Teacher Note Help for the Substitute Teacher
What Kind of Note Should I Write?
When you reach the end of your school day, always leave a note for the regular classroom teacher. The purpose of the note is to inform the teacher about what happened during the day and what needs to be done for follow-up. It has been my experience (as a full-time classroom teacher and as a sub) that the best notes are short, positive, and informative.
When the regular teacher returns to his classroom, there are many things to do and not enough time to do them before the first student walks in the door. For that reason, try to keep the note fairly short—no more than one or one and a half pages. Above all, keep your comments clear and concise, with a focus on major issues rather than minutia.
It’s a good idea to start with a compliment, followed by a description of the good things that happened during the day. Any true catastrophes can be noted and minimized after your positive statements are made.
Each classroom teacher takes pride in his students, no matter how difficult they are. He is proud of his classroom layout and the books and tools that are available for learning. When you criticize the behavior of the class or criticize the learning environment (particularly if you do it stridently and often), you insult that teacher. Try to find the right positive words to describe your day, even if the words are putting a good spin on a generally difficult day.
Be sure to be informative by letting the teacher know which content areas you covered and what topics you were not able to present. If students had a hard time understanding a concept or couldn’t complete an assignment, be sure to note that. If all material was completed, state that as well. If the classroom teacher left a plan that contained a list of “to-do” items for you to complete, it’s a really good idea to put a check next to each item that was completed.
Before you sign your note, convey your willingness to talk if necessary. “If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at 555-1234 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.” And if you enjoyed your day, be sure to indicate that you’d be happy to sub in that classroom again.
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