How Much Info Do You Leave for Your Substitutes?

OK….. I am in the process of getting reactivated as a sub in my district.  Part of this process is watching videos and answering questions to show my understanding. One section was all about special education and the role of a teacher and a substitute teacher. Now, here is where it got interesting; It said that the everyday teacher is supposed to leave the accommodations of students with IEP’s and  504’s for the substitute.  In all of my years of training, I have been told those documents are for mine, the resource teacher’s, and administration’s eyes only.  Have I been taught wrong and been neglectful in leaving this information for my substitute teachers or was I taught correctly? The majority of substitute teachers are not certified and therefore have not been fully trained on any of these documents.

What are your thoughts??


8 thoughts on “How Much Info Do You Leave for Your Substitutes?

  1. Interesting thought….I was also trained to keep the specific IEP and 504 information of my students to myself (not even share it with other teachers who don’t have those students in class). However, general accommodations can be described, as they don’t have to inform a substitute/teaching aide as to the specific disabilities a student might have or give any personal information out other than a name. For instance, when I have a sub, I have to share accommodations such as specific seating, bathroom-visit allowances, using notes during a quiz/test, etc., so the student doesn’t end up in trouble for no reason, and the sub/aid isn’t confused (or doesn’t cause a scene, which some subs in our school, unfortunately, have been known to do).


  2. Jaci – I am not a teacher, but personally I would not want to leave this information for the substitute. I’m sure the sub feels differently, but I just think this information is better left private to those who are only going to be with the kids for a short time.


    • I am kinda in agreement with you, but I am not sure if that is from my training or just personal feelings. However, as a sub, I could see how knowing certain things (dependent on the severity of disability) would help make the class time run more smoothly.

      As a teacher, I wonder about the confidentiality issues. That is where my main concern lies.


  3. As a special education teacher, I would leave only pertinent information for that day. I would also feel more comfortable if my general education teachers just left information that a substitute needs to know to not disrupt the routine for the student. For example, student schedules, if there are any behavior triggers or how to implement their behavior plan (if they have one).


    • After hearing from you and a few others, I agree. I guess my question is leaving the names of students. Maybe I am just over paranoid because of all of my training but I just thought it was not ok to leave names. But I can totally see how leaving the accommodations would be a great benefit to the substitute teacher. Just knowing certain triggers would have helped a few times in some classroom I subbed in.


      • I would say it is okay to leave names but be general about the information. For example, I would recommend to my general education teachers to write on sub plans “Please read Alex each problem on the social studies quiz.” I would not write “Alex is on an IEP and has an audio accommodation for tests”


  4. I personally don’t leave those things for my subs. If anything, I will mention an accommodation in my sub notes, but not the physical documents. I don’t think that it will change the way a sub will handle things enough to share all of that information. I also question the legality behind it, but in my district the subs do need to be certificated teachers in order to sub so that might change things. It is an interesting thing to think about though for sure! This year we had to have a big talk about leaving out the emergency binders for our subs because we had a fire alarm go off when we had some subs in the building and they didn’t have what they needed for the situation. Sub lessons can be time consuming to write but they are so important!


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