The Young Primary Teacher\\\'s Guide To Preparing For An Absent Day
Feb 17, 2012 Young Learners 1920 Views
If you believe you are likely to be away sick tomorrow, plan today the work that you will leave for the relief teacher. Make sure you leave clear, detailed instructions on your desk where it is easy to find. Worksheets left for the relief teacher to use need to be based on the current work units which will help consolidate the students' learning.
If it turns out you are not sick and return tomorrow, use this work to ease your day and aid your full recovery.
Planned absences for school meetings and personal appointments are often known well in advance. Therefore, it is possible to work your teaching program around them so that you can plan to use that day for revision and consolidation.
In a primary school class, leave details of any collaborative work you do with your teaching partner. Create a program with multiple short activities (say 30 minutes in length). This will keep the class interested and there will be less behaviour problems.
These activities may well be the ones the class likes the best. However, they should be activities the students take seriously. Leave more work than can be completed by the students for the period you are absent.
Homework should be set, usually just to finish the activities you have set to be done that day. Set a time limit on the homework.
Always include a fun activity and/or a short problem solving activity that all can try.
When you return to school, you must check what has been done, answering any questions and reteaching any problem areas so that students see you are serious about work to be done during your absences.
You should also look at the day from the relief teacher's perspective. I have spent a considerable amount of time since my retirement from full time teaching doing substitute/relief teaching in primary schools. Here are details I have found that you could give your relief teacher to ensure that they have a full and rewarding day.
• The name of your teaching partner
• Explain your playground duty area, time and responsibilities
• Details of any specialist teachers or teacher aides, e.g. when they come, who they help and so on
• Details of students who leave the class for specialist help
• A plan for the day. You might say this is automatic. However, it is not always the norm.
• Staffroom tea/coffee arrangements
• Details of specialists lessons, e.g. music, foreign language and so on
• Make all activities 30 to 60 minutes long
• Details of where to get keys for computer rooms and so on
• Details of how to get photocopying done
• A school map, if possible
• Include details of any collaborative work done with your teaching partner
• Include details of a trainee teacher working with your class and what is required of them in the day's program
• Leave any messages that need to be passed on to students
Prepare A Proforma
Create a personal Proforma for your class that already contains the permanent data I have mentioned above. Many of these would not change during the year so they can be put there permanently. Other items could have a space provided for up to date information. Then all you need to do is to fill in what you want taught or done the day of your absence. This could contain a daily timetable with space to write what you want done at different times of the day. You could include on the back side of the sheet a diagram of your playground area, together with times and advice on what is required in this area.
Suggested Lessons To Leave For The Primary Relief Teacher
A book to read to the class
A period of U.S.S.R. - Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading
A Maths exercise
Period of writing practice
Time for a quiz (as a revision, perhaps).This could be a competitive one - girls v boys
Simple hands-on activity
Worksheets that continue or consolidate your teaching sequence, with instructions. Include answers if appropriate.
Completing assignment or group work can be suggested. However, you need to give the teacher full instructions about what the class are actually doing. Otherwise, I find, students waste much of the time. Knowing what is happening will allow the relief teacher the chance to offer help and keep the students on task.
Obviously, these must be related to your teaching program.
For further information on this topic (see eBook "The Absent Teacher") and other publications aimed at the young and beginning teacher, visit the website http://www.realteachingsolutions.com