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Subtastic's Message:

I only do long-term ESL - much smaller classes and easy to follow curriculum. To date, no one has cared if I've amended it and chosen my own books. Admin doesn't bother you because it's not a standardized test subject like math or language arts. There are such low expectations for subs that showing initiative goes a long way.
I would find a regular ed class exhausting, and with the low daily pay, not worth all that work.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
bagano1 10-27-2019 04:35 PM

Put yourself in that teacher's shoes and you'd do the same thing, sad to say.

bodhimom 10-27-2019 09:41 AM

Whenever I read a teacher's note that says how easy the day will be, I know I'm in trouble.

SergeBlerge 10-26-2019 06:28 PM

I did a long-term stint a couple of years back, in a resource room for about 7 special ed 6th grade kids. It was a district I was subbing at, but only ever got offered jobs at their high school, not ANY elementary schools (which was weird because aesop had it checked off and I had NEVER been to any of the elementary schools before i was offered this 3 week leave replacement). They called me out of the blue, a sub they have never seen or met before, and offered me a 3 week stint in a resource room, and i accepted, thinking this would turn into something real, a good stepping stone. I even got a call from the teacher leaving and she totally upsold the position, going on about how lax and easy it would be, how good of an assignment it would be, and how great her kids were.

It was all a bold-faced shameless lie.

It was the worst 3 weeks ive ever had in my subbing career. The kids were AWFUL. Rude, argumentative, arrogant, lazy, complaintive, defiant, inattentive. It was weird considering it was a district in such an affluent area, but out of the 7, 1 was good. There was a 1 hour block where i had all of them and i dreaded each and every day at that hour. The pay wasn't as high as i thought it would be and the i faked my attitude about it every day. On the last day I was SO happy to be done with those punks, and i left a very very honest letter to their teacher, telling her this was the most difficult class i had ever worked with. She was obviously a liar, and it was VERY obvious that they had offered this position to every teacher they knew and EVERYONE declined, fully knowing how this class was. So they found my name on the sub list, talked it up, and conned me into taking it. I never stepped foot in that school again.

Aillya 10-24-2019 12:07 AM

I handled three long term gigs last school year, and while it was pretty nice for my wallet, the actual work was kind of exhausting. The workload gets quadrupled, but the actual pay increase barely reflects that. The money's just good because it's guaranteed days; the increase itself is not much higher than what I already make, and since it's applied retroactively after 20 days and I'm paid once a month, I generally don't even SEE the pay increase until the next pay period, over a month and a half later. That's assuming the district doesn't screw up like they've done three times in the past, where the school never notified payroll about my rate change so I got the bonus pay delayed even further. Always notify payroll in person just to be sure. Nobody can do their jobs, but we're the ones without the job security.

If I disregard the money side of things and I'm 100% honest, I really hate going in every day. One of the only things I like about subbing is getting to leave it all behind at the end of the day and go somewhere else tomorrow, or go nowhere tomorrow. The freedom is really the only upside to the job. The pay sucks. There's no benefits (like health care, etc). You have to fight like hell to get any respect from anyone. And the brief period of time that I'm there is never enough to actually observe students growing over time, especially since my district even limits long term positions to 30 days max. The only upside is that most days are incredibly easy and I'm free to work whenever I want. LTSing takes that factor and throws it out the window in exchange for a minor daily pay increase, and waaaaaaaay more work.

As a complete aside, EVERY time I've taken on a LTS assignment, I've had to fight for weeks to get access to the online grading system that every other teacher in the district uses. It's so infuriating, because one of the quickest ways to get kids to do what they're told is to show them that you definitely have control over their grades. Yet every single time, barring one instance where the teacher actually gave me her gradebook password (which I don't think she was allowed to do, but it helped immensely and I'd LTS for her again anytime), the district has always been so late on getting me set up with that, not to mention other logistical things like a district email so I can access things like their district-wide login systems, email chains, google classrooms, etc. They never want to be supportive about any of this so that I can do the job of a real teacher, but then they want me in their room for 6 weeks pretending to be a real teacher. It's stupid that I should have to ask for stuff like this for weeks before getting it. And every summer they deactivate all of it and I have to go and repeat it at the start of the next year. So inane. I could go on for hours, but I'm not trying to derail.

tl;dr I hate LTSing but the reliable money/ability to make a budget for once is too good to pass up so I always do it anyway and then tell myself that this time will definitely be the last time but it never is.

Having said all that, I'll second the people saying it's a good way to get a foot in the door, but I've generally only seen this sort of thing in schools that lose teachers like crazy, or in departments that have a hard time recruiting anyone, like special ed. Those places, at the end of an exhausting and stressful 30 days, will always approach me telling me that I should definitely get fully credentialed and then come work for them, and my immediate thought is that I'd rather go back to food retail than be stressed like that for the rest of my life. Of course I respond politely in person, but yeah. I feel like I've racked up a lot of good references from LTSing though, so it's good for that as well. And if you actually want to teach special ed, I know a couple of teachers who got their start by subbing and then interned on the job basically, so it's pretty good if you don't mind being in a department/school that most people avoid.

dietcoke99 10-12-2019 06:30 PM

I've only had one long-term sub position, but I put my heart and soul into that job and then they didn't pick me up. I was devastated. It's not worth it to me. At the beginning of the next year when applications come in, there is a good chance somebody will show up with more experience, I think. I won't do it, again. It doesn't count for tenure, either.

luv2teach2017 10-06-2019 02:26 PM

As I mentioned in my previous post, it all depends on the person and circumstances. It's hard to make generalizations about long-term jobs.

