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Jul 5, 2024

Six Ways Screencastify Can Help with Substitute Teaching Plans

Liz Flores
Success Operations Manager

Many of us at Screencastify were teachers before, and as any teacher, we all experienced the pain of arranging a substitute day. It might be planned or unexpected, but the disruption can significantly affect the flow of the classroom. For the substitute teacher, it can also be a challenge to step into an unfamiliar environment without knowing how the group works and how to address the lesson planned. Here is where Screencastify can make a huge difference! 

As Sara Kaltenbaugh from Windham Southeast SU in Vermont says, “Substitute days are awful, but with Screencastify, I can record myself giving directions and show students in my screen what they should be doing, so hopefully and usually pretty much all students will actually understand directions and have something done when I’m back.”

Screencastify is a powerful tool for maintaining continuity, engagement, and quality of learning during substitute days. Here’s how video can be a game-changer in these situations:

1. Continuity of Instruction
As Sara mentioned, one of the main concerns when you step away from your classroom is interrupting the flow you’ve been building for weeks. By using video to pre-record lessons, you can ensure consistency with your planned curriculum, allowing students to continue learning without missing a beat.

2. Familiarity and Comfort
Seeing a familiar face is also key to ensuring continuation and engagement. Even if it’s through a screen, seeing your face will ensure students are on track while helping maintain a sense of normalcy and stability in the classroom. This environment is especially relevant for younger students or those with special needs.

3. Quality of Content
No matter how skilled, substitute teachers may not always be familiar with the specific subject matter or teaching methods that best work with your class. By recording videos with Screencastify, you can facilitate content in the way that you know is most effective for your students; you can also reference previous lessons or shared experiences that would resonate with your students the most. Add Captions to your videos to enhance your experience of inclusion!

4. Engagement and Interaction
Without you there to evaluate engagement from all your students, opt to add Screencastify Quizzes to your videos. Adding attention spots during the video will keep your students attentive and ensure that the key aspects of the lesson are well learned. This is also a fantastic way for substitute teachers to ensure that the lesson is going in a good rhythm and that the day remains productive and interactive. Screencastify quizzes provide great analytics, which will help you determine who needs further help or which aspects of the lesson were not well understood upon your return. Be sure to check out both short-answer and multiple-choice options.

5. Seamless Integration with Technology
Regardless of the technology setup in the classroom, video is one of the most flexible resources. With Screencastify’s seamless integrations to learning management systems such as Google Classroom, Canvas, or Schoology, teachers can ensure that their resources are easily accessible to both substitutes and students. By giving students access to recorded lessons through an LMS, they can access the videos created for the substitute day and consult previous lessons all on their own.

6. Clear Instructions and Expectations
Sara mentions using Screencastfy to record instructions and show what is expected for the day. These instructions set everyone for success as students know what to do and how the substitute teacher can better manage the classroom. Like Sara, you’ll know for sure that “something will be done” during your absence and where to pick it up to continue.

Next time you prepare a substitute lesson, use Screencastify as your ally to create practical and effective lessons that maintain instructional quality, enhance student engagement, and ensure a smooth and consistent experience during your absence—your students and substitute will thank you for it!

Love the idea? Snag our free sub plan template here.

Liz Flores
Success Operations Manager

As Success Operations Manager, Liz works to support teachers, schools, and districts on their path to successfully implementing Screencastify in their classrooms.