout this episode, I unpack all the ways to easily write sub plans and have materials ready for any time, as well as the mental work you can do to begin allowing yourself to take days off when you need to.

Being prepared with emergency sub plans and binder, how to efficiently write sub plans, and keeping these items organized and available will ensure your sub and your class will have a smooth and successful day.  The first step is to debunk the myths that are stopping you from taking a day off.  Listen to this episode for all the reasons why you should have emergency sub plans!

In this episode on myths about emergency sub plans, I share:

  • Ways you can make time to prepare emergency sub plans
  • Questions you can ask yourself to help you be comfortable with taking days off
  • Myths about emergency sub plans and taking time off
  • Actionable tips that you can do to help you enjoy the time you take off and prepare your class
  • Disprove the myth about subs not wanting to teach on their day in your classroom
  • Our current Sub Plan sale that is going on- use code PODCAST10 for 10% discount

Resources mentioned:

Related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Kelsey:

Read the transcript for episode 61, The Top 7 Myths about Emergency Sub Plans:


You are listening to episode number 61 of wife, teacher, mommy the podcast, the top seven myths about emergency sub plans. I’ve been helping teachers with their sub plans for over eight years at this point, and I’ve heard probably every reason under the sun, why not to take a day off, and why they can’t leave emergency sub plans. So I’m here to bust all those myths today. Almost like we’re on an episode of Mythbusters. So let’s go.


I’m so glad you’re here listening to wife, teacher, mommy, the podcast today. I’m your host Kelsey Sorenson, a former elementary teacher turned home school mom. Whether you are a teacher or a homeschool parent, my goal at wife teacher mommy is to provide you with both teaching ideas and mindset tools. To help you live your absolute best teacher, like, be sure to hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app, so you don’t miss an episode. Now let’s go.


I’m so excited to be here with you today. Welcome to the podcast. If you’re new here, I’m so glad you’re here and that you’ve chosen this episode. I hope you’ll hit subscribe so you can keep joining us. We’ve got lots of great stuff here. And if you’re back, thanks for coming back and giving me another listen today. I just love being here with you. It’s one of my favorite things. And I’m excited to be talking about sub plans. Again, we’ve had a few episodes about this topic as it’s mostly been originally known for is our ready to go sub plans. I started creating those in 2014 when I had my first child, and I started subbing and realize that teachers needed more support in that area. So there were more complete plans, and then I’d have something to bring with me. But I knew as a teacher, what it was like to take a day off and have to leave sub plans. So I kind of having been on both sides that created the solution. And we’ve now helped over 70,000 teachers who purchase sub planning resources from us. I’ve also heard from other teachers. So now well over 70,000 have purchased our resources and found success in taking their days off making it easier than ever.

I’ve also heard from many other teachers as we’ve run Facebook ads, and Facebook comments and whatnot. And I’ve heard so many reasons why they’re not able to take a day off or use their sub plans, like in their head is just not an option. So I’m here today to talk about what all those reasons are, and why they frankly, in my opinion just aren’t true and are actually getting in the way of teachers being able to take a well deserved a day off. So I’m here to help you to be able to take those days off and you earn and they see your PTO, it’s part of your job, you should be able to take them. But to bust that myth right away the part that it’s hard, I want to make a quick mention of those sub plants I’ve talked about our best foot sub plan deal we’ve ever offered before is going live right now with some special bonuses and insane pricing. I will link to that in the show notes. And if you’re listening later, we’ll include a link to the best deal we currently have running on our sub plans for you. But if you’re listening now in February 2022, we are giving early access to you as well that our email and social people know later podcast listeners are getting first dibs because you’re taking that time to listen to me each week. So if you’re a podcast listener, you can save an extra 10% on your purchase with code pod 10. Now let’s dive into those seven myths of why so many teachers believe that they can’t take a day off, they can’t use their emergency sub plans. So emergency sub plan Myth number one, our sub plans have to be exactly what we were teaching that day, we cannot deviate from our schedule.

