Making Sub Plans Easier

I hate missing school. It's stressful. I have to do multiple days worth of planning ahead of time, plus know what's happening the day I get back. Then, I have to turn those plans into a written document that anyone in the world can follow to the letter.

It's stressful.

I still leave a document with some specific notes for a substitute - things like management or specifics to take note of. But now, instead of writing out a ton of information on what to do, I record a simple video and post it to a static page on my class website. There are a couple little tricks I learned along the way:

1. The page should be bare bones. Don't worry about making it "feel" like the rest of your class site. It should be something easy to display on a projector without having to hunt through menus to get the information. That also allows you to just replace the video and written instructions for the next time you're out. Flexibility is key.

2. Embed the video right in that page. If you're like me, you want to make sure that video is responsive, too. I found a super-handy little snippet of CSS to make YouTube videos responsive, and I used that so students can access the information on their own later on any platform.

3. Keep your video unlisted so it stays within context. I have a lot of content on YouTube, I want to keep the sub plans isolated because they don't really fit in the flow of anything else there. This way, the video only "exists" when student need it - while I'm gone.

It's not totally un-stressful now, but it's way better than it used to be. If you'd like to see my "away from school page," or even copy the source for your own page (self-hosted), that'd be dandy.

3 thoughts on “Making Sub Plans Easier

  1. Charlie says:

    Well making a video is way more trouble than I’ve ever gone to. But I too have struggled with making sub plans easier. Here is what I’ve learned.

    1. Keep it simple: Always err to leaving complicated steps out.
    2. Work when I’m sick, be sick when it’s convenient: honestly, I’m rarely sick. But I find it much better, if possible, to when I think I need mental health day to pick a day that is sub friendly (easy). And when I actually have a cold? It’s almost preferable to just work through it versus staying extra late to concoct a lesson that will probably only half-work anyway.
    3. Outline: Maybe this is obvious, but I’ve had subs thank me for clearly outlining the day versus writing in paragraph form what they’re supposed to do.

  2. […] Making Sub Plans Easier –  Very cool idea to leave video sub plans instead of written ones.  Some tips on how to make this work are included. […]

  3. […] the last couple years, I’ve added an “absent” section to my class website to hold instructions for the sub. I’d make a video, put it on YouTube, […]

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