Last night I was busy writing up my note for the teacher. He'll be back tomorrow, and I'll be off to another assignment. That's the way subbing goes.
Since it was a seven-day assignment, I typed up my note on the computer. I think better when I'm composing on a word processing program, probably because I get such awful writer's cramp when I use a pen. This way, I also get to keep a copy of what I wrote (all but what I add at the end for what happened today).
This is not usually the way I do notes to the teacher. After some time subbing, I came up with a way to streamline the process.
What I usually do is to "grade" the class. I have my own system. I made up a grid and a "grading rubric". I found that it goes so much quicker to jot down a number and a couple notes rather than trying to compose a full on note every day.
My grid has four columns. In the first column I give the class three scores. The first score is for behavior. For example, a class that was silent and on task for the period gets my highest score (some teachers reward this). A class where "some made better use of their time than others" gets a middling score.
I use the second score to rank the classes best to worst (although some days I skip that one). And the final score is the answer to a question: did they cooperate with me? (That answer is usually "mostly" or "somewhat". They are teenagers, after all.)
As for the other three columns, I list who left the class for whatever reason (to office, to restroom), any names that I need to list (good or bad), and any miscellaneous stuff that isn't covered in any of the other columns.
I found that my system cut down on the time it took to write a note. I can usually have the period noted in about a minute.
But when I work a class for longer than a day or two, I like to leave more detail. So, while I didn't need to list a lot of misbehavior this time, I did want to give a sense of what the classes were like while the teacher was away. I think I captured it nicely.
Then again, tomorrow I'm only going to be a couple doors down from this class, so I could just tell him.