Jamie Goodwin

What Should Substitute Teachers Bring With Them?

What Should Substitute Teachers Bring With Them? -magoosh

What should substitute teachers bring with them? Don’t show up to a substitute teaching assignment empty handed. Here are the some of the top things that you should have in your substitute teacher bag to get you through the day.

Behavior Management Supplies

Without their regular teacher in the room, students have a tendency to act out. As such, substitute teachers need to be prepared. If you have a hard time remembering students’ names, bring nametags for them to wear or cards to keep on their desks. Have stickers, stamps, or other rewards to hand out. Use positive reinforcements to keep all students on track throughout the day.

Lesson Plans

In a perfect world, every teacher would be prepared for the substitute teacher with clear and engaging lessons. Unfortunately, you’ll often fill in for teachers who called in sick that morning. They won’t have lesson plans ready to go, so you may need to improvise. Have lesson plans for every grade that you teach. Bring whatever books or activities you’ll need for the activities.

It’s also helpful to have filler activities ready to go. For example, include copies of word searches, mazes, or connect-the-dots worksheets. If your substitute bag is getting too full, keep all your files on a USB drive and bring it with you to each assignment.

School Supplies

Most classrooms will be well equipped with everything that you need. However, it can be difficult to track down supplies sometimes. Be prepared with markers, pens, pencils, dry erase markers or chalk, a whistle, and other supplies that might be helpful to have during the day.

Personal Items

When packing for a substitute teaching assignment, you also need to bring personal items that can help you survive the day. This could include the following items:

  • An extra jacket
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Snacks
  • Tissues
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Medications

Keep all of these items in a bag that you can bring with you. With your supplies in hand, you’ll be better prepared to handle anything that the day throws at you. What should substitute teachers bring with them? Add your ideas in the comments below.


  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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