This blog post originally appeared on Teacher Gameroom.

What exactly does go into a substitute folder? Everyone’s sub folder is different but they all include same things. Here are 10 things you should NOT forget to include in your substitute folder.

1) Class Roster

This goes without saying, but you wouldn’t believe how many teachers forget to put a class roster in the sub folder. As teachers, we know our students by name and face, but substitutes may not. The substitute can put a face to name, even for the short while they are there. Include more than one roster, just in case the substitute loses the first one.

2) Student Information

This would be basic information. The student’s first and last name, parent contact information (phone number), and any allergies. You can add more information as needed. In case of emergencies, the substitute has the student’s name and contact information.

3) Classroom Information

This is important. This is where you give a brief, but detailed, overview of your classroom. This includes where supplies are located and the rules/policies for each area. This will help the substitute run your classroom much smoother throughout the day, knowing what students can or cannot do.

4.) School Information

This will be basic information about your school and its staff. List other teachers in your current grade who can help the sub and any specials/encore staff members (music, PE, art, computers, librarian, etc) with their location and policies (if applicable). If something happens and the substitute doesn’t know what to do, they have this list of teacher to reference.

5) Classroom Management Information

A more in-depth look at your classroom management. This includes routines, procedures, rules, and policies you have set up in your classroom. This helps the substitute continue your classroom management while your away. If they earn “money,” “stars,” or coupons, have some ready for the substitute to handout when needed. Include enough for the substitute to give every student at least one.

6) Lesson Plans and Worksheets

A no brainer that needs no explanation. Find activities with simple directions, appropriate for your grade level, and has an answer key. You do not know who you will have as a substitute teacher and they may not be familiar with your grade level or materials so including guided lessons and worksheets is great. Don’t forget to have enough materials for the entire day. If anything, OVER PLAN. Better to have too much than too little.

7) Bird’s Eye View of the Classroom and Seating Chart

This is something I haven’t seen in a lot of sub plans. A bird’s eye view sheet is a view of your classroom from above and highlights areas in your classroom. Great for seating charts, pinpointing supplies, and monitoring the exits. Your substitute will be able to locate students and materials around the classroom.

8) End of the Day Review

Leave a substitute survey for the substitute to discuss their day. This will allow them to tell you any problems that occurred that day, any students that were helpful, and anything that they enjoyed. This is their chance to lay it all out for you and you can do what needs to be done when you return to school.

9) Dismissal Sheet

Having a list of how students get home is very important. Dismissal is different for each school, even if it’s in the same district. Include a list of how students get home, and detailed instructions about dismissal time for your substitute to follow so that every student gets to where they need to be safely. Leave nothing out!

10) A Treat for the Substitute

Leave something special for the substitute. A “Thank You” card. A $5 Starbucks gift card. Leaving the substitute a little thank you for watching over and taking care of your students shows appreciation for what they did. Sometimes as a regular class teacher, it can be hard. Give them a little something to brighten their day.

Teacher Gameroom: Teacher-Author on TpT

About Teacher Gameroom

Chandra Martin is a full-time TpT Teacher-Author in North Carolina. Three years of teaching experience has taught her the many up and downs of teachings. Chandra loves playing games with her students, especially math games. A gamer herself, Chandra loves playing video games and creating games for students and teachers to use. You can find out more about her PowerPoint games on Facebook and her blog, Teacher Gameroom. See more of Chandra’s ideas in her TpT store and on Pinterest.