Today’s Contributor: Lee Green
My name is Lee Green and I am an 8th grade social studies teacher at Lamar Middle School. I have an 8 month old baby boy at home who was the cause of my maternity leave, and the inspiration behind this post!
Long term subs can be a daunting task to prepare for. You must plan out long chunks of content, major assignments, and homework; set up classroom procedures and expectations; transition in and out of the class; and all the while you are thinking about why you will be leaving.
I went into labor the second day of school. I was fortunate that my sub had been working with me during teacher week and had learned the ropes before I left. I was also fortunate in that my PLC was awesome and worked to keep my sub up to date. All that said, I knew that I could streamline things and make it easier for everyone by using the digital tools that the district had in place. My go to for this was BLEND.
Once my classes populated in BLEND, I imported the material from my BLEND course last year. During our planning sessions before I left, we updated some of the assignments and added new ones. I was easily able to update these elements from the imported page. It gave me a framework that both the sub and I could tweak as needed. It also gave him an outline of key TEKS and a roadmap for how each unit would progress. I also shared access with one of the other PLC teachers, so she would be able to go in and update until my sub learned how to utilize it fully. Our agendas were posted, our homework, copies of notes, all stored in one location. For the most part, all he had to do was activate the pages for students to access.
While it did take a day or two of planning and work, using BLEND as my long term sub plan was probably the easiest part of the whole ordeal! Rather than spending weeks preparing and planning, only to discover that the pacing needed to be shifted, I created a fluid lesson set that could be adapted as needed by my sub. He now works as a social studies teacher at Lamar and has set up his own BLEND page using this model!
When I returned, we were able to transition fairly seamlessly, as the expectations and procedures were already in place. BLEND helped take the bite out of planning a difficult six weeks! Here is a picture of my son for cuteness! He’s already very into technology and wants to help his mama set up her next BLEND adventure!