It can happen to any teacher —– you go to bed feeling normal and you wake up feeling terrible. In those short hours of sleep, your body stopped fighting all those germs you brought home and raises the “it’s time to rest” flag. I try really hard to listen to my body to prevent these unexpected sick days, but it has happened two or three times in my ten-year career that I had to call in sick with nothing formally prepared.
1. Never leave your classroom at the end of the day until all materials needed for tomorrow’s lessons are laid out. I use this upright organizer to keep all of my daily lessons ready to go.
2. Maintain an emergency “sub tub” full of ready to go activities that could be used any time of the year. These lessons would be used if you did not have the ability to write proper substitute teacher lessons. I have only used these lessons once or twice in my career, but it provided me with a peace of mind knowing that my students were still working on purposeful work, while I was at home recovering from an unexpected illness.
3. Be prepared. Just before I start a new unit, I stay late or arrive very early to work. I get all of the photocopying done ahead of time. By being prepared, I do not have to worry if I wake up feeling under the weather. All my prep work is done and I can focus my energy on teaching.
Check out this blog post from a supply teacher who shares how you can make her day a little easier in your classroom when you are away.