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Applying for substitute teaching jobs
Old 08-09-2013, 12:07 AM
 
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Hi all,
I am what would be called a career elementary substitute teacher. I do not have an interest in having my own classroom, but I am fully credentialed and have years of substitute teaching experience and jobs outside of teaching as well. Most days I enjoy substitute teaching, and most of the classes seem to enjoy having me as their substitute. I am very professional and take the job seriously, but also have a sense of humor about it. I had to move for family reasons and the district I am employed with is a long commute. I applied several months ago with a nearby school district that had posted a job notice for substitute teachers and received an automated reply, which basically boiled down to you will be contacted if the district considers you qualified and needs you.

Well, I haven't heard anything further, and now see that the same district has again put out a job posting for substitute teachers. I am having difficulty with the concept that I am not considered qualified to substitute teach for this district. Any ideas on how to deal with this situation?

On a separate but related issue--it is really difficult to provide something that seems to have become standard on job applications for substitute teaching, namely 3 _recent_ recommendation letters from people who are in a position to know your work. In a large district, you go to many different schools and the principals rarely come into the classroom, or if they do it is not for any extended amount of time. You don't usually get reviewed unless you are at a school site for an extended assignment, and you don't receive a review unless it is extremely positive or negative. If you do your job on a day to day basis with no complaints or raves, you don't get reviewed, and nobody really notices or cares, certainly not to the extent to write a recommendation letter that would be of any value to another employer. If you do manage to get some meaningful letters together, they are useless after a year unless you stay in touch with the people who have written them and they are willing to update their letters. Yet if you don't provide 3 recent letters, your application for employment will be rejected. I'm not sure what the solution is, but there has to be a better way!

Thanks for reading!


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Old 08-09-2013, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Well, I haven't heard anything further, and now see that the same district has again put out a job posting for substitute teachers. I am having difficulty with the concept that I am not considered qualified to substitute teach for this district. Any ideas on how to deal with this situation?
I always say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I would call the HR department, and explain your situation. Let them know you have already applied.

I'm wondering from reading your post if you didn't have enough references. As I said, call HR and present your case. If they need more recommendation letters, then I wouldn't hesitate to call up/email the teachers you've subbed for in the past. The answer is always "no" to the question you didn't ask. Good luck, and let us know what happens.
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I agree with mooba1
Old 08-09-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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the HR department may be very disorganized and needs prompting to find and activate your application.
I'd also contact some teachers who requested you often or for whom you did a long term assignment for a recommendation. You might also consider asking the secretary at any building where you subbed often--they are the people in the know.
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Wow
Old 08-09-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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Wow, I never heard of needing actual recommendation letters just to sub. I can understand leaving a few references (names and numbers). I guess some districts really want you to go crazy with the application. Maybe that part of the application is only for those applying to be full time teachers? Most districts around me require to see your certifications, list of references, fingerprint background check, a dr note claiming negative mantoux and contagious diseases, and a brief interview.
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An idea
Old 08-11-2013, 07:32 AM
 
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I can relate to what you're saying about the reference letters.

The best we can do is to ask teachers who seemed positive about our work. Since you are applying for a substitute job, the person hiring will have to realize that if you work at various schools you will run into the issue that you described, re: no-one knowing your work in-depth.

One suggestion I have, which I'm surprised no-one has brought up before when the topic of reference letters has come up here, is to offer to write a draft of a letter for the person and he/she would only have to sign off on it. Many years ago, I was in a job search, and I offered to do this for a few people. I knew they were very busy, and if it came to their having to write the letter from scratch, they might never do it. I told them, of course, that I would be happy to change anything about the letter. They all signed off on the letters as is. I made the letters sound positive, of course, without going overboard, lol. If you send them such a letter via email, they could easily change parts of it and/or add to it.

Good luck!


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Old 08-12-2013, 07:37 AM
 
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I think that any district which requires references as part of the paperwork needed to substitute teach, would allow non-teaching and maybe even character references as well. I would call HR as others have suggested to try and get your application active. Ask if non-teaching professional, and character references would be accepted.
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