An Easy Way to get Your Lesson Plans into Your Sub’s Hands

Most teachers would agree with the following statement; sometimes it’s easier to be at school than it is to write lesson plans and be absent. When teachers are absent, they have to spend minutes and sometimes hours writing lesson plans. It’s easier to write lesson plans if your absence is planned, but if an absence is unplanned, writing lesson plans can sometimes be stressful.
One of the problems with writing lesson plans for an unplanned absence is how to get your plans in your substitute teachers’ hands. I live 20 minutes from where I teach, so driving to school to drop them off is out of the question. (Although I will say I’ve done it before!)

So what’s the best method to get your plans to your substitute?
E-mail your plans!

Find a buddy (or two) in your building. When I know I’m going to be absent, I text my buddy and let them know that I’m going to be gone. I make sure they have time to print off my lesson plans and deliver to my classroom. Once I’ve confirmed they can help me out, I e-mail my lesson plans to them. (I suggest you have an alternate buddy just in case your first buddy isn’t available to help you out.) I also email my plans to the secretaries in the office and inform them of my absence and let them know that my buddy is printing off my lesson plans. (Our secretaries are so busy and go above and beyond what is expected. Therefore, I try to avoid asking them to print my lesson plans.) You can also e-mail your plans directly to your substitute if you know who that person is.

So once you’ve established how to get your lessons to your substitute, you need to write them. You will more than likely be writing lesson plans from home if your absence is unexpected.
To help make lesson plan writing from your home less stressful, create a lesson plan template..

Create your lesson plan template using Microsoft Word (or a similar program) when you are at school. Be sure to type out your classroom schedule, any duties you have, and any other important information in the file. E-mail the file to your home e-mail and open it up on your computer at home. Save it. When you have an unexpected absence, open up the e-mail file, and change the current information or add new. This way you will have all the information you need about times and schedules from your previous lesson plan.
If you are unable to write any sort of lesson plans, be sure to include alternative lessons or activities in your sub folder. If you don’t have a sub folder, check out this post on how to create one.

How do you make sure your lesson plans get into your substitute teachers hands?

Do you text or e-mail coworkers when you’re going to be absent?

Cassidy Reinken

This article was written by former AOE writer and life-long learner, Cassidy Reinken.


  • Crokicki

    Jessica, had a little time to check out your site, love it, keep up the great work!! This will be a 
    great addition to the Fall Conference!! Sincerely, Carol Rokicki