I have left my students with a substitute teacher today, along with a task to read a portion of the essay "A House Of My Own" by Sandra Cisneros. This is the Introduction she wrote for the 25th anniversary edition of the book.
I have created a set of questions for my students to address (A House of My Own), all of which focus on ideas and concepts we have been exploring throughout the unit on The House On Mango Street. I believe I have assigned just enough for my students to remain busy and engaged for the entire class session; I plan to complete the essay with them when I return. If there is any time left in the period, then they may complete any peer response workshopping that may be still be unfinished.
Since I am unable to articulate this lesson's progression with authenticity, as I will not be the one to deliver it, I thought it might be useful to itemize how I prepare my students for success with a substitute, when I know in advance that I will be absent:
Most teachers will admit that it is more stressful to be absent from teaching than it is to be teaching. I have found that establishing clear procedures and expectations for my students in the event of my absence can help to alleviate some of that stress!