Unexpected absence? Everything is planned! A tip to implement without delay

Managing your absences (planned or not) and transmitting your planning to the substitute is sometimes a headache? Here is a tip shared by Julie Chandonnet, primary school teacher at CSS de la Capitale, who takes advantage of digital technology to alleviate this task and reduce stress. You will be ready to face any eventuality.

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

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by Julie Chandonnet
Primary school teacher, CSS de la Capitale

As we know, teaching is one of those jobs where taking time off is a lot more work than showing up for work. This is even more true this year, when the instructions relating to hand washing, sharing of premises and disinfection of all kinds multiply and change over the weeks. And what about the unforeseen absences that occur at dawn? The panic! 

A friend (thank you Carl Parent) shared with me, a few years ago, his tip for making the planning of his absences easier: a Google Document (or other editable document online) and a QR code. So simple. You just had to think about it!


The first step is to create a shareable document, such as Google Document or Word Online, where all our planning will be recorded. Once the planning is complete, it is shared in read-only mode. With the share link, we create a QR code using a QR code generator (my favorite: Unitag). All that remains is to display this code in plain view in the classroom or on his desk., so that a possible substitute has access to this planning as soon as he arrives at the school. 

One of the advantages is that this document remains editable by the teacher, at school or at home, and especially that everything does not have to be redone every time. We can leave all the information on our class routines, school rules and health instructions there, which the substitute can consult if necessary. Preparing for a substitute only takes a few minutes now, as all you need to do is focus on educational planning. Another advantage is that it is very easy to add links to videos, websites or other documents that should be used in class.

AT do not forget

  • Warn a colleague of the location of this code, you can never be too careful!
  • Display the instructions for reading a QR code (many still do not know that their phone's camera has a built-in QR code reader).
  • Bookmark the link to the planning document for quick access.

What I like to point out, what is useful:

Extract from the online planning document
  • planning, scheduling, monitoring;
  • information about students such as special needs, who can help and / or who needs to be supervised;
  • the name of a colleague who can lend a hand;
  • emergency activities if the work is done faster than expected;
  • what is or is not allowed in the classroom (snack, listening to music while working, etc.);
  • class routines;
  • what to do in case of indoor recreation;
  • where to find the material.

And if I think of something else the same morning, no problem, it's like direct access to my class via the substitute! 

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