So here is my rebuttal to that. So you can’t know exactly when you’re going to be sick or have a family emergency come up. So if you aren’t prepared ahead of time, your kids may end up doing something completely different than you might have been doing anyways. And in fact, it might actually be less useful than if you put some time ahead of time to put together some emergency sub plans or at least still online. The core standards are still like spiral reviewing or learning things that they’re supposed to know rather than just like having some random worksheets or watching a movie or something like that. So if you prepare ahead of time, it can be educational, it does not have to be a throwaway day at all. So that is my thought about Myth number one because again, these are emergency sub plans totally fine if like you have a planned day off and you want to be able to like have it match up just as closely exactly what you’d be doing that day. That is totally understandable, you could do that, you could write that out that day, it would take you a bit more time though, like, if you’re just taking one day off, you want to just use those emergency plans, you can always pick right back up after. Okay, so Myth number two is I don’t have time to do sub plans. Now I want to tell you is that when we say we don’t have time for something, it’s just that we aren’t making time for something. So when we choose one thing, you’re choosing not to do something else. So when you choose not to take time to put together your emergency sub plans, you might just be choosing for the decision to be easier to just go into sick, right? Or that when you’re sick, then you’re going to have to throw together those plans instead of being intentional and doing it ahead of time.

So the fact is, you could make that time, if it were a priority to you, you could do that instead of like, you know, one thing I like to think of is when you tell yourself, you don’t have time for something, I do this myself to trust me, I’m not like speaking from this, like, Oh, I’m perfect point of view or anything. But when I tell myself, I don’t have time for something, I go and check my screen time on my phone. And if you see a number like if you see like an hour or two hours or three hours or four hours or however much time you spent on your phone, you know that you could have used some of that time to put together your plans, it doesn’t have to take that long. That is one way I like to think about it. Okay, Myth number three is it’s easier to just go in sick than make my sub plans. This kind of ties into number two a little bit. Because the fact of the matter is, if you don’t have sub plans ready at a time, it often can feel easier to just go in because you can just show up, you can do it. You don’t have to try to write something so somebody else can know what to do. Because you’re choosing in that moment, what feels easier.

So if you have a sub tub already ready on your desk, imagine this you have it, it’s already you have like a full week of plans, there are more that could be pulled at anytime and you’re feeling sick, is it going to be easier to make a quick phone call and be like, Hey, I’m sick. Today, the sub plans are on my desk, hang up, watch Netflix, sleep, eat some soup, or to be like, Oh, I’m going to get up, get ready, take a shower, go to school and drag myself through an entire day of school while I’m sick, which is easier is easier to make that phone call, right. So if you have your sub plans done emergency sub plans done ahead of time, it is easier to call in sick than is to go in the only reason it’s easier for many people to go in than to call in sick is because they haven’t done that preparation ahead of time. And I know like again, this ties back into number two, like you might feel like it’s hard to find the time to do anything extra. But it doesn’t have to take very long, it really doesn’t need to, especially if you use our ready to go sub plans. We even have a free Starter Kit at the link in our bio with lesson plans and templates.

So there’s really no reason to not get started. And in fact, you’ll save a lot of time versus writing them at the last minute, the next time you’re sick or your child is puking their guts out, I can so relate to that. So let’s talk about emergency sub plans. Myth number four, I don’t need them because I’m teaching online. So I haven’t heard this one as much recently. But for a while I was hearing it a lot with COVID. I haven’t heard as much but for a while was a very common one. Again, even if you’re teaching online, there could always be an emergency, you could always not be able to be there. So guess what you couldn’t have digital sub plans set up so you can have them like for Google classroom or whatever it is that you use. And we even have some of those available in that free step planning starter kit that you can check out to that is linked in the show notes. Now myth number five, and you’re probably gonna wonder why it took me so long to get here. I bet it’s the one that has been in the back of your head the entire time. There is a sub shortage. Now I actually did an intro when we be aired episode six in December kind of all about this. So the sub shortage, that is a huge Biggie all in itself. So when you think of this sub shortage, you might think that you can’t take a day off because there’s a sub shortage, right? But there are other teachers who are taking their days off, right? Do you believe that there are other teachers who are doing that?

