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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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how to do this?
Old 05-06-2017, 12:24 PM
 
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I've been subbing elementary classes for over a year now and really love teaching the kids. I am middle aged, and an experienced teacher and professional, but I don't have a K-12 teaching credential. I'm a good teacher, follow the lesson plan, leave good notes and a clean class, keep the kids in order, and the kids generally love me because I keep them engaged and interested. The problem is, I feel like a ghost passing in the night. I have talked with teachers and principals from time to time, but haven't made any headway getting requests to return. I still have to rely on AESOP posts for almost all my jobs. Is it more a matter of hanging out in the lunch room and making friends? I'd love to hear your advice.



Last edited by luv2teach2017; 05-06-2017 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 05-06-2017, 03:32 PM
 
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I have been subbing almost 20 years, but I am only on the official request list for about seven teachers, so don't feel too bad.

I would suggest you let the teachers know in your sub report that you really enjoyed the class and hope to return.

Even if you are first on a teachers list, however, this does not mean you will get the job. AESOP does not wait long before handling it out to the next available sub. Sometimes just 20 minutes after getting the request, the job is gone.

I really don't think that most teachers really care who the their sub is, as long as they leave things in order.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:04 PM
 
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Is this a school district that forces teachers to put their jobs in the system and then rely on the luck of the draw? I've heard of several districts who do not allow teachers to choose their subs, which is ridiculous. Just wondering if that might the case here. If I'm subbing for a new-to-me teacher, and I like the school, I leave my contact info in my note and tell them I'd love to sub for them again.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:27 PM
 
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mooba1, in my districts, I know the teachers do have to enter the job in the AESOP system. If they have a sub lined up, then they can assign it to that person when they enter the job. However, the assigned sub does have to confirm their assignment in the system, and if they wait too long, I understand that the job will become available to others.
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be visible
Old 05-06-2017, 06:26 PM
 
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Absolutely hang out in the teachers room--though if it's like what I've seen you'll be eating with other subs, paraprofessionals or by yourself. There are a few teachers I eat with but not a ton. Stlil, you'll get "hi how are you?" and become more visible to the staff. You can have business cards made up for free or low cost on vistaprint, and leave it at the end of the day. "I had a great day subbing your classes and would love to return. Here is my card if you could ever use me again." Next time you're in the building, pop in very quickly and just say "Hey I'm whoever, I subbed for you three days ago and just wanted to say hi. I had a nice time." Then if they seem busy go away quickly. Bottom line is---make yourself visible and known. If I happen to get a prep, I'm chillin in the teacher's lounge, catching up with other subs I know, or talking to security at the front door. If the kids say nice things about you, the staff will request you once they know you---they will feel more comfortable leaving their classroom in the hands of somebody they talk with---even if it's just a quick "how's your day going" type of conversation. They'll also be more likely to give you leeway if you mess up something minor, and will offer to help you if they see you struggling/having an issue with something. Don't just hide in the classroom and run out at the end of the day--or you'll never be more than an anonymous name on the sub list. S


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Old 05-06-2017, 07:53 PM
 
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Good advice, bandnstrings. Yes, do make conversation, even if the only chance you get is at dismissal. You can chat while watching the kids get picked up or waiting for the buses to drive away. Love the idea of just poking your head in the door and simply saying, "Hi, how are things going?"

One other thing I thought of that I do at the beginning of the school year is email the teachers I've subbed for the previous year, let them know I'm still subbing, would love to work for them, and give them my contact info again. I go to each school's website to get the email addresses. It takes some time, but it has paid off for me. I wish you the best of luck, and hope our suggestions are helpful to you.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:12 AM
 
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That is good to do. Given the nature of subbign, they may assume you're not back until they see you again.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:27 AM
 
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My reply is similar to Sirsubsalot. 20 years subbing and only a handful of teachers who consistently ask for me. I am not a good marketer; I don't like to present myself and say, "Hey, call me!" I have had teachers say they will definitely call me again and never call. I have had an aide introduce me to teachers because she thought I did a good job; it was embarrassing because the group of teachers was talking and she took me up to them and told them they should use me as a sub, and then the teachers said nothing and went back to talking. I have had teachers request me consistently for 1 or 2 years and then never contact me again.

So I have the handful of consistent teachers. One has already put me in for 4 days for next year. And for the rest I scrounge on Aesop. I have not had to purchase Jobulator yet but may have to give in to it some day. Some people have the gift of gab or know the teachers in their kids' school or have another "in" with the schools. I just do what I can to get the amount of days I need.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:23 AM
 
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Requests don't mean that much---I get requests all the time but it doesn't really help me get extra jobs because with the way AESOP functions, even if you're on the teacher's preferred list, sometimes the job goes out to everyone else just a few minutes later before you've even had a chance to grab it. I get probably 85% of my jobs from the jobulator app. Yeah, it stinks to have to pay for it, but it has paid for itself several times over with the amount of work I've gotten/ease of use.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:25 PM
 
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I really do not bother to market myself since there is nearly always work available every day.

