Sub Tub: Organizing for a Substitute

How do you go about organizing for a substitute teacher? This really is one of the most stressful and time-consuming parts of being a teacher. I always hate that it seems like more work to prepare for a substitute than just going in. But if you are sick or have another emergency, you need a system that can provide everything your substitute will need at a moment's notice. For the first few years I taught, I had a basic "sub folder" - basically it contained a class schedule, roster, and hall passes. I hate to admit that it probably wasn't all that helpful to my subs and I'm sure they heard from my students, "That's not how our teacher does it!" I started seeing colleagues using bigger binders and gradually began including more info -- not only to make my subs' jobs easier, but also to make the school day as productive as it could be even when I wasn't there. I eventually moved to using a "sub tub" which is basically a tub of some kind (I like using one with a handle). It's a kit of all kinds of stuff that a substitute will need in my classroom. Here is a peek at my sub tub.

  A Kindergarten LifestyleA Kindergarten Lifestyle   Want to see what's inside?

 I keep an extra lunch count envelope, a set of transition activities on a book ring that can be done to pass a few minutes, extra worksheets, books that correlate with all subjects (reading, math, science, social studies). This really makes my job easier because I only change my sub tub materials a couple times per year. Especially in kinder, the kiddos LOVE to hear the same beloved story over and over. I also have a few books in the tub that I never read so that they are new books for when a sub is there too. No more getting up at 5a.m. to get ready for a sub when I'm sick - it's done! I keep my sub tub at the entrance to my door. My colleagues know exactly where it is, so even if I didn't know I wouldn't be able to make it until the last minute - it's all done and right where it needs to be! I spent a long time perfecting my sub tub over years. I wanted it to have everything possible to make those days alot less stressful/confusing for everyone involved. I have my sub tub kit in my TpT store for purchase. It's $6.95 for everything you need to create your own sub tub. The nice thing is, once it's done, you will wonder what took you so long to create it. It really is that relieving! My sub tub is fully programmable. I provide the framework and you fill in your information to fit your classroom and school.
A Kindergarten Lifestyle

 How do YOU prepare for a sub?


  1. Fabulous post! I love reading how other people manage their classroom when they have a sub. I LOVE that you posted pictures of the inside - and that you have this information for purchase in your store! LIFESAVER

    Mindful Rambles

  2. That is great! I've been subbing this year and it's always nice to have all that information. I had one today that had all Brown Bear Activities and the kids loved it!