Do you see that in your building, I can tell you on my end, that we still have teachers purchasing these sub plans every day, and saying they’re using them to take a day off. So we know that other teachers are doing it. And there might be another teacher down the hall who even if there were like millions of subs out there, they might never call him because they’re that person who like calling in and letting anybody down expectations is like they’ll just never do that. So for them, it’s not even the sub shortage, it is something else. So because of this because we see how different people think differently about this. We know that it’s not the sub shortage in itself, keeping you from taking that day off, but it’s your beliefs about it. Maybe you believe that because there’s a sub shortage, it is your responsibility to go in anyway. And that might feel noble it might feel like Oh, I’m helping because there’s this situation and it’s going to be hard on my team and it’s going to be hard on my admin or maybe they’re actually going to be mad or upset about it. But the fact of the matter is you have PTO it is part of your promised benefits of your job, if you’re sick, you’re going to use be spreading around germs to everybody to and that’s not going to help anyone because then maybe they’re going to be more teachers who need to call out. And there’s a sub shortage and then instead of just needing one sub, they need three. And it’s just really something we’re telling ourselves in our head that we can’t do it. Because at the end of the day, I truly believe that it is not your responsibility to carry that burden of there being a sub shortage.

And in fact, I believe if every teacher kept going in because there’s a sub shortage and didn’t take care of themselves and didn’t take their days off, then that’s going to just make the problem last even longer. If teachers are actually like, Oh, it is not my responsibility, I need to be able to take these days off, then more likely solutions are going to come up. So I don’t know, that’s just the way that I’m thinking about it. And many of the teachers in our community are thinking about it. So just something to keep in mind with that myth. Okay, so now let’s dive into number six, I can’t take a day off, because my students need me. Now there might be students who will have a hard time when you have a sub that’s true, they might not have as great behavior, they might, it might be a rough day. And there might be some catch up when you get back. But the fact of the matter is that your students will be okay, if you take a day off. And if you know ahead of time, you can even prepare them for it. But even if you don’t, you can prepare them for when a sub happens, you can tell them like at some point, there is going to be a substitute teacher. And when that happens, this is what to expect. And this is how things are gonna be a little bit different. And this is how they’re going to keep things the same. You can also even kind of talk to them and have them build a little bit of empathy for substitute. You can be like, Oh, imagine if you were seven, you came into the classroom, and they were students that you didn’t know, how would you want them to act for you and have them kind of think about it from that perspective, you can also you know, if there’s a student who just has a really hard time, that fact that you’re not going to be there, you can talk to them that, hey, you know what, I’m coming back, it’s going to be okay, like this other teacher who comes in, they’re going to be great, you’re going to be just fine.

And you know, it’s just something that that child will be able to work through for sure. And it’s not a reason for you to not take that day off. And finally, myth number seven is one that you might not actually be telling yourself, but one that you might internally believe and that I can’t take a day off because I don’t deserve it. Again, you might not say in these words, but it might be something that you want to wonder if you’re actually internalizing, if you’re never taking a day off, then even if you think oh, I deserve a day off, but you’re never doing it your actions don’t show that you believe that, because our actions really do speak louder than our words. So if you aren’t taking your day off, if you’re sick, and you’re dragging yourself in, if you’re having a really hard time mentally and you have like this huge bank of sick days, and you could take a mental health day, but you’re not doing that maybe you don’t believe that you deserve it. And maybe that’s something to explore.

Maybe that’s something to talk to a teacher friend about like do I deserve to take a day off? Just something to think about. So now that we busted these myths, have you started your sub plans, if not, check out the link in the show notes for our free sub planning starter kit. Or better yet, if you want us to do all the work for you, we have the best sub plan deal we’ve ever offered going on right now. You’ll get lesson plans for all subjects, we cover pre K through sixth grades, it is such a good deal. And right now we’re still finalizing the details of if we’re going to do a deal like where you pick your grade or if we do them all together, or whatnot, and what the pricing and we want to add some juicy bonuses and we’re figuring that out. By the time you’re listening to this, you’ll have all the details about pricing and bonuses on that page. And I’m recording in advance, so be sure to check out that link for all the details. If you’re listening later, we’ll include the link for the best deal that we currently have running, we’re giving early access to you and we’ll let our email and social media people know later. But since you’re listening to the podcast, then you know first you can save an extra 10% on your purchase with code pod 10. And if you want to try before you buy Be sure to check out our free sub planning starter kit for sample.

