#b2s 5. Substitute folder in the cloud

This is article 5 from 13 things to do before the first day of school.

It happens, usually before you’re ready for it. The day you have to prepare for a sub. A sense of dread comes over you as you put together your substitute folder. It’s even worse when you’re sick at home, trying to prepare for a sub. I don’t have a solution for when you can’t be in your classroom, but I can at least help with the planning.

Creating your substitute folder in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, etc.) can be tricky to set up, but once it is done, you’ll be able to organize materials for your sub a lot quicker, and from anywhere you have internet access.

The first step is to find out what your school policy is for subs. Are they allowed to use the computer? What account do they use? In my district we set up a sub account for each teacher. The teacher would then put the username and password in their paper copy of the note for the sub, so the substitute teacher can log into the account and use the computer. To take it a step further, even the subs can have Google accounts you would then have an email address to use for communication with the substitute teacher. If not, inform the substitute about your Google Voice number.

Once you know the sub will have access to a computer, how do you give them access to your sub folder? There are a couple ways of doing this:

  • If subs are given accounts, you can share the folder with the sub.
  • If not, you can make the folder public (in Google Drive you can set the sharing so the folder is public if the person knows the link). Shorten the URL with https://goo.gl/ url shortener so you have a short url to put in the paper copy of the note for the sub.

You’ll still need a paper copy of procedures, rules, etc. for the sub, just in case.


If your school has Cloudprint set up for Google Chrome, you can print to those Cloudprint printers where you are. You don’t need to be on the local network to printer to the Cloudprint printers. This comes in handy when you can’t use your substitute folder in the cloud and can’t get to the school building. You can print to the building and have a friend or secretary take the printouts to your room.

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