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a thought or 3 on subbing....


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 09:27:05 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -

>From: "Jerry Krasnesky" <>
>(snip> ......maybe instead of slamming the
> subs you guys should come down HARD on the classes BEFORE the sub comes
> in...set big-time consequences for not following routines & procedures so
> they might have their need to become hoodlums look like a bad idea instead
> of a lot of fun.

IMHO I've found it way more trouble to plan for a sub then it is to prop my
sick body up at my desk and proceed through the day! However...occasionally
it's necessary to find one like for convention times and I guess by most of
the standards I've read so far, I'm (read...paranoid) then
some others. I prepare my sub a few days in advance by calling them and
going over what I want each class to do....and also what are my "hot
buttons" about the room. By doing this, I also come away from those
conversations with what the sub might like to do or rather not do. For
example, one of my favorite subs DOESN'T like to show videos and would
rather not sub if told to do so.

I leave cokes in my small fridge, candy bar, tea bag and cup, other
extras...I leave a little "sub box" for all these things plus a hardcopy of
the lesson plans and seating chart. I put out a bell schedule, detentions
notices, etc. too. For each class assignment, I write in two names each of
students the sub can trust to answer questions.

I feel that my classroom is my "home" and if things are out of place,
missing, kids are uncontrollable, then it's partly my fault for not
preparing the sub (and kids!) beforehand. Oh, yes. Students are well-preped
before my leaving and are aware there is direct communication with sub and
me for an "after" conversation. I generally continue with the lessons they
are doing and if there is a problem, my middle school kids are "trained"
early how to go into "extra credit" mode on their own. This is great for
emergencies, etc. that my sickly body propped in the desk chair

I also tend to pick the subs who are not particularly enjoyed by the
students and who are strict (smile again) because I want my kids to be happy
to see me and think I'm such a "wonder" after spending time with someone
less lovely. I'm just happy I can still "pick" my own sub. I'd go nuts if I
couldn't. Toodles.....Bunki