LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Teaching is not an 8am to 3pm job. I knew that when I went into the profession, and I am happy to put in hours of extra time developing curriculum, working with colleagues and getting to know my students. However, during my first year, I was astonished by the amount of time I needed to spend on paperwork.

I’m not talking about the papers you will spend time grading. I’m referring to the papers you must complete — or create — in order to maintain a sense of administrative order and to keep track of your students’ needs.

Below are some templates you may use or alter to fit your needs. Maintaining these forms is a lot easier than scrambling to pull sub plans together or trying to remember which parents you’ve called. They also establish you as a professional who documents his or her efforts, which helps your portfolio and your relationship with parents, colleagues and your students!

Please note: Your school may have specific forms for some of these documents. Check with a colleague before creating your own or using one of these!

The templates

You can see examples of these templates in Appendix B, Paperwork templates.

Parent/guardian contact log

Noting interactions with parents helps you remember who you’ve spoken to, how to reach them again and what you learn from each conversation.

Parent contact log
Document by the author
Open as PDF (31 KB, 1 page; also available as Microsoft Word document)

Discipline log

A log of student behaviors and consequences, especially useful during conferences with parents and administrators about student behavior.

Discipline log
Document by the author
Open as PDF (26 KB, 1 page; also available as Microsoft Word document)

Multipurpose log

This is one form that can be used to note several things, including parent contacts and discipline records. I called home for almost every discipline issue, so I found myself writing things twice when I maintained separate phone and discipline logs. Switching to this log cut my time in half.

Sub plans

These contain all the information someone needs to keep your students on task when you can’t be in school. Create emergency sub plans that can be used at any point during the semester (map work for history students, for example) and leave them on file in the office. Later, if you have advance knowledge of specific days you will be absent, create separate plans that are more aligned with the content you had planned to cover on those days. (Find out whom to call when you need a substitute before school starts. Keep the number at home and in your car, in case you are delayed on the way to work.)

Substitute teacher planning form
Document by the author
Open as PDF (48 KB, 5 pages; also available as Microsoft Word document)

ISS (In-school suspension) plans

This is work for students to complete if they are unexpectedly removed from your room. Many schools require you to keep these on file in the ISS room or principal’s office.

ISS Plans
Document by the author
Open as PDF (36 KB, 1 page; also available as Microsoft Word document)

IEP (Individualized Education Plan) notebook

Use this to track the modifications you provide for exceptional students. Many schools require exceptional students to verify that modifications were provided by initialing entries in your IEP notebook. IEPs are confidential documents, so keep this notebook in a secure location.

IEP Notebook
Document by the author
Open as PDF (56 KB, 2 pages; also available as Microsoft Word document)

Grade book

You will either be given a paper roll book or access to an electronic grade program.

If you receive the paper version, skip lines between your students’ names to allow for later entries. Also, skip pages between classes to allow pages for attendance and for future marking periods. (Most teachers use one page for each class every quarter or six weeks.)

If your school uses an electronic grade book, find out if there is an official orientation to the program. If not, ask for a tutorial as soon as possible. The computer experts will be swamped with requests the week before grades are due. Save your grades frequently and print out a copy every time you update your grades.

Locker log

If you have a homeroom, you will need a list of your students’ names, locker numbers, and combinations. Many schools will also require students to initial a statement on this page that says they will comply with all school rules about lockers.

Locker log
Document by the author
Open as PDF (35 KB, 1 page; also available as Microsoft Word document)