At this moment, there are nine jobs available for tomorrow on Aesop at my busiest, albeit lowest paying district.

I did not choose any of them because there is plenty of time to get something better with a better pay day.

i simply act like I belong when there is conversation in the lounge, so I am always visible.


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Old 05-07-2017, 03:18 PM
 
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I'm not very good at "networking" either...it takes a huge effort on my part. But I think the most important benefit of getting to know the school staff is what one poster said: people are more inclined to be friendly and accepting when they know you somewhat. You're less liable to be scapegoated or viewed as "just another sub."
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:46 PM
 
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I sub in 10 districts. I have one district where a few teachers request me, the secretary asks me if I'm available in the future, and calls or texts me to see if I'm available. She plugs me into jobs in Aesop. In the other districts, they are not able to do that and the job goes out on Aesop. It doesn't matter how friendly or well like you are by the teachers or staff. The only time it does matter is for a long term job. That is where you need a good relationship with the secretaries and the principal/assistant principal.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:25 PM
 
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Here's my keys to success.

1. Do a good job; this means more than passing out papers and reading the newspaper. Principals want to see "active supervision" meaning that you are walking the room to assist students and nip behavior issues before they escalate.

2. Arrive early but not too early as to inconvenience the school staff. Also don't leave early, as this will be noted but usually nothing will be said unless you're leading the buses out of the lot.

3. Don't complain and don't gossip. If you say the students at ABC elementary are the worst behaved you've ever taught, teachers will wonder what you say about them at other schools. Keep your eyes and ears open and say as little as possible.

4. Be clear and concise with your notes; teachers don't have time to read a novel when they return. I generally take notes on the lesson plans if there is room and leave the teacher a one page (front side) note summarizing the day.

5. Business cards, as someone else mentioned VistaPrint (and other places) can provide you with low cost business cards. Leave a card after every sub job, unless of course you don't want to sub for them again. In that case I don't leave a card.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:10 AM
 
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I agree 100% with tips 3, 4, and 5. It's important to never gossip with staff or kids, to leave a very brief (but precise) note, and to leave contact info if you'd like to sub at the district often and get your name out there. (Avoid the break room if you can! Gossip central!)

Great advice. Crucial advice.

With tips 1 and 2, I do have a few minor criticisms that I've observed in my days as a seasoned sub:

1. "Doing a good job" can actually sometimes backfire. I've had situations where I helped the kids out but didn't help them the way the teacher liked. You have to be careful because sometimes what we feel is going above and beyond is actually viewed as a bad thing by teachers who explain material differently. Common core is a mystery to me still. Perhaps that's why I'm not qualified to be a full-time teacher.

2. Arriving too early is far better than too late. I'd much rather "inconvenience the school" by showing up prepared, than to risk it by arriving at the last minute. The arrival and departure times are rarely accurate in Aesop. Better safe than sorry I say

As for leaving early... well... if I'm checking out at the office and giving the secretary back the badge, it's not a problem unless they say: "Wait, don't leave yet" and then I disobey their orders and leave anyway. That would get subs in trouble. But if they say nothing and you say "thanks have a good night," then technically they have no case against you if they said nothing and your lesson plans say your day is over.

My view is if I have no more students for the day and the custodian is coming in the room I'm out of there. No need to stare at an empty room for an hour if there's no more teaching or duties for the day. Subs don't need to "plan" for the next day, especially if it's a one day assignment, nor do they ever tutor students. Don't understand why some schools aren't more clear regarding our arrival/departure times, or why they expect you to stick around if there's literally nothing for you to do. You're not a full-time employee and certainly not given the same level of privileges, rights, or salary of a full-time teacher by any means.

Sometimes lesson plans say nothing about what to do when your day ends. It's kind of irritating and awkward when they don't explain where to go for the last hour if there are no students you're responsible for.

What's amazing is I find even when I ask the office "do you need any coverage for the rest of the day?" It's almost always a "no, we're fine."

Maybe schools are just weird where I live. Who knows. lol.

Last edited by subasaurus; 05-09-2017 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:49 PM
 
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Most schools will simply allow you to leave when you are finished.

However, on early release day, or if you have last period prep, some of the schools have Principals or managers that insist we stay until 3:00 if we want a full day's pay.

They will either have us help out in the afternoon student program, or they will have us file in the office;

One school that is an independent study high school has no students come in the last hour.

I have always left without any questions from the office manager when we knew the day was over, which is about 2 PM

When I was at this school a few months ago, the Principal happened to be in the room when I was signing out.

As I was ready to leave, he addressed both the office manager and me.


He seemed surprised she was having me leave and said something like " You are being paid the whole day aren't you?"

