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Tri19
 
 
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Tri19
 
 
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Thoughts about Substitute Teaching
Old 07-12-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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School begins in about one month in my area. Here are some issues I am having. The school system ditched the best sub calling service they ever had toward the end of the last school year. I had found a summer job, so left the sub list. Then the school system started having signups for being listed for next year. I couldn't go to the scheduled meetings because I had a new job. Then the new caller began to call me all hours of the day and night wanting me to sub - even the last day of school that was half day. Obviously, she was desperate to find a sub. This school system (small town and rural) is a disorganized political nightmare. Now keep in mind that I called, sent an email and wrote a paper letter to the school system telling them I would not be available for the rest of the year. I was basically threatened about not being allowed to sub again.

Subs are temporary nothings in this school district and I have watched for many years as nothing ever changes. Being called to sub when an ice storm is starting and schools are closing and roads are closed. Being place in rooms with dangerous students that no security guard can handle. Bait and switch tactics. Rude staff. No lesson plans, desks locked, no keys and no way to teach. The school system forgetting to pay subs for eight weeks due to clerical error.

There are full time jobs listed on the schools job board for next year. I have been trying to get hired for so many years it is ridiculous. In between subbing, I get other jobs wherever I can because sub pay is too low and the treatment is not good. Anyway the jobs listed have no date on them - many have been on there for years.

Here is what usually happens - I see a full-time job or even a part-time one that pays decently. I apply - go to the interview and find out that -surprise the job never existed - but would I be willing to volunteer for free or would I be willing to work noon recess (45 minutes a day and won't pay for gas to get there) or some other low paying job.

I am a licensed teacher and they have tried to get me to take the most low paying jobs.

Now do not say to me that is a foot in the door it isn't.

I have subbed or worked as support staff for 25+ years (laid off) so no the foot in the door business is rubbish.

The school system is bad about bait and switch. Tell you that it is a sub job one place then send to another place across the county (not worth the gas) or to a half day job or noon recess or whatever. This is always after you arrive at the building, then you get written up because you have to drive across the county and are late.

The calling system we had last year was wonderful - we could choose buildings close to our homes, choose grade levels and such.

Most of the time it worked out - until the school system started to bait and switch due to desperation - then lots of subs found other jobs.

The other issue is the pay is just too low for what we do - as a teacher the state takes out retirement benefits from my check too - even though I can't be in a union and even if I subbed everyday - it will still add up to next to nothing at retirement time.

The school system keeps asking us why people will not sub - but they argue with us about making changes.

1. Pay needs a drastic increase
2. Post the date on jobs posted for full-time and part-time contract positions and educational assistant positions.
3. Hire people off the sub list as teachers to encourage people to sub
4. Respect respect respect - subs are not allowed to use computers, whiteboards, attend meetings, attend training sessions, we do not have insurance, and the staff treats us like we are uneducated pieces of garbage (that needs to change)

I really want a permanent job that pays well - I am not going to volunteer or work a job that doesn't even pay for transportation costs.

Most people won't do this because they cannot afford to work for free.

I will sub if I have to but in the meantime I am looking for another job.

I know all the ways this school system can make improvements, but they only want to listen to certain people.

If I had it do over again I would not have gone to college to be a teacher. I have wasted so much money for nothing.


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Mercury Mercury is offline
 
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New job!
Old 07-13-2013, 02:48 AM
 
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Definitely get a new job! I don't think any degree is ever a waste because there are many professional jobs that require a degree, any major. You've been spinning your wheels trying to break into education for far too long. Time to go!

Some jobs you might consider:

Management. I know Walmart takes any degree for management, so do most rent-a-car places like Budget and Express. Customer service places will fast track you into management with a degree. Banking (management, loans, etc.) is another option, you might be surprised to know many banks don't require a degree specifically in finance or accounting or business...though they prefer applicants with those majors they often will take any degree, because they will put you through a training program anyway. Pharmaceutical sales, which is very lucrative, also takes any degree.

Look around, there are so many things you can do with your education that will provide you with a decent income and retirement.
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Good luck.
Old 07-16-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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Tri19...I agree with almost all of your points.

Issue of respect...A good point.

There was a post earlier about how some of us are uncomfortable talking about working as sub teachers...

Many folks, in and out of education community, have low opinion of sub teachers...

It would be nice if some college researcher did a study on how long a typical sub teacher stays on the sub list before he/she decides to get some other job...
I think the attrition rate is high...
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:37 PM
 
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I am sorry that you have had such a poor experience subbing. I loved subbing - did it in a number of different districts. I subbed for probably 4 + years, and throughout that time, I only ever had about 3 bad experiences. I do agree that subs are not paid enough, but I was never disrespected by staff.

As for it being a foot in the door - well, it was for me. After I left a full time teaching job because it was not a good situation, I subbed for the remainder of the school year. I happened to sub at a school I fell in love with. As luck would have it, a position opened up there last year and I got the job, in part because I was familiar with the school and staff.

You sound rightfully frustrated...perhaps time to look for something else.
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