Life Happens…Just When We Don’t Need it To

I’m a planner. I plan everything–my work day, my family time, my alone time–everything. Maybe it’s from spending most of my life listening for a bell to ring. I’m serious. When my son was a baby, I had a schedule that read like this: 6:00 AM, feed baby; 6:15, rock baby; 6:45, put baby in crib–you get the idea (too much information, perhaps?).

So, when things don’t go according to plan, I feel…off. Case in point–Friday morning.

I got up and began getting ready for work. My son got up, and he was sick. I was horrified to have to call in.

Even if you’re not a planner but you teach, you know what I mean. If you have the task of teaching the history of the entire world in 18 weeks, then you really know what I mean. We do not have time to get even a day behind.

I got a sub and began the lengthy process of setting out sub plans.

Sociology, let’s see, a movie and film guide. Check.

World History, hmmm…I was supposed to introduce Islam. I had a PowerPoint, film clip, activity, and a few Kagan structures going on that day. What to do?

Seriously, we couldn’t afford to get behind, so the sub plans HAD to be meaningful.

Then I remembered Teachers Pay Teachers. I sell products on that site, and I’ve used products on there in my instruction, so why hadn’t I thought of it as a time-saving sub resource?

I discovered on Friday morning that it definitely is. In under 10 minutes I had found a meaningful activity (creating a timeline, in my case) that required no prep and had step by step instructions perfect for a sub. My students got a thorough introduction to Islam without my being there.

The best part? I paid $1 for it.

This made me think–why do I focus so heavily on big unit bundles and exclude the small stuff?

So I loaded several small assignments–all under $2. Here are a couple of them:

The Fall of Rome: Different Opinions from Secondary Sources

Plato vs. Aristotle: Two Worldviews

Compare the Justinian Code to Your State's Law Code

The Mongols: A Webquest with QR Codes

What do you do when you have to be out at the last minute? Leave your comments below.

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