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Making Guest Teacher Days Run Smoothly

Sick Day. Professional Development. Daytime Appointment. Whatever the reason, I dread being out of my classroom.

Do you dread being away from your classroom? Do your students fall apart when there is a guest or substitute teacher in the room? Make your sub rules & expectations explicitly clear with an anchor chart like the one in this post!

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.

Do you dread being away from your classroom? Do your students fall apart when there is a guest or substitute teacher in the room? Make your sub rules & expectations explicitly clear with an anchor chart like the one in this post!

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!

Do you dread being away from your classroom? Do your students fall apart when there is a guest or substitute teacher in the room? Make your sub rules & expectations explicitly clear with an anchor chart like the one in this post!

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:

Do you dread being away from your classroom? Do your students fall apart when there is a guest or substitute teacher in the room? Make your sub rules & expectations explicitly clear with an anchor chart like the one in this post!

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!

Check out more ideas and resources for Guest Teacher days on this Pinterest board:

Excite Your Students With A GoNoodle Welcome!

The final week of my summer holidays has arrived and I've been spending some time in my classroom in preparation for a new school year. I'm thrilled to be a GoNoodle Ambassador for a second year and was excited to incorporate GoNoodle into my welcome bulletin board. It turned out so cute, I thought I'd share it with you - my loyal followers!

Do your students love GoNoodle as much as mine? Welcome them back to school and get them excited for this year's brain breaks with this FREE GoNoodle bulletin board printable! This completely editable file includes all 25 GoNoodle Champs and the lettering you'll need for the welcome header.

The Best Word Walls For Every Classroom

Today's classrooms contain more posted information than ever - learning goals, success criteria, classroom expectations, anchor charts, word walls... I could go on and on. Teachers are expected to cram more information to the same space year after year. How do you fit it all in?

Let's talk about word walls. My word wall is one area that I personally felt was taking a TON of space, and I knew that I could use it more efficiently, so I've rounded up for you some great examples of how you can make a word wall work in ANY classroom!

Word walls are a very important part of every elementary classroom! This is a round-up of ideas for making your word wall interactive and engaging - a word wall your students will actually use!

Celebrating 5000 Followers by Giving Away $50!

I'm thrilled to have recently surpassed 5000 followers in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!! Come and celebrate with me!

Inexpensive Back to School Gifts for Your Students

It is just about time to welcome students back to school! First day jitters are a real thing for many students, so I like to greet my kiddos on the first day with some sort of small gift. I feel like it sends the message that I am so happy to see them and I'm excited for our time together. These gifts don't need to be expensive. Here's a round-up of some of my favorite inexpensive (or free!) welcome back gifts for students!

It is just about time to welcome students back to school! First day jitters are a real thing for many students, and a small gift from the teacher may be just the fun thing to put your students at ease!

3 Easy Ways to Prepare For a Stress-Free Back to School

Summer is here! Sit back, relax, and... wait... you're planning for the new school year already?! Teachers don't let school go easily, do they?! Don't feel bad... I personally start thinking about the new school year before the current one is even done. (Is that bad??)

In my 18 years in the profession I've come up with THREE must-do items to prepare now for a stress-free back to school season!

Are you a teacher on summer vacation? Heading back to school is probably on your mind, even if you have weeks to go, so harness that energy and get these THREE things done now to make for a stress-free return to the classroom!

The Great Homework Debate - Is It Worth It?

Homework - to assign it or not. Is it useful? Does it actually benefit students? The debate rages on and most people I know don't really have the answers.
Do you assign homework in your classroom? The debate rages on - homework or no homework? I'm breaking down the advantages and disadvantages to assigning homework, and providing an easy low-prep solution!

How to Dig Yourself Out of an End-of-the-Year Rut

Are you a teacher facing your final weeks and days of the school year? You'll want to check out these tips for reducing stress and staying positive as the year winds down!

It's true. I'm done. I am 13 teaching days away from the end of this school year and I have so little left in me that some days I don't know if I'll make it through dinner.

This has been a challenging school year. 20 students with a very diverse set of academic needs, students who struggle with coping skills and self-esteem, the death of a classroom parent. I'm not the first teacher to juggle all of this in a single school year, and I won't be the last, but sometimes all of this becomes overwhelming.

So... how CAN we dig ourselves out of this rut of complete exhaustion and find a way to enjoy these final weeks? I've got some suggestions for you!

Celebrate Amazing Dads With 10+ Easy Father's Day Gifts

Mom has had her special day and now Dad's is on the way! Check out these precious little treats for Dad, or any special man in a child's life!

Celebrate Dad, or any special man, on Father's Day with these adorable gift and craft ideas. All these ideas are inexpensive and easy for creation at home or in the classroom!

6 Ways to Save Your Sanity at the End of the School Year

The end of any school year is tough no matter what sort of teacher you are or what kind of class you have, but with nearly 18 years of teaching now under my belt, I have learned a few things that will save your sanity at the end of the school year!

Are you a teacher heading into the end of the year? You'll want to save these 6 ideas for how to save your sanity at the end of the school year!

10+ Fun, Inexpensive Ways to Say Goodbye to Students

It is the end of the school year. The kids are done. We were done a month ago. Saying goodbye is important, but let's face it... we are out of money AND energy for anything too spectacular. I'm here to help. Take a peek at these fun, inexpensive ways to say goodbye to your students!

How do you say goodbye to your students at the end of the school year? Check out these 10+ ideas for inexpensive gifts for kids with love from the teacher!

Taking Photos to Make Classroom Pack-Up Simple

As teachers in North America wrap up the current school year, I'd like to end this year's Teacher Tips Tuesday with a great end-of-year tip that I go back to time and time again. TAKE PHOTOS!

Looking for tips to make heading back to school simpler? Check out these 4 things you can do at the END of the school year to be better prepared for a new beginning!

Having photos to refer back to when you're setting up your classroom in the fall can be a HUGE time saver! Here are a few things that you should definitely take photos of as you go...
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