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"What can I do this summer to prepare for next year’s subbing assignments?" PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

Summer is here and I’m enjoying my free time. But I feel as if I should be doing something! Do you have any ideas for me? I want to be sure that I can be prepared and successful for my very first call to sub in the 2010-2011 school year.  

Cooper City, CA

Dear Doug,

Summer is a great time to relax and refresh. By being proactive, you can accomplish a great deal of preparation that will help you get off to a great start this fall.

Please remember that subbing assignments start up slowly. Don’t expect to be working a lot during August and September. Most teachers want to be there for those critical first few weeks of school.

Here are some practical things you should do right now:
1.    Look for items to fill your Bag of Tricks. Search dollar stores and discount outlets for cheap rewards, stickers, and school supplies, such as pencils, pens, erasers, paper, and art supplies.
2.    Ask friends and relatives for hand me down children’s books. Be fussy. Find books that are “tried and true”. Make up some expansion lessons to use with these books, in case you need to fill time.
3.    Buy an anthology, like Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. Read the short stories and find one that is interesting and appropriate for both boys and girls at the middle and high school level. Make up comprehension and discussion questions.
4.    Collect word finds, brainteasers, and Sudoku puzzles. Make copies for early finishers. These will be great additions to your Bag of Tricks.
5.    Search to web for free printables and lesson ideas. Teachers.Net is a great place to start!


Barbara Pressman is the author of book Substitute Teaching from A to Z (McGraw-Hill, 2008), available in all major bookstores and To find out more, visit:

If you have a question for Barbara, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .