The best laid plans…
Well, I stayed late last Friday (6:00 p.m.–tsk tsk) to get everything organized for this week; so glad I did because one of my interns called in sick at the last minute this morning.
Even though I didn’t get to follow my own plans today, I was not stressed. I knew I had everything ready for when my routine is back to normal tomorrow. Preparation is a great stress reducer.
Luckily, I was able to step in and take over today. But, for those days when everything really falls apart, an emergency substitute folder is a good idea.
My friend DeeAnn taught me this about twenty years ago.
Simply have a couple of pocket folders ready with assignments your students can do: writing prompts, a good poem to read and discuss, a review skill in math, a simple art project.
Label each stack with a certain time increment, include a class roster and the schedule for the day, and you’re ready.
No, it’s not as good as the teaching you would do if you were there, but it’s a lot better than being unprepared when the flu hits or a flat tire slows you down, or whatever other demon is keeping you from being at work.
My interns usually have me as their “emergency sub plan,” but for the days they don’t, that little folder on a desk is a nice dose of peace of mind.