Imagine you are a substitute teacher. Scary, I know. There are two classroom doors in front of you. To the left is a clean, organized classroom. There is a single stack of papers on the table. Detailed lesson plans are followed by clearly marked activities for the day. To the right is a slightly disheveled classroom (that’s okay… it happens to the best of us). There are piles of paper everywhere – none clearly marked. Buried somewhere on the desk there is a single sheet of paper with the daily schedule and a few notes jotted down in the margins.
Which classroom would you want to sub in? Unless you are the Mary Poppins of subbing and can make anything work with your magic carpet bag, you would probably choose the door to the left. So would I.
Each time a new substitute walks into your classroom, it's likely they have some anxiety about how the day is going to work out. Most people feel more at ease when they know what is happening, when it will happen, and how to make it happen. That doesn't mean you can leave out your weekly lesson plans and a daily schedule and assume your sub can figure it out from there.
Teachers provide such stability and support in the lives of their students that one official week of appreciation doesn't seem like enough. So it's important to keep in mind that each and every day your students appreciate you. They might not show it. They may never say it. But deep down they know just how special you are!