This is the time of year where we start counting down the days until the state accountability tests. The stakes are high (duh), there’s still too much content to teach (double duh), and there’s not near enough time (aarrgh).  And this is if every teacher shows up AND every teacher runs the plan.  The odds of both of these things occurring are well… Zero. 

Why is this the case? First every teacher does not show up every day. And every day the teacher is not in the classroom the plan is compromised.  No matter how good the substitute actually is. Sorry. Just being real.

So what is your best, and honestly, only solution? It’s very easy to understand and easy to implement. If you are honest and have a backbone. Meaning only LYSers actually do this in the field.

For the accountability courses (example, in Texas, 8th grade mathematics) if a teacher is absent, combine the absent teacher’s class with the class of another teacher who teaches the same course.  Then have the substitute teacher support the receiving teacher in managing the larger class for that day.

Now all the students continue to receive on-pace instruction that adheres to the campuses instructional plan and intent.  Instead of one class falling behind as a substitute teacher essentially provides a day of baby-sitting service. Zero offense to substitute teachers.  Again, just a recognition of the actual job expectation.

If you attempt to do this on your campus, and you should, be honest with your teachers.  Recognize that this does place a level of hardship on the shoulders of the receiving teacher.  But also point out that it provides your students with the absolute best chance of successfully meeting the requirements of the accountability test. And the chance for greater student success always trumps adult discomfort.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
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  • Upcoming Presentations: National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations)