Question for subs about Aesop and subfinder - ProTeacher Community





jazzer jazzer is offline
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Question for subs about Aesop and subfinder
Old 08-18-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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I have a question for those of you who used to get sub calls from live callers and now have to use Aesop or subfinder now to get jobs.

My husband has been subbing for over 10 years at two relatively medium sized, wealthy school districts and has become a preferred sub over the years.

For the past 10 years, both of his districts have used live human sub callers and he would usually get calls in the evenings so he has been able to avoid early morning calls.

He just found out that both his districts are moving to the automated systems for the new school year. One district will use Aesop, the other will use subfinder.

For those of you who have worked with live callers then were switched to these computerized systems, which method has gotten you more jobs.

Though I teach full time, I occasionally read the sub boards and have heard many complaints about these systems. This makes me worry that my husband will not work as much now.

I would like to hear about your experiences with both or even just the two computer systems in general.

Thank you.


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Subfinder
Old 08-18-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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One district I sub in uses subfinder and the other on has a person calling everyone. Personally, I like subfinder because you can choose what jobs you want if there is more than one available. The person calling never called me unless I called her first. I have not subbed for ten years though. I think she calls the ones who have been there the longest first and then the newbies which did not get me many calls. Anyway, subfinder is usually locked in the evenings and it is hard to get jobs if the phone doesn't call you. But, once school has been in awhile I am sure he will get more phone calls from subfinder. Lastly, the best time to get jobs is between 6 and 7. In my district that has subfinder we can get the jobs unlocked if we email the lady that is in charge. He needs to find out who to email so he can get jobs in the morning.
I hope this helps in some way and I did not ramble too much.
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Subfinder/Aesop
Old 08-18-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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My district is set up so that the teachers can request us if they know our sub ID number. If he has a lot of teachers that normally request him, I would find out if the district that uses Subfinder allows teachers to do that (not all do), and make sure he gives them his ID number.

I used Aesop when I was a regular teacher and we had a preferred sub list we could create, and the school could create one too. The subs on those lists would be called first. This is good for subs who have gotten their name out, but not so good for new subs. Again though, not all districts have this available to them, but if his does he again needs to talk to the secretaries/teachers about getting on their preferred lists.

I subbed right out of college is a district that called people with a person, and even though I student taught there, I hardly ever got called. The secretary always called the subs who had been there longer first, and I only got the jobs they didn't want.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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I've never worked for a district that used Subfinder or SmartFind (I've never used AESOP) that did not allow teachers to request particular subs by ID#. So really in my experience the question is whether you're getting requested, not who is calling. Either the teachers/secretaries tell the sub caller they like you, and you get called; or they request you by computer, and you get called--it's really 6 of one, half-dozen of the other.

However, though I've worked in districts that use automated systems and a district that had a real person, I've never worked in a district that changed from one to the other, for whatever that's worth.
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SubFinder is great
Old 08-18-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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Teachers using SubFinder can still request your husband and now he can get jobs from teacher who don't know him.

He should make cards with his SubFinder number on them.

Also, if you log in to SubFinder, you can find jobs online that they haven't made calls for. Calls are made between 5 and 9 at night for next day/later sub jobs, so if you log on at 11, or 3:00, you can find jobs before they are called out and you can snag them.

Also, calls for day of positions are made between 5:30 am and 2:00 pm.


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Old 08-18-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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Personally, I love the computerized subfinder. It's the best way to make sure you are getting a job that you want to do, and not being stuck with THAT class. Still, as the year goes on, you might find you're in the same situation I found myself in. Less subs, and you find a certain job just won't go away on the sublist. That's when they give you a call, practically begging you to fill in.

I wouldn't think your husband will have much of a problem. If he's in demand, he'll still have his jobs filled, even weeks in advance. He won't have to worry about getting online early in the morning, because the teachers will make sure he's covering their classrooms. Subfinder does not substitute a teacher's personal requests.
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I love our aesop...
Old 08-18-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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I love aesop. I probably wouldn't sub w/o an automated system. I think if your dh is well known and has built a reputation this will do nothing but improve his subbing experience. I suggest he take the time to contact any teachers he works for on a regular basis prior and let them know he's subbing again this year and would love them to schedule him any days he is available in the system.

FYI It may take awhile to get input as a preferred sub in the aesop but it will come with time and I hope he ends up liking it as much as I do.
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Aesop preferred lists
Old 08-18-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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I just wanted to point out that not all districts have the preferred lists for teachers to use. Aesop has all kinds of options districts may or may not use. The district in which I sub doesn't use the option of preferred lists. Teachers do not have the ability to use preferred subs. I don't know if districts have to pay more for this option or if it is available to everyone.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:32 AM
 
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I have one district that calls, and one that used to call but now uses AESOP.

I think I actually work a little less, but it's because I'm more picky now. If I'm not sure I want something, I'll leave it out on the computer system and see if anyone else takes it, where I was less likely to turn down a human caller. But if I wanted to work more, I absolutely could.

