Does anyone else hate subbing? - ProTeacher Community





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Does anyone else hate subbing?
Old 07-19-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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Am I the only one that hates subbing? I feel like I am the only one in the world that hates to sub and cannot find a teaching job.


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Sometimes
Old 07-19-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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I go back and forth. There are things that I like about it, and there are things I hate about it. I would prefer to have my own classroom though.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:26 AM
 
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I also like a few things about it. Overall though, I really hate subbing. I suppose part of this is that I was forced into doing it for 3 school years (going on 4 possibly). The kids are often horrible, and you don't get to connect with them or other staff members. And- you don't get to do any real instruction Oh well- at least we get weekends off and don't have to worry about things at the end of the day, eh?
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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I would prefer to have my own classroom. I sometimes hate subbing, when I have a tough day or get called and need to be there in 30 minutes, or there are no lesson plans.. But sometimes it is nice to not have to grade papers at home and deal with parents and administration.
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Mixed feelings.
Old 07-20-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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" I go back and forth. There are things that I like about it, and there are things I hate about it. I would prefer to have my own classroom though. "


I agree. I have mixed feelings. The biggest problem with sub work, for me, is the pay...


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Then why do it??
Old 07-20-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Honestly, if you hate subbing then don't sub. Our subs get paid SQUAT! I have had MANY jobs of min. qualifications that are easier in just about every way and pay WAYYYYY more - like twice + more/year. so why not go be somethign else while you look for another job? I can only imagine that as the year wears on and the kids get more difficult that your lack of joy in the job translates to the kids making it that much harder on you! I know towards the end I was havin ga hard time w/ the behaviors of the students and I can't imagine dealing with it if I didn't enjoy it and know it was temporary!

Why not be an aide in the district?? They generally have an easier time as they have set goals in their day and do the same things over and over and while I will say it has its own challenges it is easier than subbing.

P.s. I sub altho I have had higher paying jobs b/c it works w/ the flexible schedule I need and I have another work at home job that supplements.
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I like it
Old 07-21-2011, 04:58 AM
 
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I actually like subbing. I like the flexibility of it. I like be able to decide what grades or classes I would like to work with. I have not encountered too many horrible classes. If you sub a lot in the same school you can establish relationships with the students.
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Subbing has its moments
Old 07-21-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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I'm retired, and not looking for a teaching job ... it might make a difference.

The negative things (bad behavior, trouble with teachers/administrators, etc.) tend to be disturbing, and linger in your memory.

The good things are usually more subtle. In the mall, I'll hear an eighth grader tell her mom, "He was my sub!" Kids in the neighborhood will wave and call me by name. I find that many MS and HS students, who had previously had some problems with me, will eventually settle down and participate in the classes. A new 7th grader will tell me, "my brother told me that you are his favorite sub."

I sub in MS and HS only, in one district. The kids get to know me. Even if they are not model students, we get to an understanding about what will and will not work in the classroom.

All in all, I think that the good things far outweigh the bad.
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It is a ...
Old 07-21-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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means to an end. It works for my family right now. I just take it one year at a time. For me a big plus is that I have summers free to do my other job, I was just offered a long-term position for MS and I turned it down, for what I would be paid it is honestly not worth my time. I would have to grade papers, do lesson plans and all the joy that goes with the start of the school year and I have 2 kids at home that have another life that starts at the end of the school day. I was extremely flattered and validated to be asked, but no thanks.
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I love it!
Old 07-21-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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Ok, maybe not every single day but most days I really enjoy it. This will be my 8th year as a sub. I'm not a certified teacher looking for a job. This IS my job. I had to learn it all on the job but I seem to have a knack for it.

I only work at a couple of schools so I do get to make some connections with the kids. I've watched some of them go from kindergarten all the way to 5th grade. Since I also cover for specials classes I've met nearly all the kids at one time or other. When the new year starts the only kids I won't know are the ones that just moved here and the starting kindergarten classes. It's nice not to have to start over with every kid every year.

I'm getting so bored this summer that I can't wait for school to start again.
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It can be ok if you don't need benefits.
Old 07-23-2011, 05:04 AM
 
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It can be ok if you don't need benefits or retirement. If one is trying to get a contract, then can be ok.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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I used to like subbing in the beginning, but now I hate it. I've become so bitter and angry that i can't find a teaching job. I love working with the kids. But I hate subbing cause it leads to nowhere. Schools are happy to keep you as the sub and never consider hiring you. Principals are too busy to observe you, so subbing doesn't create any new references, and mine from college are disappearing. I would LOVE to be a TA, but those jobs are also hard to find. Subbing at least keeps me in the school system, but I have come to hate it. I do not want to sub again this year. I've applied to numerous private schools and for TA positions and can't even get an interview. I know the economy is bad, but it really wears on your self esteem, and makes me wonder why I even stay in education. I can't afford for it to take years til i get my own classroom, as I am single and need to pay my own bills instead of living at home.
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TXlady, and all others :)
Old 08-01-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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When you visit schools do you do your best to meet the principals? Even if they're out (about 95% of the time for me it seems) just asking and leaving my information with the administrative assistant makes an impression (spring long term sub job, I didn't apply for - staff recommended me and the principal contacted me through my subbing agency). I know that it really varies from one area to another how many long term jobs, subs, etc. but this has really helped me and many others I know.

You're absolutely right. You don't get references- the teachers don't see you teach unless you team teach for a long term job. And the principal cannot observe. It is really stinking hard. I'm on year 4 of subbing, and am married, and young. I've had second jobs, and scrounge sub jobs sometimes to make sure I'm working every day. But in the end, it's what I really want to do and I'm going to do everything in my power to get there. Just have faith that when one opportunity passes, another will arise. I'm just NOW making progress, after 3 years. If only the economy were better
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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I have tried to meet the principal. Left messages with the school secretary. Done everything possible and nothing. I subbed at one school in particular and this principal was not interested, so i may stop subbing at that school.

References have become a HUGE problem for me. I have 1 reliable reference (college professor) left from college. Others have told me its too long to still be serving as a reference or do not return my emails, and then my university supervisor got terminally sick. I know it sounds like a bunch of excuses, but i've had really bad luck. So I keep on contacting schools I had previously applied to back when these references were good (and their info is already in the system). I have 2 teachers I've subbed for that can be "personal references". Might be good enough to get me a lowly paid preschool job.

Its going to be really hard to get hired anywhere when you've subbed for years and don't have any "supervisor" references anymore. I sooooo wish I could get a TA position.
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I understand the frustration.
Old 08-01-2011, 10:35 PM
 
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" I used to like subbing in the beginning, but now I hate it. I've become so bitter and angry that i can't find a teaching job. I love working with the kids. But I hate subbing cause it leads to nowhere. "

Yes, I do agree that merely being a day-to-day sub teacher is a "dead-end" job.
I do sometimes imagine how my life could have changed if I ended up getting a full-time teaching position many years ago...Then I end up feeling frustrated...I eventually have to remind myself that many people have failed to get full-time positions...


" I do not want to sub again this year. I've applied to numerous private schools and for TA positions and can't even get an interview. I know the economy is bad, but it really wears on your self esteem, and makes me wonder why I even stay in education. I can't afford for it to take years til i get my own classroom, as I am single and need to pay my own bills instead of living at home. "


A charter school was looking for an onsite sub teacher...He/she would sub for an absent teacher if there were any absence. He/she would serve as an instructional aide in a humanities class if there were no absence...
I applied for that position. The administrator emailed me. She stated that about 170 people applied for the position. No, I was not invited to an interview.

I do have a "reference" problem too...It is not easy to get references as a day-to-day sub teacher.
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References
Old 08-01-2011, 10:58 PM
 
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Have you guys tried ASKING teachers you sub for to be references?

Teachers who request me regularly have always been happy to be references for me. I'm in the middle of the interview process with a charter school right now (fingers crossed!), and they wanted a ridiculous number of references...I think the guy said at least five! After exhausting the obvious people (director of the tutoring center where I work p/t, etc.), I just sent out a whole bunch of emails to teachers who request me a lot and got back three "yeses" almost immediately. (I'm going to assume that the others don't check their school emails during the summer. ) Most of these people haven't sat and watched me teach, true (except one guy who does some team teaching with a partner, who I also sub for a lot), but I guess they feel that they know my skills well enough based on what their kids know when they come back, and from talking with me when I'm around subbing for their co-workers.

Oh, and last week while I was trying to scrounge up references I was lucky enough to run into a principal on the street, and guess what? He also told me to give the charter school his number. I probably wouldn't have had the guts to ask him if I hadn't seen him that day (and I almost didn't even then), but I would have been being silly, and not being silly paid off!

It took awhile to build up these kinds of relationships, but that's really all it took--I'm not so special; if I can do it, you can too.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I did ask 2 teachers I sub for to be references for me. One is only comfortable being a "personal reference" as she told me she can't comment on my teaching ability. Other teacher I subbed for was more than happy to fill out the school reference forms. I may even contact some other college professors even though its been several years now.

What really got to me is I put my cooperating teacher down as a reference on those online school district applications, and she never returned the forms (i can check that online) even a few months after I finished student teaching. So I no longer list her. Hoping not having your cooperating teacher as a reference won't ruin my career.
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Subbed for many years
Old 08-02-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Subbing could be so heart wrenching, not getting a call for days, not being treated like a "real" teacher by the other teachers, being in classrooms where the plans are not complete or the behavior of the students is the pits. I feel for those that are subbing and so desperately want a full-time job. I think my saving grace was having one school (K-2) where I became so well known by the students and the other teachers that I felt like I had a place to call "home." I have used many of the ideas that I gathered from those years of substituting to inform my teaching, and I think it has made me a better teacher!
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I really know the feeling, and you're not the only one. I really have a love-hate relationship with subbing. There is plenty that I enjoy, like not having to do lots of work or dealing with parents/admins etc., but I have been trying to get a permanent teaching job for 5 years and am frustrated. It's been back and forth with me... year 1: subbed daily, year 2: full year LTS, screwed over for permanent job, year 3: subbed daily/had maternity leave LTS, year 4: subbed daily til Jan., then LTS rest of year, interviewed for permanent position and lost it to a guy because they had to fill a quota, year 5: full year LTS in a job I LOVED, teacher I was in for retired but position was cut do to budget. Despite experience, great references, etc. I will probably be back to subbing and I am dreading it. The pay is the main thing, I made good money last year and my husband doesn't make a ton... and now I'll be earning peanuts. Most districts where I live pay subs $100 a day, no benefits/union or anything. It's just tough when you felt like a "real" teacher, which I my credentials say I am, and then have to go back to being a 2nd class citizen in schools. I do it because I love working with kids and want to stay in the schools (sort of) doing what I was trained to do. I also want to network and better my chances of getting a job.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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I am sure it is different in every system. We tend to have subs that are "regulars" and I know most of the staff would write references, in fact I have and have personally contacted people when I know subs are up for jobs. It's a shame that the one wouldn't. Frankly, you can tell if they have good teaching skills by what was done, how the kids talk about the day, etc., so shame on her.

Unfortunately, too many schools are going to automated subs, our district is talking about this and we are really unhappy because we get to know subs, they know the kids, routines, etc and it makes life for everyone easier. I know our principal would hire a number of them if only we had jobs. This is a horrible time to be looking and I understand your frustration and dislike for the job . I wish you the best and hopefully a better experience this year or a position that will give you some peace until a classroom comes your way.
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Hates to sub
Old 08-17-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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Kysub, you are not alone. My first year teaching, I was a sub in Stockton, CA. It was such a bad experience that when the year ended I hated working in education. I shredded the paper asking if I would be returning the following year. It took approximately six years for me to return to education (in my own classroom).

I did sub one more time. My step mother is the principal at an elementary school. Her school was on a traditional schedule, while my school was on a year round calendar. One of my step mother's teachers had a doctor's appointment while I was off track. As such, step mom asked me to sub. I didn't want to say no when she asked me to take the class, so I accepted the assignment. By the time the regular teacher showed up from his appointment, I was ready to run from the room. It was so bad that I didn't even turn in the timesheet. I told my step mother "this one was on me, but don't ever ask me to sub again."
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