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A Checklist to Help You Prepare to Host a Substitute Teacher

When You Have to be Absent, Make Extra Effort to Help Your Sub Succeed


When you need to have a substitute teacher take over your classroom duties, it's important to do your best to make the guest teacher feel comfortable and confident with your students and the curriculum. By following this checklist, you can maximize the chances of your substitute teacher being able to handle your duties with ease and fluidity.

Checklist for Preparing to Host a Substitute Teacher

  1. Create a designated section on your desk so that the substitute can easily find your notes, lessons, and materials.
  2. Print out your daily schedule with any special notes applicable to the days in question.
  3. Write or type a few tips regarding your class in general and certain students in particular. This may include the names of a couple trustworthy students who the sub can turn to with questions. Also, list a few students that the sub will want to proactively monitor for discipline concerns.
  4. Briefly summarize your classroom discipline policy, including rewards and consequences.
  5. Include the names of 2-3 nearby teachers (and room numbers) who the sub can ask for assistance if needed.
  6. Write out a few notes about important school policies and procedures. Be sure to alert the sub about any assemblies, fire drills, or special events that may be occurring while you're gone.
  7. Compile all worksheet copies, textbooks, teacher's manuals, reading books, art supplies, learning materials, etc. that will be used during the time you are absent. Include sticky notes with page numbers and special instructions.
  8. Leave space at the bottom of your notes (or provide paper) for the substitute teacher to leave notes for you about how the day(s) went and anything else you will need to know upon returning.
  9. Ask explicitly for the substitute's number so that you can request his/her services again if you are happy with the results.
  10. Arrange all of the notes, books, and materials on your desk in a logical order so that everything is easy to find and follow.
  11. Place student nametags on the desks, if necessary.
  12. Tidy up the room a bit, so that the substitute feels comfortable and encouraged upon entering the classroom.
  13. If possible, alert a few of your colleagues that you will be absent and ask them to check in on your classroom, if possible.
  14. Turn off the lights, lock up, and relax. Know that you left your substitute with all of the tools and tips necessary to keep your classroom operating smoothly.

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