My intention was to go in and make sure my desk was neat enough for the substitute to be able to function. A quick neatening of the piles, heaven knows my desk is usually anything but neat and organized, then touch base with my team on our upcoming reward trip and information about my peer leaders after school activity. My quick ten minute trip to school turned into almost forty minutes.
I pulled out my sub binder with all of my class lists, schedules, policies and procedures in the class, all handy an neat ( yes most things are neat in my classroom )for the sub to access quickly. Next I wrote out my plans with step by step instructions for the substitute. Organized all of the days materials on my desk and proceeded to label everything with sticky notes. I put names on the modified assignments for my Special Education and ELL students, made sure there were more than enough copies, and then double checked everything.
Once I was satisfied with my desk and materials, I went down to the office to touch base with the assistant principal, put an announcement in for the morning announcements regarding an upcoming peer leader activity and then check my school mail box. I stopped to socialize with a few staff members before I headed back home. I wanted to leave before the school bell rang signaling the begining of the school day.
I worried. I worried about my son who has been sick all week and missing his classes. I worried that I will be taking more sick days over the next few weeks if I catch the flu that my son has. I worried that my husband and my other son will come down with the flu too. I worried about school. I worried that my students, as wonderful as they are would take advantage of the poor substitute. I worried that I did not leave clear enough instructions for the sub, or for that matter enough materials despite my obsessive checking and labeling. I worried that the sub would be incompetent and not be able to manage the class or care enough to follow through on the assignments. I worried, probably way more than necessary.
Today I was back at work, though my son still stayed home. The substitute left me a note explaining what he was able to accomplish with the four classes. He really tried his best. Most of the work got done. Most of the students were well behaved. Of course the kids complained today that the sub didn't let them do this or he didn't give them enough time to finish, or he didn't say that they had homework ( yeah right on that last one.)
I just wanted to take the time to thank the sub for being able to allow me to stay home and take care of a sick child. Thanks for being professional and attempting to complete the assigned work I left, doing so allows me to continue with the pacing of lessons to cover the material I need to cover with my students. Thanks for leaving me the note, brief as it was, so I can see your perspective on how the day went. Thanks for all of the hard work you put in to take care of my students in my absence, believe me when I say I know it wasn't an easy day. Thanks.