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luv2teach2017's Message:

try making a list of things that you could do that would take the load off other teachers.
Making a list is OK...but in my experience, teachers generally don't want a sub to "help out" without first running it by the teacher. Sometimes if you have down time, the office has clerical tasks you can do. It's a good idea to check with them.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
OneGreatSub 01-23-2019 04:13 PM

In my district they're called rovers. I hate rover jobs, because I generally will only sub 3-8, and, as a rover, I too often have been stuck in K or put to use as an aide for a preschooler. Yes, the district operates a preschool and some of those kids are in diapers. Yuck. No thanks!

lovetosub 01-22-2019 06:43 AM

Which school Iíll be at and which teacher I will be subbing for. Thatís stressful but the pay is decently more.

So itís like a regular sub job just the district gets to choose where I go.

Denise77 01-21-2019 11:59 AM

thank you for input Im agreeing with you on this...

Denise77 01-21-2019 11:57 AM

Ive just started subbing and my first assignment was as a floater.
I covered a number of classes while the teachers attended IEP staffing meetings as these were special ed classes
The classes had 1 or 2 paraprofessionals as well.
Some were a bit bossy to work with and yes there was not much for me to do.
I'm not sure if I would prefer subbing for 1 class all day ? Does anyone have input on this? and no lesson plans were left for the hour + I was left with classes?

SubMan 01-20-2019 08:14 AM

Where I am the floating subs like OP described are called building subs. Pay is a bit more and you do have to attend the professional development days as well. You do have to be interviewed by the district for these as well. To be a day to day sub all you need to do is submit your paperwork.

Floaters where I am are generally subs that go from classroom to classroom for coverage while teachers are at meetings. Sometimes you cover a special ed teacher for IEP writing or spend the morning in one classroom and the afternoon in another while teachers are in training.

I always have a book or magazine to read with me. Makes the day go faster.

luv2teach2017 01-19-2019 05:09 PM

try making a list of things that you could do that would take the load off other teachers.
Making a list is OK...but in my experience, teachers generally don't want a sub to "help out" without first running it by the teacher. Sometimes if you have down time, the office has clerical tasks you can do. It's a good idea to check with them.
TAOEP 01-19-2019 03:56 PM

If you really want to do something (as I probably would, unless I had a really, really good book), try making a list of things that you could do that would take the load off other teachers.

Bulletin boards
Stuffing envelopes
Straightening out library shelves
Popping in to a classroom for a couple minutes to give the teacher a bathroom break
One-on-one help or small group help
Helping to set up a science lab experiment
Entering grades in the computer
Grading papers

BayAreaSub 01-19-2019 02:11 PM

When I see the word "Floater" in the job description for a job in my district, this means that I will be floating from classroom to classroom for that day, while teachers pop out for short meetings or trainings throughout the day. I know what it will entail sometimes a week or two in advance, and I know that there will be small lesson plans for me in every classroom. Those are actually kind of fun once in a while, as I know I get to tell each class I enter that their teacher will be back shortly, and I get to tell him/her face to face how things went.

We do have something called "Emergency Sub", which means that you agree to be on call every day, for any class they want to send you to, and will get paid each day, whether you sub or not, at a higher rate than regular subs to boot. Now that is too nerve-wracking for me, even with the higher pay.

Tapdancesub 01-19-2019 12:58 PM

I enjoy the change of pace once in a while. I do elemntary and the fact that we now have to teach 30 minutes of first through third grade PE daily makes roving/float a welcome change. I check in at the office and thereís always something to do. The kinder and TK teachers always can use an extra set of hands.

luv2teach2017 01-19-2019 11:17 AM

I feel your pain! In my district, we choose our jobs, fortunately.

I'm like you...I need to stay busy. So I stick to elementary school full day teaching assignments. NO floating.

I've tried floating and it is just not for me. It's usually just moving from class to class babysitting for short bits of time while teachers attend meetings.

Oftentimes the kids are just doing busy work and so they are restless too and hard to manage. Sometimes the schedule is messed up and there are time gaps. So you end up sitting on your hands with nothing to do between classes. Makes for a fragmented day. No thank you!

YayaSub 01-18-2019 07:13 AM

I have had days like that, but not as an everyday thing. I like to use some of that time to get my steps in. I walk laps all around the building. The secretary has my cell number, so she can just text me when she finds something for me to do. One school sends out an email asking if any teachers could use some help. Sometimes I change out a bulletin board or grade some easy assignments. One teacher always needs help through the year with paperwork for a major 8th grade field trip. Or maybe a teacher could use a sub so she can write up her IEP notes she's behind on. I don't like to just sit either... it makes for a very LONG day.

InTheZone 01-17-2019 11:53 PM

You got my empathy. I have floated before, but it's not an everyday experience. The schools usually give me work they give to volunteers to fill in the dead time. Your job reminded me of substituting with a student teacher. The job's work becomes working hard to not fall asleep. I do my best to avoid those jobs because they are more taxing mentally than staying busy. I always bring materials like a book or an iPad to keep me entertained during dead time for every job.

Sublime 01-17-2019 10:16 PM

I assume you are getting paid regular sub pay for this? I would be horribly bored, too, even if I brought a book or work...5 hours is too much of nothing.

mkesub 01-17-2019 02:49 PM

I've done that sort of assignment. I like it, but I wouldn't want to do it every day.

I guess I just ALWAYS have a book with me, so I personally never feel a lack of purpose. A lot of assignments have a lot of down time, not just floating sub assignments. I think of it as bonus reading time. I'm also learning Spanish, so sometimes I use the time for practice. That is plenty enough for me. I did work as a full time teacher for many years, when I was so busy I was overwhelmed pretty much all the time, so I don't mind life being more calm nowadays.

It sound though like this might not be the kind of assignment for you. Do you ever do younger grades? I find kindergarten to be the most busy. I like doing kindergarten but there isn't as much down time as middle or high school, or floating assignments.

lovetosub 01-17-2019 09:20 AM

So, I have taken a job as a floating sub at a new district. This means that the district gets to choose where to send me, ie, to which middle or high school I am needed.

Most days are good except for the fact that they donít let me know which school Iím going to be at until 15 minutes before I want to get there, but Iím managing. (I literally donít get the notification of which school Iím at until 6:45.)

Today, Iím stuck in the library of the high school as a building sub waiting for them to need me. THIS IS SOOOOOO BORING! Iíve been here for five hours and nada, zip, zilch. I at least found a Terry Pratchett book I miraculously havenít read, but Iíve been sitting on this hard wooden chair for hours twiddling my thumbs. I like being busy. I thrive on being busy.


1. For other floating substitutes, how are you liking or not liking your job?

2. How do you deal with the lack of purpose on days like this one?

Thanks in advance.

Sincerely, Bored in PA

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