Being away is SO much work! Students are never on their best behavior when the teacher is away and things never turn out the way you hope they will.
I have a stash of emergency plans and activities tucked away, but when it is a planned absence I always put far more into my planning than I should - and I know it. I should be able to leave the "bare bones" and let the guest teacher run with it, but knowing my students I feel it is better to leave too much than not enough!
The ONE thing that I have prepared well in advance of any day away is my chart of student expectations for a "Guest Teacher Day". I think it is extremely important for my students to know exactly what is expected of them when I am away. Every year we co-create and post a chart like this one:
I've had so many awesome comments left by my guest teachers about how nice this is and what a difference it makes in their day! And when the substitute has a good day... it is always a little easier to return to school!
What are your tried-and-true routines for days out of the classroom? I'd love for you to leave a comment below!