Things I like about AESOP -
  • I like checking the computer on my schedule rather than calls coming at bad times.
  • I like being able to choose things that are on the system ahead because I know they are personal days, not sick days. (Better plans, and fewer germs.)
  • My AESOP district is a much shorter drive than my other one, so it's nice knowing if there is something available there before the other district calls.
Things I don't like -
  • There is no seniority on AESOP, so I lost my "near the top of the list" status and was lumped in with everybody.
  • If a sick-day turns into two, the kids are not likely to get the same sub back the second day, when human callers would have tried to arrange that. I think consistancy is better for the kids.
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Ideas
Old 08-26-2011, 10:32 PM
 
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Can your husband check with the sub office or HR (whoever handles subs) and find out if the District allows schools to have a preferred sub list (the jobs show up for those people before going out to the general sub population) or if teachers can request or assign particular subs.

If so, he can drop by various schools and classrooms and leave a card and say he'd be delighted to be put on their preferred sub list.

My district has both options and I see jobs for several schools before the general pool and have teachers call to see if I'm available so they can assign me.
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Aesop
Old 08-27-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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When I was subbing I was using AESOP, and would log on constantly because jobs could go quickly. However, once I was in a school a few times and got to know several of the teachers, they would request me to the building secretary and they would just log me in.

Since he is a preferred sub, I would suggest he pass a business card with his name and number on it (Vistaprint is really good and cheap!) to the teacher's he's worked with often or even to building secretaries if he's comfortable. Then they could call him and see if he's free, then put him in for the job themselves rather than him logging on.
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Generally a great system
Old 10-27-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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I have subbed in districts with both a live caller and AESOP and while not perfect, I greatly prefer AESOP.
Living calling has many limitations: you have to be ready to receive a phone call and it often comes at the last minute. Assignments are essentially take it or leave it. You are dependent on someone to reach out to you. Some districts have a rotating list; others have a preferred list. Either one means you may not get a call.

With AESOP, you can preview assignments in advance, and i often found work days in advance. If you have a bad experience with a class, you can skip over that assignment. There was one class I covered that was particularly challenging and when the teacher put in a posting for coverage, it sat there untouched for a week, so clearly word had gotten around. You can choose preferred schools, and choose NOT to get phone calls. If you are aggressive about frequently checking for assignments, you are more likely to get work than a place that has a rotating list or a preferred list (unless you are one of the preferred subs).

Frustrations of AESOP: If you accept an assignment, you are blocked from seeing any other assignments that involve that day, be they a full-day assignment (if you book a half-day assignment), or a multi-day assignment that includes that day, i.e., the system doesn't want you changing an assignment for a better offer. If you are in an assignment and the teacher is out the next day, unless the teacher calls the school and tells them to manually book you again, you will not know about that assignment. There are many days I repeated checked for assignments, only to find nothing posted. Sometimes you click on an assignment, only to find that someone else has already grabbed it.

When you get well established as a sub, school secretaries will often call you directly (thankfully during normal business hours), knowing that you like working at that school, or will ask you as you are working at a school one day if you would like to return for another day. This is a "hidden feature" of AESOP, which explains why sometimes there are no posted assignments.

Overall, I think it's the way to go for substitute teacher assignments
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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I have been subbing in two school districts for 6+ years. One of these districts began using Aesop this year. I do not like it! My main objection is that the solid reputation I had established over the years for reliable, high-quality work is now of absolutely no advantage to me. Anybody who is registered with Aesop has as good a chance of getting any available assignment as I do, despite my years of excellent service. All someone has to do to get a particular assignment is to beat me (and everyone else) to the Aesop website once the job has been posted. Aesop does, of course, allow teachers to designate preferred subs, but the window of opportunity to respond to a preferred sub posting seems to be very small. Many times, I have received an e-mail alerting me to the fact that a teacher has offered me first shot at an assignment. But I have found that within 15 minutes of my receipt of the notification, the job has been posted as available to all comers, and someone else has grabbed it. To me, that hardly seems like preferred sub status. My feeling is that Aesop puts subs in competition with one another, and that the main criterion for winning that competition is not quality of work but rather speed in scooping up jobs.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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I am currently on the sub list for 5 school districts. Three use Aesop and two use callers. I have had a call from the one school district this year. The other school district never call before 6:35AM. They use a complicated points system where you accumulate points for how often you sub, certifications, etc., so I am at the bottom of their list. With the school districts on Aesop, I have to say I work at finding jobs. With one of the districts I am currently booked 7 days in January and one in February. The district where I am booked ahead appears to give teachers the ability to have a preferred list since I occasionally get e-mails that a teacher has posted a postion. It doesn't really help since the job is posted at the same time I get the e-mail. Most school districts are not using all of the capabilities of Aesop and Subfinder. Be aware that many subs are getting notified on their Smartphones as soon as the jobs are posted.
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