Monday, December 9, 2019

There's No Substitute for Good Plans!

It's officially cold and flu season and that means people will be absent from school. And sometimes those people are the teachers! With my school's transition to a 1:1 technology plan for students, my options for sub plans have also changed. Without a computer in the classroom for the substitute to use, I often have to choose activities my students can do without much teacher input. One thing that hasn't changed about my sub plans is my need to do them quickly, especially when I am under the weather. Enter Google Docs.

I created a Google doc called "Roediger Sub Plans." Each time I am absent, I keep all the general information about my teaching schedule the same and just delete and change the specific activities that I am leaving for my students. This saves me a little time since I don't have to re-do all the basic information about where I teach and what time the bells ring and who in my department can help if needed.

After using this process for a while, it occurred to me that I could use Version History in Google docs to streamline my process even more. I started opening the Version History and clicking on dates to find a previous version of sub plans that included a quiz (or whatever). Then I restored that version and made little tweaks as necessary.

Then I remembered about naming versions of documents! So now I give different versions of my sub plans different names to remind me of what was happening in each class in that particular version of my sub plans. To name a version of your document, click the three dots to the right of a date in Version History. Then click on Name this version. You can even flip a digital toggle switch so you can only see the named versions, look for the one you need, and click restore!

When I am scrambling to leave lesson plans for my substitute, any time-saving technique is appreciated. Streamlining sub plans is especially useful when illness takes its toll.