Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a Sick Teacher®Sub Tub® ?

Simply follow these four easy steps, and you will be prepared for any absence!

1. Use a container big enough to hold several read aloud books, lesson plans, and multiple stacks of student worksheets.  Be sure to tape your free Sub Tubs label to the front!

2. Download our Sick Teacher lesson plans and worksheets from Teachers Pay Teachers.  The plans are organized, and page numbers make it a snap to assemble.

  • Staple the first 7 pages of the PDF (This is the welcome letter and substitute’s lesson plan)
  • Make a class set of the remaining pages (These are the student worksheets. You may copy these back to back or single sided.)

3. Select two read aloud books for each day of plans, one fiction and one non-fiction. The children will use these books to apply the vocabulary words. The plans were written to work with ANY read alouds.

4. Place the read aloud books, substitute lesson plans, student worksheets, and additional writing paper in a folder. Put the folder in your Sub Tub, and relax because your emergency sub plans are ready!

“Your Sub Tub assignments are so amazing and I have used them over the past few years! In fact, I am expecting my first child in June and have your plans ready, just in case our little one comes early! They really are a life-saver and the kids love the activities.” Birka Nielsen

What academic vocabulary words do the children learn, and what if they already know these words?

The children use a workshop format to study four words each day. Students actively engage with these words, applying them in listening, speaking, reading, writing, art, and math activities. Some example words are: similar, horizontal, multiple, and difference.

Most children will be familiar with the words; Sick Teacher is vocabulary enrichment. Students work together to create connections to the word meanings in new ways. Research shows that a child’s vocabulary knowledge positively impacts academic success. All children benefit from these vocabulary enrichment activities!

“My school will be focusing more on academic vocabulary this year, so this is fabulous!”  Desiree Jacobs

But, will your plans work with my class schedule?

Class schedules are always changing!  Sick Teacher addresses this problem in two important ways:

1. Our lessons “stand alone”.  They can be used anytime in the year. One day’s plans do not build on the learning of a prior day. Use them consecutively or independently.

2. Our lessons do not include times.  The substitute starts with the first activity, and continues to the next when the work is complete. This makes it easy for the sub to follow the plans, and allows for interruptions, assemblies, recess, etc.

How do your plans help a substitute with classroom management?

I have conducted many classroom management workshops for substitutes and student teachers. This gives me a clear understanding of the challenges a substitute faces when dealing with a new group of children every day. Sick Teacher provides support for the substitute in several important ways:

1. The first activity, Let’s Get Acquainted, helps the students learn a little about the substitute. This captures the students’ interest immediately and builds a positive teacher/student connection.

2. The plans are written in short, easy-to-follow steps because substitutes do not have time to figure out complicated instructions.

3. There are suggestions for ways to extend activities for students who need the challenge or finish early.

4. The lessons provide opportunities for the students to work together in groups or with partners. There are also specific “teacher tips” for keeping children motivated.

5. Additional activities are included at the end of each lesson plan for spare time. Sick Teacher keeps the children busy and productive all day long!

“I especially like the fact that the learning is fun and purposeful. The behavior management hints are key!” Martha Randi

How much do Sick Teacher® Sub Tubs® lessons cost?

Beginning in July, we are offering our Sub Tubs lessons at an introductory price of $7.99 each. You can reuse these lessons every year. This price includes everything: a letter to the substitute, a complete day of lesson plans focused on academic vocabulary enrichment, student worksheets, and additional activities for early finishers. It is a small, one-time investment that ensures your sub days will be stress-free and productive!

“Love! Love! Love your idea! All teachers I know talk about what a hassle it is to create sub plans…” Lisa Simonian

I am a substitute teacher. Can your plans help me?

Absolutely! We recommend having them available to bring on your sub assignments. If you find yourself in a classroom without any plans, no problem! You will be prepared to have a productive day with any class!

“I am a sub right now, but I am excited about using it some day! In the meantime, I’ll carry it with me as an emergency back-up” Nancy Cline

Welcome to Sick Teacher Sub Tubs