Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long Term Sub Binder for Maternity Leave

Ok, so it has been awhile since my last post...6 or more months to be exact. Life has certainly changed since then. First and foremost is that in 5 weeks I will be a momma!! This weather has not been the greatest for this pregnant lady, but it has allowed me to get a lot of "nesting" done ahead of time, as well organize life and teaching before I take my maternity leave.

What I found as I was putting things together for my long term sub, was there was not a lot of anything out there to help give a basic idea what one could leave for a long period of time...especially if you are going to miss the first two months of school! My type A personality is cringing that I have to miss teaching all those important routines, so I really wanted to give as much as I possibly could to make sure those routines are taught and implemented.

So here is my binder I put together:

Inside the first thing I included is the building calendar that our principal gives us. This gives the sub important events happening that she will need to be aware of.

Next, I separated each section with a binder tab:

1. Classroom and Routines - this includes everything she needs to know about my classroom and the routines that she needs to know
- As I was planning this, I remembered the pictures I took in the fall of my classroom (which is what it will look like when she arrives). So I used those to create a written tour of my room. I labeled each part of the room and a possible routine that goes with that part of the room, or bulletin boards that she can add to:

This took the most time...but was totally worth it! (this is page one of 6 since the pictures take up room)

- Daily Routines - I thought of all the possible routines throughout the day she would need to know and typed out the steps. Routines included: Morning, End of Day, Intervention Time, Recess (indoor/outdoor), When a Student is Absent, Birthdays, Friday Fun, Friday Folders, Newsletter, Grading

- Behavior Plan - includes how to handle behaviors and what I do to give rewards

2. Standards and Plans - I included a copy of the L.A. and Social Studies common core standards, and left a plans template for her to follow. I also instructed her to put copies of her plans in this section.

3. Reading
- for each subject I included my Goal for the subject area, what the time looks like, supplies and teacher resources to use, how to assess, units covered while I'm gone, and possible lessons.

- The "cover sheet" included these things before a possible outline of lessons she could use, with the possible time frame it would take to cover the unit

4. Writing
- included the cover sheet

- For this subject, I am especially picky so I included more specific lesson plans for the unit. I already had much of this typed out due to my student teacher this year :)

5. Word Study and Grammar - This was the most vague section I left because I teach this differently every year depending on the group of students I have...and I told her this. I gave her some resources she could use, possible units she could cover, but told her to pre-assess and change depending on the group of kids we get

6. Social Studies
- cover sheet as mentioned

- I have a possible outline of lessons to cover the unit (left some open due to new standards)

7. Other
- I included how to access certain technology on the teacher computer and in the room. 

** I put all of this in a thick binder with a lot of room with the instruction that she is to put copies of the resources she uses, and other things she hands out or receives that I need to know about when I return.

** In each subject area, I included copies of some of the handouts I have given out, but mostly have given her the instructions of how to find them on my computer and the folders of the subject areas I have collected ideas and materials in, that she can use and pull from.

So there you have it. I hope this helps those who may be in this same position now or someday. I wish something like this was out there for me when I started...but glad I have a starting point, since it may change, come kid number 2 :)


  1. Super helpful! Going on maternity leave in Sept. and have had NO clue where to even begin. I'm pretty particular about things, so this was nice to have everything in one central area and ALL really important information! Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much! Planning for maternity leave is super stressful. Your ideas are very helpful.

  3. This is my third baby, but with all the new Common Core Standards and other requirements, I had no idea where to start this time around! This helps a lot! Thank you!

  4. This is very helpful. I am a bit OCD and am nervous about leaving my 1st graders for 6 weeks. Luckily, it is the last 6 weeks of school. Do you have these files on Teachers Pay Teachers? I would love to have an electronic copy to work from. Thank you!

  5. Good day! I can notice that you undoubtedly get the sense of what you are writing about here. Do you own a special education that is connected with the topic of the article? Waiting forward to hear from you.

  6. Thank you so much for this post! I especially love your room tour outlining where things go and what to do in those places. I'm due two weeks before school starts so there's no way I'll make it to the first day. I'm doubtful I can go to Meet the Teacher night. :( It's so hard relinquishing control, but this has been so helpful!

  7. I have a planned c-section on open house day and am SO thankful for your post. I'm finalizing things this week and needed to see something that another person had done. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!! :-)

  8. Great job!! so informative! I definitely will need to take the time to get my binder sub-ready. :)

  9. Thanks for this post - I'm using it as my guideline for my upcoming maternity leave. :)

  10. I rarely post on people's websites, but wanted to say this is all SUPER helpful as I am starting my long term sub job in January! THANK YOU!

  11. I'm a foster Mama and this is perfect for when I have to stay home for long periods of time!

  12. Hi Laura,
    Have you posted this on TPT? I am due in October and would love to have something like this to use to help me begin planning. Thanks so much for your feedback! :)

  13. Laura,
    Are you willing to share an electronic copy of your maternity leave binder? I am due end of the month and have been working on plans but would love to use it to help with further plannig! Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Have you found any other great resources to help you prepare for a long term sub? I won't be there to start the school year and I think that I am going to be out until mid January or early February! Trying to find as much as I can now!

  14. Laura,

    This is an amazing resource! Thank you for sharing this! I am going out on maternity leave before the school year starts. It is hard enough leaving, but leaving some one else to set up routines and procedures is stressful! If you are sharing soft copies I would love them! Thank you again for posting this!!

  15. This is Amazing! I would love to be this organized. I will be going on maternity leave a week into the new school year, Are you sharing these files or have a TPT for them? I would love to get a copy! it would definitely take away some of the stress of planning! Thanks again for sharing your post!