Emergency Lesson Plans
We have all been there in the very early morning hours, realizing that a sudden illness or family crisis means we won’t be making it to school that day…. and we also all know that it is usually more work preparing for a supply teacher than it is actually going in to work!
The trick is to have a “sub tub” or emergency supply lesson plans, prepared ahead of time so you’re not trying to organize information while nursing a fever or dealing with an ER doctor.
5 Tips for Coping with an Unexpected Illness or Emergency
1. Designate a binder, bin, or digital file to store all your materials.
Decide how you would like to store all information that a supply teacher will need for a successful day in your classroom. Make sure that a fellow teacher, principal and a responsible student know the location of this information.
I use this plastic file folder container from Staples to hold everything. It’s best to clearly label your bin or binder, and store it in a visible location in your classroom.
If you prefer to use a digital file to hold your supply teacher information, makes sure that it is in a format that can be accessed by occasional teachers within your school board.
2. Plan for 3 non-consecutive days of absence!
Some illnesses and family crises take us away from our classrooms for more than one day. Planning for at least 3 days lets you focus on your personal life, rather than spending each of those days frantically trying to prepare for a supply teacher. Many principals now insist on a multi-day emergency folder from each of their teachers!
It’s best not to have each of the days connected to each other by skills or strands. A 24-hour stomach flu in November, an ear infection in February, and your mother’s hospitalization in April can all be handled by your supply teacher system!
3. Place Each Lesson Plan in Its Own Folder
I like creating a master file for each of the 3 days, and then within that folder placing a file folder for each lesson plan. Each individual file folder is labeled with the day (ie. Day 2), and the name of the lesson (ie. Math). Inside thefolder Iplace:
•Master of student worksheets (I also usually have the photocopies already done, but you can also leave that for your supply teacher if you feel s/he will have time to handle this task.)
•Examples ofcompleted work.
4. Include a “General Information” section.
Lists and Schedules
•Safety Plans (ie. Fire, tornado…)
•Lunch or Nutrition Breaks
•Physical Education or Daily Physical Activity (DPA) routines
Classroom (Behaviour) Management
•Staff Room & Staff Washroom
5. Focus on What Matters!
Now that you have everything in place for those days that you may be unexpectedly unable to get to school….relax! If you are ill, spend your day taking care of yourself instead of worrying about what is happening in your classroom. A family crisis deserves your focus, so devote your time and energy on that rather than checking in with your supply teacher. You’ve got this!!!