Ever lose your lesson plans? What I mean is, do you ever physically have them in your hands one moment, and then suddenly realize you have no idea where they are?
This probably doesn't happen very often to regular teachers, but I bet it does to subs. It happens to me quite often, which shows how easily I misplace things.
Most subs probably like to keep the lesson plans handy. Subs, you understand, have mere moments to familiarize themselves with the day's schedule and lessons. We refer to it every few minutes to get details on the lesson, to anticipate what happens next, and to generally feel safer knowing we have easy access to it. Kauai Mark was right when he called the physical copy of plans a "security blanket" for subs.
I move around the room a lot. I walk around, check on students, stop in certain areas. Sometimes, the lesson plan is in my hand. And then, suddenly, I realize it's not there anymore. And I have to find ways to backtrack and look for it without calling attention to the fact that I have no idea where it is. I guess I could simply ask, "Hey, has anyone seen the lesson plan?" but that doesn't seem very professional, does it? I don't want to alarm the students or get them off-task.
Plus, you only really need to know where it is so you can know what's happening next. For instance, the students may be working on math and you know you need to start the science lesson soon, but you forgot how long exactly they have to finish the math. Should they be wrapping up now, or in ten minutes? And what time is lunch again? Where is that plan?
Usually, what happens is I stop by a student's desk and leave it near them, or I stopped to help someone fix the pencil sharpener and left the plan on a counter or desk, or a million other things. I've left plans on top of overheads, on bookshelves and in chairs. I can usually spot it quickly when I walk once or twice around the room nonchalantly.
Today, I almost completely lost the darn thing, though. I was talking to students and I accidentally placed the plan in the pile of math worksheets I'd just stacked up neatly and was paper-clipping together. The plan was tucked away halfway inside the stack without me noticing, and I went for about ten minutes without it, which must be a record for me. It was sheer providence that I happened to notice it in the stack of worksheets! The funny thing is that the students are never aware of any of this. At least, I don't think so...