Creating a Substitute Notebook in Physical Education | PE Express Podcast Ep. #63

Today on the PE Express podcast, I will share my practice of
keeping a substitute notebook. Welcome to the PE Express podcast. Two to three times a week a PE expert
will share a tip, activity idea, or teaching strategy to help you
become a better PE professional. Today’s host is an elementary PE
teacher coming to us from the beautiful mountains of Colorado, Lynn Burrows. I want to share a tip about
preparing a substitute notebook. My substitute notebook is insurance when
I may have an unplanned absence and for whatever reason I can’t
leave my substitute plans. When I can schedule or
anticipate in absence, I will leave plans from my students that
first fit the substitute who will be in the gym for me and lessons for each of
my classes that fit their learning for that time period. But on the untimely situation that
I don’t foresee my missing school, I have a substitute notebook. This notebook is set up to assist a
person nice enough to substitute for me, even if they have never been as
a substitute in our building. First in the notebook is a short note
welcoming them to our building and thanking them for working
with our students. It includes my daily schedule where
students get dropped off or who picks them up. It includes where everything in the
gym is and how it works. For example, the sound system, the equipment
room door combination, bathrooms, how to use the projector. It includes lesson plans for multiple
days and the lesson plans that I write can be inserted anytime during the year. They are lessons that a person who is
unfamiliar with PE can implement such as a video off of PE Universe explaining
a game such as scooter ball. Videos work extremely well for me. Our substitutes are given a substitute
Chromebook so they can easily view my notebook electronically if they choose
and then they can watch the instructional videos. The other lesson that I always leave
is simple stations where my students already know the directions
for each station. I always include what the substitute
should be looking for saying and doing during the lessons. General procedures
is another tab that I put in there. How to line students up, what the
procedures are for using the bathroom, for using the drinking fountain. Another tab is emergency procedures, what to do in a fire drill, what to do
on a lockdown, what to do in a lockout. I also include my class lists. I include what to do in different
situations such as a student isn’t being respectful. Students are unable to resolve a conflict
and how I handle those situations and how they might choose to handle
them and probably most important, I include my cell phone number and encourage
them to call me with any questions. I also include two different people at
our school who can help them with any questions. I found that
once my notebook is set up, I just need to change a few things each
year like updating my schedule on my class list. Some years I never even
have to use the substitute notebook, but it gives me great peace of
mind knowing that if I would it, it’s already ready to go. Do
you use a substitute notebook? I’m curious what you include
in your substitute notebook. I’d love to hear from you. What you do and how you help
a substitute be successful.

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