3 Books To Prepare Students for a Substitute Teacher

Students laugh while substitute teacher reads to them

“Class, tomorrow you will have a substitute teacher.” These words have the power to bring out the worst or the best in students. For particularly little ones though, the absence of their regular teacher can elicit fear. To help students feel comfortable and to prepare them to be on their best behavior while you are out, have the substitute read a book that will set the tone for the day! We’ve compiled a list of 3 books to help prepare youngsters for a substitute teacher.

My Teacher’s Not Here by Lana Button

This short picture book tells the tale of a kindergarten kitten’s first experience with a substitute teacher. Following a catchy rhyming pattern and illustrated with drawings of friendly animals, this book is sure to ease any fears kindergartners may have about meeting a substitute teacher. You may even find them modeling after Kitty and helping the substitute out.

The Berenstain Bears and the Substitute Teacher by Stan and Jan Berenstain

This classic book series brings you the tale of the Berenstain Bears and their encounter with a substitute teacher. When the Berenstain Bears find out they are going to have a substitute the following day, they spend all night plotting jokes and pranks to play on her. However, they eventually discover that she is much more fun than they thought and spend the entire class day trying to undo their schemes. Intended for children ages 4 to 7, this one will certainly encourage good behavior.

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick

Another picture book for small children, Dear Substitute, outlines the reaction students may have when a substitute teacher disturbs their usual routine. In a series of letters, the main character expresses her frustration at every way the substitute strays from their typical Tuesday schedule. In the end, it teaches that different isn’t always bad and trying new things can be good.

Whether you plan to have a substitute in your classroom for the first time or third, these books are perfect ice breakers for any young class. They won’t take long to read and can stimulate great discussion to start the day on the right foot!


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