As many adults can attest, the day a substitute teacher showed up in class and simply put in a movie that had nothing to do with the curriculum was the day the student wondered, “Why did I even come to class?”
Obviously, you can’t control every time you need a sub. And you can’t control exactly how they’ll teach. But providing a clear lesson plan on what the sub should cover that day, definitely helps, so that kids feel like going to class was worth it, and that they actually learned something. If there are any special resources such as articles or videos that go along with the lesson, tell them where that should go in the lesson. Give them a guide on the flow of how the class should go that day (or days).
Giving the sub background information on what you’ve been studying can help them understand the context of what / how to teach. You want to prepare them for your individual classroom because not all are alike. This is especially important for you if you have any problems with students or students with special needs because the substitute should be aware of what might happen in the classroom. Having them replace you without any knowledge of the class might not be the best idea. Communication is key!
You can’t control everything, but do the best you can by providing your substitutes with a clear lesson plan. It goes a LONG way!