However, if you are not a trained teacher and have weak classroom management skills, then taking a long term assignment is most likely asking for trouble. It's important to know your limits and not get into something you're not equipped to handle.

The pay also varies from district to district. In the case of my district, the long-term pay is considerably more than regular sub pay.

My current long-term assignment pays well, but it is labor intensive and extremely challenging. It's not a "cushy" job by any stretch. The school is understaffed, and so a lot more is being demanded of everyone. I'm having to figure things out and handle problems on my own quite a bit (fortunately, I'm resourceful).

All the same, I am an experienced teacher and sub, so I'm able to handle the class and responsibilities. It is a heavy load, I admit, especially with all the testing! Despite the pitfalls, I am finding it interesting and rewarding, (albeit stressful).

subasaurus 10-06-2019 03:43 AM

I fully agree.

You have all the same responsibilities and duties as a full-time teacher, without the respect or pay.

I can barely even tolerate two day assignments anymore. There's always some kind of drama that conveniently becomes the sub's fault in those jobs.

bagano1 10-05-2019 05:56 PM

I'm not going to lie, I'm not certified and I wouldn't consider myself great at classroom management. Principals know this. Yet they still ring my phone off the hook for long-term jobs. My mother subbed and she routinely quit long-term jobs. I subbed and found out why myself. It really sucks. The teachers that do tend to stick around seem to give up and just sit in a corner.

I guess if you luck into a great school, it can be a great time. I remember two long-term subs at my private school and they weren't good at all, but that was a gravy job because every class was easy, looking back at it. If you end up in a bad school teaching something you're clueless about, it can become a nightmare real fast.

Subtastic 10-05-2019 03:57 PM

I only do long-term ESL - much smaller classes and easy to follow curriculum. To date, no one has cared if I've amended it and chosen my own books. Admin doesn't bother you because it's not a standardized test subject like math or language arts. There are such low expectations for subs that showing initiative goes a long way.
I would find a regular ed class exhausting, and with the low daily pay, not worth all that work.

BadKitty 10-05-2019 11:21 AM

Iíve been trying to get a long term sub job for three years. Even if it was hell, Iíd still want it for the experience. Iím applying to long terms that would be over an hour drive from me.
Are you a certified teacher and/or in any position to move?
We have about 90 open positions, and about half are for certified staff.
Most positions are filled by long term subs.
I've never applied for LTS jobs, but that's all I've ever done because principals seek me out through word of mouth.
elepen 10-05-2019 04:46 AM

I agree that long term subbing is a good way to get your foot in the door if you're looking for employment.
I'm retired now and unfortunately I also had a bad experience long term subbing like Baganno 1.
It was for a 3rd grade class for the last 7 weeks of school. I knew from the first day what my time would be like. Screaming, yelling, meltdowns, loud and hyper and it never stopped. I stayed because I needed the money and was pulled out the last week and replaced. Really
after I had been in there for 6 weeks !!!!!!!
I prefer day to day subbing, sometimes a couple of days but that's it.
So sad I don't feel comfortable going to a school I really loved subbing for

Fractured 10-04-2019 07:44 PM

Iíve been trying to get a long term sub job for three years. Even if it was hell, Iíd still want it for the experience. Iím applying to long terms that would be over an hour drive from me.

Ima Teacher 10-04-2019 07:33 PM

I loved my long-term jobs. I did two long-term jobs that led to being hired full time the next year. Unfortunately, that job ended after one year due to RIF, but I was picked up at another school for a whole year leave position. That led to the job I have now.

luv2teach2017 10-03-2019 10:31 AM

i think it really depends on the person and circumstances.

I'm doing a long term 1st grade right now (I prefer teaching the littles) and do not regret it. It's very challenging, I admit. Definitely a lot more work and stress than regular subbing.

But for me, it's worth it. I really like getting to know the students and school and seeing the inner workings of things. Other teachers and staff have been helpful and supportive too. And it pays well.

TAOEP 10-02-2019 07:58 PM

Around here, long-term subbing is one of the best ways for an inexperienced teacher to develop expertise and contacts that ultimately result in being hired for a full-time teaching position.

BadKitty 10-02-2019 05:27 PM

Sorry to hear you've had a bad experience. I've only ever long term subbed, and they've all been vacancies so I work from the first day of school to the last day of school in the same position. The other teachers don't even know I'm a sub until I tell them. The students and parents think I'm a "real" teacher. Maybe I've been lucky to have worked in awesome schools

bagano1 10-02-2019 03:04 PM

They end badly 95% of the time and will make you look bad if you quit early. I'm not even professionally trained but there's no way I can see myself going back to school to teach kids like this. I feel like many of the kids don't understand someone is paying for their education and that they should be appreciative. The schools completely enable their bad behavior which they carry into the work world, something I've experienced personally. When you see 16, 17, 18 year old's throwing a tantrum over a seating chart, you know something is wrong. Then they talk loud over videos shown or lectures, ask you when you will finish your notes or for the paper early. The rudeness is unreal.

They are saying no one wants to go into teaching and I've heard rumblings that coaching and refereeing aren't even popular anymore. I believe it. The abuse from some of these kids is just unreal.

Apparently, I was the only one stupid enough to reply and take this job according to the principal. I hate to leave it but I don't know what choice I have. Guess they will have to have a robot, aka online learning or something teach when I leave. What a shame.

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