I've been on both sides of the subbing coin.
As a supply teacher, I carried a "bag of tricks" with me so I could give
them a lesson in a minute's notice if the regular teacher hadn't left a
plan, or if there a lot of time left over.
It also eliminated any excuses not to work, i.e., if you really have
nothing to do I can come up with something for you.
I wouldn't dream of asking a sub to supervise "free drawing". I now
make the No Paint When There's A Sub rule very clear so they won't blame
the sub, and lock up all materials except paper. (Once the custodian had
to stay till 10:00 to clean the paint off the walls when I was out
sick..and they weren't even supposed to be painting.)
I try to leave lessons that are either already in progress or don't
require an art specialist to teach, e.g. something from the Synectics
And I follow up-big time- on misbehavior that occurred when I was
away.I'm not above bribery..the best class of the day (for the sub) gets
a treat when I get back.(This is middle school, 24 classes/wk)
I hate missing school, it's a lot of work to keep things going
smoothly, but it's worth it because a happy substitute teacher is always
willing to come back to your class.
And on the topic of free drawing, ever notice that the kids who whine
all year to draw what THEY want, when they do get the chance, can't
decide on anything and end up doing nothing?
Three more weeks!