Sub Plans Suck

One of the worst things about being a teacher is how fucking hard it is to take a day. I’m trying to think of another profession where being out is such a labor intensive hassle. When my husband is sick he has to reschedule a few meetings and maybe push back a couple of deadlines. When I’m sick I have to leave detailed directions that account for every minute of my day, AND leave materials and resources available to execute those directions.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent 2-3 hours at work, before dawn, sick as a dog, getting my shit ready for for a sub. There have been days when the prospect of preparing for a sub was so overwhelming that I just went in sick (like really, really sick) to avoid the whole ordeal. It usually takes half as much time to prep for the day as the time you would have been there, so you only ever get part of the time off. It’s kind of infuriating how hard it is to not be at school when you’re a teacher.

Writing sub plans suck. Coming back and realizing your sub didn’t really follow them sucks even more. The whole thing fucking sucks.

Can you tell I hate writing sub plans? Can you guess what had me up past midnight writing this post?

It looks like my son has hand, foot and mouth disease so he probably can’t be at daycare all this week.

I guess I’m going to be writing more sub plans.


  1. Can your in-laws help? Or your husband? Or will you have to be out all week?

    It turns out C has an ear infection. My mom watched her yesterday, and today we’re splitting the day. It’s frustrating, but at least I’m getting some work done. I hope my boss realizes the effort I’m making!

    1. My inlaws took him yesterday. I’m taking him today. My husband is taking him tomorrow. We haven’t figured out Thurs and Friday but I’m sure I’ll be taking one of those days. Unfortunately my mom is out of town right now, I know she’s take a day to help us out if she were here.

  2. oh man that sucks. The sub plans sound grueling, and to have to do them on top of dealing with a sick kid or being sick yourself makes it really tough, I’m sorry. Thinking of you guys…

  3. Wow that is tough for teachers. My work is somewhat like your husband’s situation (but then of course no one is subbing and nothing gets done unless someone is filling in on a court appearance). I can somewhat relate tho–when I went out on maternity I wrote these detailed memos for people temporarily assigned my work to “babysit” (that’s a whole other topic re whether that’s appropriate vs. people being expected to actually handle your workload when on maternity leave). Anyway, with my 2nd kid, it’s like people literally didn’t read my memos and my work got put in a much worse posture than I left it. I’m still dealing with the repercussions on one matter 3 yrs later. And it was like I wrote 4 detailed paragraphs on a particular issue and how it should/should not affect things and why they should do X and then the person like took the opposite action of what I indicated. Wtf.

    Anyway, sorry you have to deal with this. My kids both got hfm last year–little one got it first–15/17 kids in the toddler room got it. Then of course big sister got it. My DH and I were out of work a combined two weeks (unfortunately no one to help out).

  4. Know an adult who got HFM from his child. Adult reported it is painful by adult standards and he was quite sick….and grumpy.
    Good luck!

  5. I completely understand, writing sub plans are the worst. Thankfully at the school I work at I can send an email with my plans and my coworker and best friend will set everything out. I also keep an emergency video with a worksheet in a drawer in my desk.

    Last week I woke up with the beginning of a migraine but decided it woul be better to go to work then stay home, I did not want to write out the plans!

    Hope your week gets better and your son feels better soon.

  6. Oh oof, I’m sorry on all counts. I had HFM last year (as an adult, obviously) and it was utterly awful, I feel for your son — hope his case isn’t too bad.

  7. Yes!! Sub plans are the worst. I panic every time my kids are sick because I don’t have emergency sub plans. So I end up writing them in the middle of the night, attaching resources and detailing every minute of my day only to find out that no sub picked up the job. Awesome.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *