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recent graduate looking for subbing advice
Old 07-22-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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I graduated in May with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Unfortunately, the job market in Georgia is very slim and it doesn't look like I'll be getting a full time position this year. I am still waiting to hear back about several supply positions. I am also planning on getting on the sub list in a couple of my local counties.
Here is my concern:
How do I make myself stand out above all the other subs? I will be the "newbie" and I don't want to get lost in the shuffle. I've noticed several people talking about business cards, but I'm wondering how to get them to the teachers since I have no experience in the schools. Should I mail them? Is it appropriate to hand deliver them to the secretary? I'm just not sure what the best course of action is.
Thanks for any advice you can give!


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Old 07-22-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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I left my teaching position at one school to finish grad school. That year I subbed. I did make cards (magnetic ones are great because they can stick them on file cabinets, etc.) and I did hand deliver them. I will tell you this about subbing in our school. The subs that show up time and time again, do a great job, and we see all the time are the ones that are asked first. The girl that did her student teaching last year is the favorite sub at our school. Everyone calls her first and she was asked to do an interim position for one of our teachers. Our job positions are slim as well. Our county has been laying off teachers so she's still subbing. I know the more you are seen and liked, the more likely you'll eventually get a position even if it's interim. So apply where you want to teach and sub there as much as possible!!!
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business cards
Old 07-22-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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My first thought was business cards. I printed them thru "123 print"---it was very fast, cheap and you could design it however you like. I used a big flower on my as the background since all the others I had seen were teacher oriented (blackboards, apples and such), I was hoping it would stick out. Also, I just went to the schools and handed them to the secretary and asked her to put them in the teachers boxes. It worked! I was busy within a month.

Good luck!
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business cards
Old 07-22-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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I leave business cards behind when I sub in a classroom (Unless the class was terrible and I don't want to be called back-then I'll just write a note instead). I've never gone to a school without being called to hand out business cards. I'm not sure if that's done here or not...
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Definitely hand out business cards!
Old 07-23-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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I made my own business cards both paper and magnetic. I wasn't thrilled w/Vista Print's free options, so I made my own. I highly recommend the magnetic ones because they make you stand out. I got my last teaching job by handing the principal and the office admin. assist. my magnetic cards. They were impressed.

Avery has a template available on-line and boxed perforated sheets that easily go through printers. I inserted my favorite clip-art as well as my name, employee #, phone and the 800 subfinder line too.

I went to schools that I had student taught at and those that were near my home w/in the district. I handed out the cards the week before school started. Most teachers will be in their classrooms that week before school starts preparing for the next week. Some may have a good idea of future dates for trainings, personal days, medical visits, etc. that they could arrange w/you. The office staff will be there and at the very least you could give your cards to them to distribute to the staff. I did this over two years ago then got a full-time teaching position and I still get calls today to sub because of those cards.


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lv2read
Old 07-23-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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I'm just curious -coz I am in Canada and you are in the USA (I presume)--

Don't you get jobs from a machine or do you get called directly from the schools? I've never been called by a school, just the system ADS. Is it normal in the USA to go to schools to hand out cards if you've never been there? The secretaries aren't going to request you--- plus I have a feeling over here it might be a faux pas (being overly pushy with your info) -- or maybe I'm just not forceful enough?

I get the feeling Sub calls in the US are handled a bit differently? I wish I knew someone in Canada who could tell me if they hand out cards at schools they've never been to. Kinda like cold calling I guess?

I mean, if it's done and I just didn't know about it, I should probably do that to get to schools nearer where I am but I don't think that's done until you've been to a school here.
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P.S. Unions
Old 07-23-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Where I work up here all the teachers are in a union and the union is kind of against preferential callout although it is in place-- I hand out cards to classrooms I'm in regardless like everyone else does (and put one on the staffroom bulletin board), but I just don't want to do the wrong thing and not realize it
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I worked as a sub
Old 07-26-2009, 06:14 AM
 
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for ten years when my own kids were young, and loved it! I've been teaching full-time now for fifteen years, but found those ten years were invaluable. Some things I learned:

Try to get a job early in September. Once in a building, do go to lunch with the staff (even if it's outside your comfort zone), and introduce yourself. If they remember your name and face, you'll pick up jobs-sometimes on the spot ("what are you doing next Thursday?"). Don't be too pushy, but listen for info about maternity leaves. Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time will get you a long term job! I used to start my year filling in for September and October Jewish Holidays for one teacher, which got my foot in the building early. From there, I got a steady stream of jobs.

Take anything. Music, Art and PE may be a challenge, but for the money you'll be making, all they really want is a warm body to keep law and order. Anything you can do above and beyond that is a blessing.

Leave a nice "end of the day" note, letting the teacher know about the day's events and sign it . It takes a little extra time, but it's worth it!

Be kind to the "invisible people". The cafeteria staff, custodians and library volunteers will remember you if you're pleasant.

Remember that the secretary and custodian are two of the most important people in the school: one knows where everything is, the the other has all the keys.

Do introduce yourself to the principal, even if you duck your head in the door for a few minutes. Ask to be kept in mind if there are inservices or workshops that will require subs.

Don't repeat gossip you hear in the teachers' room. They're in there to vent, and need to let off steam. You never know who from one school in a system is a friend to someone in another building.

Keep careful track of your paystubs. Way down the line, a million years from now when you think about retiring, you may be able to "buy back" your substitute teaching time (this from experience!) toward retirement.

I'm amazed at the notion of "business cards" (age showing again)! I guess you have to use whatever you can!

Best of luck!
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Thanks!
Old 07-28-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for all the great advice! I am working on getting my business cards ready to be delivered to each of the schools! I am hoping that I will be able to get my foot in the door and work my way into my own classroom next year!
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Calling system is used
Old 07-29-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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Amberlee,

The district that I am registered w/does use a calling system, however, teachers and secretaries can and do request subs through this system. There are many times when a position is not filled by the calling system and the secretaries "panic" and will start calling every name on their list until they find someone available.

When I dropped my cards by the schools, often the secretaries thanked me for doing so because they were often updating their "preferred sub list". We also have an active union however, each school generally establishes a "preferred sub list". This does not violate the terms of the sub's contract or union terms.

Granted there will always be those who feel that I am being pushy, so I probably won't get a call from them. This a price I'm willing to pay because I would rather have my business cards out there with a greater possibility for receiving phone calls, than not handing them out and waiting for the phone or system to call me. Anyway, I like to think of this as being proactive opposed to pushy


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Subbing
Old 08-17-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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I live in a rural area and jobs are slim picking here too. I graduated in May also. At the school I sub at the teachers do not contact the subs. When they need someone they let the office know. They can suggest someone but ultimately up to who does the calling, usually the secretary. I am doing some long term for teachers going on maternity leave. Hopefully I can get my foot in the door for a permanent position.
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