How to Survive When You Need a Substitute

What do you do when you need a substitute? Just the thought is overwhelming. This is my typical thought process:

Uh-oh. I feel my throat getting scratchy. I have no energy. Maybe it’s just allergies.  I can make it another day.

Next day

I know I won’t make it another day, but it will take two extra hours to write lesson plans for someone else to follow and another two hours to sort through and correct the papers when I return.

How to Survive When you Need a Substitute

That is, IF a miracle happens, all the stars align, and I get a sub who speaks Spanish.  If I get TWO miracles, he/she will actually follow the lesson plan and not tell stories about his/her childhood ENTIRELY IN ENGLISH!

Even though I specifically stated in the instructions not to speak English!

No, I will just come to school and write out my instructions instead of speaking.  Since I have lost my voice. (Yes, I have done this many times.)

I don’t need a substitute.

Day after that

OK, I really need to stay in bed. I need a substitute. I have no energy to write another lesson plan so I will have the sub show a movie.

Even though we are on the block schedule and have 30 fewer instructional days than regular-schedule schools and I am already WAY behind. I’ll never have time to fit in the lessons on culture! They are all going to FLUNK the common final!


And, there is no way I will be able to give them comprehensible input if I’m not there!!!

WAIT! What if I had already-created lesson plans I could grab when sick or out at trainings – curriculum that didn’t require the sub to speak Spanish and still provided comprehensible input? Is that possible?

YES!  I finally got my act together, became proactive and wrote those lesson plans!  Students can work independently for two days because the stories contain many cognates, visuals to aid in comprehension, and a vocabulary list on each page.

Here’s a sample of the Spanish One story and questions.


Students not only get comprehensible input with language in context, they get lessons on culture! (See day two of the lessons.) And the differentiated lessons and can be used for Spanish One, Two, or Three.

The sub will have no trouble following the step-by-step instructions.

Don’t teach with laryngitis or stress over needing a sub. Put these lessons in your teacher bag and be prepared! Click on the link to access the lesson plans: Spanish Sub Plans for Levels One, Two, and Three

Here’s a FREE story to get you started:

Spanish One Sub Plans

If you’re not going to be absent but you’d like some TPR Stories to use in Spanish One, click on the following link: Spanish One TPR Stories and Comprehensible Input

Stay tuned! Next month I will give you a FREE lesson plan from my brand-new AP Spanish Lesson Plans and Curriculum for Vista Higher Learning.

If you would like to receive more freebies and teaching tips in your email, sign up for my monthly newsletter, Best PowerPoints for Spanish and French.  Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to sign up.

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