Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sick Day/Mental Health Day Preparations

We've all been there, that unsettling feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and realize uh oh.. scratchy throat, fever, stomach pain.. yikes, it may be time to find a substitute.    

Suuuuurely I'm not the only one who thinks that planning for a substitute is often harder than just fighting through those cold symptoms and simply teaching the classes yourself!  With that said though, I will say… (now don't get me wrong and don't judge me too harsh) that every once in a while I believe in taking a "Mental Health day." Most of the time it's only a half day break, but one day last year I took an entire day to just get. things. done. outside of the classroom and to take deep breaths in the beautiful Tennessee sunshine. 

So let me tell you what I include in my Emergency Substitute Folder for dilemmas like the first scenario above, when you realize that you are just too sick to go into school and type out something formal like a superhero.

Emergency Sub Folder Contents: 

1.  CHEAT SHEET:   A few years ago I found a cool template for a Substitute Cheat Sheet on Pinterest.  I think it's awesome because I can put main ideas, tips, instructions, work room/teachers lounge information, and important phone extensions (Principal, Assistant Principal, Nurse, and Front Desk) all on one page.

2.  IN CASE OF EMERGENCY:  I include maps of the school and the proper protocol for drills (fire, tornado, lockdown, earthquake, etc.) You just never know and in a worst case scenario I want my young artists to be safe!

3.  LESSONS:  I include several "substitute friendly" lesson plans grouped K-2 and 3-5.  I include several just in case one of them has been used, just in case the directions go over the substitute's head (you know what I mean, we've all been there) or in case of some other unforeseen scenario.

4.  COMPUTER ACCESS CODES:  I do not give any substitute access to my personal username and password, instead, I provide our school's specific Substitute Log In and Password.  (My room is next door to the computer lab and our tech guru, so I also provide her contact information in case my substitute is ever caught in a technology bind.)

5.  EXTRA DUTY:  Every morning I have a school duty (and the occasional Carpool Duty) so I leave such information in case I cannot find a co-worker to take my place.

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