I just had an interview on Friday at a new district with pregnant teachers galore.
The principal stated that he would consider me for a long term sub and for a permanent para. The long term sub is for a teacher and pays more, but the permanent para position has benefits, but the paras do double duties. This means you stand out in the rain for 2-3 lunch/recess duties to cover all of the teachers (who NEVER go outside for duties), can get moved around at will and bounced from one room or student to the next if your regular student does not come that day, etc.
I was told they are strict about taking off days, for full time/permanent teachers and paras, and you are expected not to use many days off in that school. Benefits are nice, permanent job placement is nice. But a long term sub for maternity leave looks just as inviting. It will also leave me free to go to other districts and possibly be free if a new position opens up (which I feel is a lot less likely and not hopeful it will ever happen, but like the freedom to pick where I will go each day).
Do a listing of pros and cons. Rather like you already did.
Then pull out a quarter and say and mean: "Heads I sub, tails I para" and flip the coin. Whichever way it lands, if you say "Let's try for the best 2 out of 3" you know how you feel about that choice and what your gut wants to do.
Good luck with your decision. And know that any choice can be adjusted later. If you take the para position and it isn't your cup of tea you can leave it in June. If you sub now and decide you want to para later, there will be other openings, eventually.
Normally I would say permanent para is better because there are benefits, but if there are a lot of pregnant teachers, then it is highly likely that one of them might quit, and choose stay at home mom, so that my open up a position. Therefore, you would want to prove yourself as a good replacement by doing a good job in a long term sub position. It sounds like you're leaning towards the long term sub job.
I'm not looking for full time anything right now, but if I was, it would depend on exactly what the para position was - there's a big difference between a general aide in preschool, a one-on-one to an older child, etc. I would consider whether I would be comfortable with the exact duties, and the teacher I'd be working with as well.
Of course, if you really need the benefits, the para position most likely wins, but if it's not the school you really dream of working at, the long term sub sounds better.
Gosh, I'm no help at all, am I? But I like the coin idea. - Once it's in the air, you'll know how you want it to land!
due to moving to a new area. I ended up taking the para position just because it offers insurance...that was the only draw. It doesn't pay enough to cover my gas there and back. Because of my education and years teaching, I am at the top of the pay scale as well.
It has been sooo nice though. I do not have lesson plans, assessments, grading, meetings or anything else. For my own sake, I do a little minor documentation. But instead of carrying a huge binder, I have a little planner/agenda. Occasionally, I have a little data collection but the teacher has to plan it, explain it and set it all up. I "teach" lessons and otherwise support the students assigned but the teacher leads all of it. I do not miss it a bit.
My DD17 and I hang out after school and take road trips on Saturdays if DH is working. We are closer now than we've been in a couple years.
My off-the-cuff response was going to be go for the long-term sub position. The likelihood of at least one of the teachers deciding to stay home with her baby is very great, and if you do an outstanding job as a sub, you could already have your foot in the door.
After I thought about it some more, I can see the benefits of the para position---in some respects. Really, you will have to do as a pp suggested and list the pros and cons. Is job security and insurance more important right now than flexibility and a chance at a higher-paying (but more stressful) job?
From the tone of your post, it sounds like you are thinking the long-term sub job is a better fit, but only you know for sure.
if you could use the benefits and security of the FT job then a para is great..but if you are like me and enjoy the flexibility of subbing and knowing you are not stuck in a certain job forever then a long term is better..my kids are still young so while i enjoy a long term job here and there i prefer to pick and choose as my schedule allows.
My long term sub positions were my ticket to a full-time teaching job. It's a chance to 'get into a real classroom' and 'be like a real teacher'. I gained a lot of experience AND it gave me an opportunity to show what a good/capable teacher I was, catching the notice of the principals. So, when the rather small district needed full-time teachers, I was one of 100 teachers out of 5000+ applications that actually got a full-time position. If your primary goals include increased income and a full-time teaching position, then I would choose the LT sub position. If your first goal is to go in, do your time for a certain number of hours and have income and benefits, then I would choose the para pro position.
I was leaning towards the long term sub, but now I see many benefits of the para such as no lesson plans and the insurance of course. It would be for a middle school, so no duties as they won't go outside, but I am not 100% sure it does not include toileting! Not sure.
In our districts, being a para does not lead to teacher, it is the opposite. You are "type cast" into being only a para. I accepted para jobs as that was all that was offered in the beginning of the year, and I became known as the girl who was excellent at being a para and no one called for teacher jobs. I knew this as when I sign in, I always look very carefully at who is signed in for teachers, so I know who they were calling for teacher and for paras. I took a few days off and would not take para jobs (I just said, "I am already booked today as a teacher, sorry" not to be rude, and I just stayed home as a test).
Next thing I know, I am being called only for teacher jobs. The best scenario happened when I tried this little trick and was really booked as a teacher. The sub caller (who also takes the best sub calls for herself, unethical but true), was at my district as a teacher sub and saw me there as another teacher sub. It was heaven, because it proved to her I was not lying after all. She started booking me ONLY as a teacher after that.
I am so glad I did not have the interview yet, as it will be in Jan when the school district comes back into session. I will interview for EVERY job they have at this new school, and see what is the best fit. But thanks because your comments have made it easy to have a good attitude either way and I have good questions to ask. Thanks again, much appreciated.