How much of your time is being taking up to find subs for your teachers when they can't come to class? I think this is a problem we can all relate to and I was determined to find a better way. It seemed the teachers weren't concerned, while the office staff and I were stressing over getting class covered and ensuring everything runs smoothly. I decided it needed to become the teacher's responsibility to find a sub for their class when they couldn't attend. I wanted no more stress over subs.
If you're wanting to alleviate this stress from your work day, follow these steps:
- Create a sub list that includes names of possible subs (that I have verified), their phone numbers, email addresses, the styles they can teach and the days they are available.
- Make sure every teacher has a staff list with all your teachers' contact information on it.
- Give a copy of each of the above to your teachers and keep one in the office
- Make guidelines around subs - when they can be used, when they can't be used, how much notice you want, how many absences teachers are allowed in a year before penalties may be enforced or affect future employment
- Create a system for your teachers to follow, giving them step-by-step directions for arranging a sub
- Design a substitute request form
- Have them keep record of when they needed a sub and when they subbed for other teachers
- Reward staff members who are true team players and sub for others
- Follow through!
My gift to you this month is a copy of my one page, step-by-step system and a copy of the Substitute Request Form. Click here to download your copy now.
The Substitute Request Form is a key factor in reducing your stress and making teachers more responsible. This is the form teachers use any time they wanted to "request" a sub. See what happened there, I changed the wording from NEED to REQUEST. Not only is it important for your teachers to realize they must request a sub, but having to complete this form made a few other things happen:
- They thought twice about actually "needing" time off
- They had to plan ahead
- Everyone was on the same page (of the 3 copies, 1 went to the teacher, one to the sub, and one to the office)
- I had the ability to approve their absence
NO MORE STRESS OVER SUBS!!
Of course, there will always be emergencies - car problems, medical emergencies, etc., but even in those emergencies the teachers have the tools they need to work on securing someone to cover for them in their absence. When it's very last minute, it's always hard, but when the teachers are working together to help each other out (and getting a little reward for it), you'll be surprised how quickly your true team players will volunteer to help out.
I'd love to hear what other strategies you are using when it comes to covering classes for subs. Share with us below and also include anything you have found helpful about this post.