I’ve linked to that in the show notes. I’ve mentioned it a few times. But I wanted to mention it a bit more here because it has sample lessons for every grade level. So you can see what’s included in the plans. And all you’ll need to really do is find a few other things and add to it and you’ll have that full day of plans where you can bust all these seven myths you can take your day off, you can feel good about it and it’ll be ready to go your students will still have content aligned to the core and everything and then it will be easier for you to make that phone call than for you to drag yourself as sick and that is really my ultimate goal for you. And in that freebie you’ll get those lesson plans you’ll get a PowerPoint with some forms for like essential information your sub will want to know you’ll get thank you cards you’ll get punch cards, you’ll get our free ebook called The sub planning means simple bar I’ll walk you through everything else you need to do in written format so you can get everything else you need ready to go so whether or not you decide to make a purchase or not. This freebie is going to help you to have those sub plans ready so you can hit that easy button and you can make sure that your sub hands are ready to go.

They’re also a great way to see if you like it before deciding to purchase are ready to go sub plans. But I bet you’ll like it just like these teachers let me share what a few of them have had to say the Patty said why it took me so long to switch to this system is beyond me. The last couple of years I had a classroom position, I’m an intervention teacher. So now no more classroom. I love not having to spend all that time making sub plans. I love leaving the generic plan and letting the sub grab things out of the sub tub to do. Lindsay says I feel very confident and leaving this in the hands of my students and said when the day comes that can’t get sub planets around. There’s so much within each set that you can easily double the number of days to use these for well thought out easy to understand fun activities and differentiation so you can level within your class. Love that you have a separate Google slide for the teacher and students so glad I purchased these and don’t have to fret about planning for a sub date.

Thank you. Jesse said I use these this year total lifesaver when my dog needed emergency surgery subs love the plan. Students love the lessons totally worth it. So take Jessie and Patty and Lindsay’s word for it. These sub plans have helped over 70,000 teachers in their classrooms so don’t forget to head to link the show notes. He was called pod 10 to save an extra 10% off. Next week I’m going to be sharing all about St. Patrick’s Day teaching ideas so stay tuned, hit subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode I will talk to you then.

If you’re enjoying this podcast, be sure to hit subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. And if you’re ready to take the next step with me, then you are going to love wife teacher mommy club. Our top selling resources for pre K through sixth grades have been used and loved by 10s of 1000s of teachers. The club gives you one click access to all of them to meet the needs of every child to teach while saving tons of time. Plus, you’ll have our certified life coach in your back pocket with several monthly workshops and an Ask a coach portal you can use 24/7 The combo of resources and coaching is our secret sauce to your best teacher life. Think of my team and I is your personal team, doing the lesson planning for you and on the sidelines coaching you and cheering you on as you focus on what you do best impacting the children you teach. Plus, if you’re loving this podcast, you’ll also have access to our private podcast just for members, where I continue the conversation with all of our guests with members only bonus episodes. And don’t forget the club with VIP access to educate and rejuvenate our Summer Conference and our private Facebook community full of like minded educators support each other. You do so much for everyone else so it’s time to invest in yourself. Your teacher friends jobs will drop when they see just how quickly you finish your planning. Not to mention the glow of the happier, more fulfilled you head on over to wife teacher mommy to learn more.


More about Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast

Being an educator is beyond a full-time job. Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, the everyday to-do list is endless. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and actually teaching, it probably feels impossible to show up for your students without dropping the ball in other areas of your life.

Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast is the show that will bring you the teacher tips, practical strategies, and inspiration that you need to relieve the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day. Your host, Kelsey Sorenson, is a former teacher and substitute turned homeschool mom. Tune in weekly to hear Kelsey and her guests cheer you on and help you thrive as a wife, teacher, and mommy. Because with a little support and community, you can do it all. For access to every single Wife Teacher Mommy resource, join the club at

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kelsey sorenson

Hey there, new teacher bestie! I’m Kelsey, and I created Wife Teacher Mommy just for YOU! I blog about teaching and create elementary school and homeschooling resources to make your life easier. Be sure to sign up for my FREE sub plans here!

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