I thought I would share some things that I did to prepare for maternity leave in case it might help out someone else in the same situation. I think I nested at school more than at home so it is possible that I went a little overboard! I did everything I could think of to make the transition easier on my students and the sub. I left simple lesson plans for every project. If I had an Art teacher as a sub I probably still would have planned everything to make sure that my goals for the year would be met... I'm not the most laid back person! Anyway, read on if you wish!
|This was a test step-by-step visual. I made some for the lessons my sub taught.|
Make a Plan- The first thing I did was map out my lessons so I could organize everything I needed to do to get ready for my substitute. The earlier you can find out who your substitute will be, the better. I had asked the other Art teachers in my district for suggestions on substitutes who had Art experience and gave the list to my principal. None of those subs worked out and since there are not a lot of people with Art backgrounds, I made sure that my sub would be comfortable with the lessons I had planned. Since I teach K-6 students, I reassured my substitute that they could handle anything the students could handle.
Gather Materials- After I had the lessons mapped out, I wrote my plans and made sure to point out which terms needed to be explained to the students. I made an example to go along with each lesson plan, showing the steps whenever possible. For some projects, I made step-by-step illustrations. For others, I photographed each step of the process as I worked on the project and either put the pictures into a handout or a PowerPoint presentation. For a more complicated project with my 4-6h grade students, I photographed the creation of my example, step-by-step, and recorded my voice explaining the process on a PowerPoint so the sub can press play and it will be like I am there demonstrating. I put together any PowerPoints or images that the substitute would need to show and burned them on a cd for easy access. I made sure that all the lesson plans and examples were easy to find. On my last day at school, I had everything else done so I ended up with time to get paper cut down for every project.
Labels- I realized that my substitute would be someone who was not familiar with the Art room so I typed labels for all of my cabinets and storage areas with a list of the contents. (I also noted in my lesson plans where the supplies for that project are stored.) I made sure that my sub would know where to store projects that were in progress and where to store completed projects so that I could photograph them for Artsonia when I returned to school.
User Manual- I also typed out a “user manual” that includes an explanation of my Art Expectations, classroom management information, beginning and end of class procedures, fire/tornado/lockdown drill procedures, seating chart explanation, and names of people to ask for help in case a question comes up.