How to Create a Library Substitute Binder

Whether you are planning ahead for a vacation, or want to be prepared for those inevitable sick days, having a library substitute binder is a game-changer. Instead of hours spent preparing for a day out of the library or a frantic call to school trying to organize things for a day off, you have a ready-to-go sub binder.

What is a library substitute binder?

Think of this binder as the holder of all your library secrets (or just the really important stuff). It’s the one-stop-shop for your essential class information. It allows anyone to pop into your place, and pick up where you left off – with ease.

If you’ve ever had to cover a class, you know how challenging it can be when there is no information present. Sometimes you’re lucky to get a class roster! It’s confusing. Suddenly, you’re depending on the students to know what they should be doing or making things up as you go along. Not fun.

With a sub binder, your lesson plans, routines, rosters, important numbers, and everything else is in one place. 

How to Create a Library Substitute Binder

So, what exactly should go in your library substitute binder? Let’s talk specifics.

#1: Procedures and Schedules

If you want someone to pick up where you left off, you need to give them some guidelines! First and foremost, place a copy of your daily schedule in the binder. If you see different classes each day, make sure you include specifics on who you see and on which days.

You also want to give an overview of your procedures. When do the classes arrive? Are you picking up the kids, or does the teacher drop them off? How do you check-out and check-in books? And so on. I recommend giving an overview of the most essential procedures that will help things run smoothly.

#2: Emergency Information

Unexpected things happen, so make sure your sub is prepared with your library substitute binder. Make sure you include important phone numbers for an emergency. Also, give an overview of the procedures for a fire drill, lock-down drill, and tornado drill.

I suggest putting this page near the front of your binder, and perhaps even encouraging the sub to read them over before students arrive.

#3: Lesson Plans

There is no better feeling than having ready-to-go lessons on a day off. Instead of trying to wake yourself from a restful NyQuil stupor on a sick day, have lessons ready in your library substitute binder. Then, all you have to say is, “Please ask Mrs. _____ to make X copies of X assignment”. Done!

I recommend having at least a week’s worth of lessons in your library sub binder. Of course, these will likely be worksheets, but you can also include suggested online assignments for students to complete.

#4: Technology and Passwords

This is an easy step to forget! Remember to add information about the technology and passwords into your library sub binder. This should include login information for computers, databases, and websites. 

If you have laptops and/or iPads in your classroom, you might also want to mention how many. This can help the sub count and check that all technology has been returned after each class.

#5: Class Lists

It would be hard to run a library if you don’t know who to expect! Make sure you include class rosters and attendance sheets in your library substitute binder. You can also add important notes about students, such as medical information, behavior plans, etc. This will help the sub be prepared for every student who walks in the door.

#6: Help! Section

Let’s be honest, a day in a school rarely goes as planned! Make sure you include information about common issues or questions that might arise during the course of the day. For instance, who should they call for questions? What happens if a teacher is late to pick up their class? What should they do if a student is misbehaving?

Your Library Substitute Binder Made Easy

If you love the idea of a sub binder, but don’t love how time consuming it sounds – then you’re going to want this ready-to-go library substitute binder!

Everything I mentioned in this blog post? I’ve included it inside this ready-to-go sub binder – all you have to do is fill it in. Easy-peasy.

In this done-for-you sub binder, you’ll get –

  • Editable Cover Pages
  • Editable Binder Pages, including everything in this blog + a whole lot more
  • Time Fillers and Brain Breaks, for those late pick-ups or lessons that end early
  • Lessons Plans, 25 pages of no-prep worksheets made with K-5th in mind

I think you’ll find that these library substitute binders don’t just benefit subs! They also work great for you. Extra time in class? Use the time fillers. Need a quick lesson? Grab one of the no-prep worksheets. Need to recall a number? Check the sub binder!

We all know that preparing for a sub can be stressful enough to make you want to forget about your vacation entirely. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Having this binder prepared will make taking a day off a no-brainer.

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