An irresitable practical joke: Alternate sub plans

by Mr. Sheehy

One day last year I was out for some reason and my sub was a retired teacher from our department. I’ll call her Helena. I had known she would be my substitute and I left her with my plans rather than improvised nonsense (which is what I usually leave when I do not know the sub). As it happened, those plans were to introduce the works cited page to freshmen. They were good plans, I am convinced, and most of the material was on a page of instructions I left for students. Alas, Helena pointed out that they were not exactly the usual substitute fare, and she has repeated to a number of our colleagues how ludicrous my plans were.

On Monday I’ll be at a conference showcasing a digital citizenship resource that I helped build and I have Helena as my sub. With such foreknowledge, I could not resist a little fun, and I have left some “alternate” plans on my desk for her. The real plans are safely stored with another colleague, who has promised to intervene before Helena has a heart-attack. With you, I share the plans Helena will see first.


Sheehy English lesson plans for Monday, April 19

Red 1 Eng 10

This class is beginning A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Puck’s Monologue

Students need to memorize Puck’s monologue by next class. They have not seen it yet, but it rhymes so I figure they’ll be able to get it. Repeat it lots of times and let me know if they haven’t quite got it down.


The play is required reading for English 10, but we do have two more speeches to fit in, so we’re going to need to fly right through it, not wasting a moment of any class period. Please explain to students the names of the characters and who loves whom and how the fairies fit into the scheme. Then help them act out Acts I and II. If you have time, begin Act III, but if you don’t quite finish it, I understand—it’s long.

Red 2 Planning

I have planning but do need to cut through the stack of paper on my desk with the paper cutter. We like to make the paper into ¼ page sizes. Be careful with the cutter—you can really only put three or four sheets in at a time.

Red 3 Eng 10


This class is a bit ahead of the other English 10 class, so they’ll need you to guide them through Acts III through V and begin acting out Act V. Please assign parts and have them begin to memorize their lines.

Red 4 Eng 9

Students in this class are working on a research project.


It’s really important that students know how to evaluate sources for trustworthiness, so begin by explaining to the class how to do this. Then using the books in the back, they need to know how to make a works cited page and the author page citations. While hands on work is good, I understand if you’re more comfortable just lecturing with this material—it’s a bit of short notice for an activity

Helena,  thank you for coming in and helping me! It’s nice to know I can leave real plans.