The office manager apologized for letting me leave and said she thought it was OK since there were no more students. yet I had to go back and sit in the room for another hour for no logical reason

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Old 05-09-2017, 05:12 PM
 
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The school system I work in , has a computer database . It posts sub jobs as they are listed and it's a first person that claims it kind of thing. That being said, i know that at some schools the subs that routinely sub at that school get notified first (sometimes texted ) and they will grab jobs first. However, from my experience, if you follow the lesson plan, leave a note about your day, and circulate around the room during lessons, you usually get asked back.
all the best to you.
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All different
Old 05-09-2017, 06:23 PM
 
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Places are all different with leaving early.I view it as I'm paid"by the service". If you don't need me to do anything, you have no business keeping me there staring at the wall. I've had assistant principals send me home 1.5 hours early and say "thanks for everything you do here" others do the "we pay you this huge money for the whole day don't we?" ... Guess which schools I avoid
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:00 AM
 
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I think the key is to be the kind of teacher you would like subbing for you. I've been subbing for many years in a very large district with four high schools (my preference). With few exceptions (advanced math, advanced science), I can walk into any classroom and teach circles around the students. I've read all the required language arts books (Animal Farm, Romeo & Juliet, Mockingbird, MacBeth, Julius Caesar, etc. so I know the material. I walk into a room and take control. I also show a tremendous respect for students and welcome their opinions and input. I keep the classroom in control, yet I teach with humor. When a teacher returns and finds that a meaningful lesson was conducted, and when students say, "Can you get him back?" I get repeats. I choose one high school to work at and never have a day without work.

Another piece of advice is to maintain classroom management. This took years to perfect, but I will rarely need to provide any discipline other than take a student out into the hallway for a one-on-one discussion. I don't yell or demean the student. Bad behavior has a cause, so it's sometimes just a matter of finding out what that cause is. Students love to challenge subs. Don't let them make you angry. Don't make them make you get administration involved. I never sit behind a desk and give handouts and let students just work on their own (never works). If the instructions say "Have students read chapter 10 and answer the questions," we read the chapter out loud, and I will focus on the answers as I read before assigning them. I have the respect of the teachers and staff, and my hard work is rewarded by consistant jobs.

I don't understand when subs say they don't like high school jobs because it is just babysitting. High school assignments are never easy days for me, but I walk out knowing I've accomplished something and students know more leaving for the day than they did when they came.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiCharlie124
I never sit behind a desk and give handouts and let students just work on their own (never works). If the instructions say "Have students read chapter 10 and answer the questions," we read the chapter out loud, and I will focus on the answers as I read before assigning them. I have the respect of the teachers and staff, and my hard work is rewarded by consistant jobs.
I don't understand when subs say they don't like high school jobs because it is just babysitting. High school assignments are never easy days for me, but I walk out knowing I've accomplished something and students know more leaving for the day than they did when they came.
Sounds like your district is a lot different than the ones here. All students in grades 6-12 are assigned Macbooks and 95% of work is done on them (even some tests are done on them using the lockdown browser functions). Most HS sub instructions are a variation on the following: "Take attendance and call X to report who is missing. Tell students to check Canvas for today's work assignment which is due at end of period." I've had the occasional class where the teacher has notes for me to put under the doc camera, but normally if they know they'll be gone, they'll record themselves teaching the lesson (especially for math), and the students will watch it on their Macs. The HS teachers know that there is a good chance that whoever they're getting as a sub won't know anything about the subject or how to teach it (my district only requires 2 yrs of college (any subject) or passing an equivalency test to sub), and therefore they plan accordingly.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:23 AM
 
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Like the other poster said, yes, your district is set up very differently from many. In my first district, people were actually blocked for doing "too much" at the high school level. That level of activity would actually be frowned upon, unless you know the teacher well, it's your major area, and previously arranged. I did "real teaching" in music classes, but otherwise it was pass out the worksheets and watch grass grow. Plus, I'm really not interested in teaching Julius Cesar, Physics, Russian, Calculus (never took it) etc. There's just too much potential to step on the regular teacher's toes when it comes to interpreting literature etc etc. Plus, most teachers are protective and rightfully so. I wouldn't want somebody else teaching substantive material or introducing new material. Personally, I wouldn't even want a substitute giving tests when I'm not around, though where I am we do that all the time.

All that being said, you clearly figured out what works and is appreciated for where you are, and are doing the right thing for the schools you work in. Good classroom management comments too.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:44 AM
 
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It sounds like you already do what everyone else is doing here but no one's mentioned taking initiative with supervision. If you find yourself with a downtime, avail yourself by doing a little hallway/cafeteria/library duty. You could ask the principal or any of the clerks at the school if you could provide a relief to some teacher throughout the course of your day. I'm not in the habit of asking because I don't really want to be perceived as eager beaver and I'm open to reassignment once they notice. Believe me, there's a lot of campuses that have halls/library/rooms going unsupervised especially in a high school.

The best way as was already mentioned is to have a good rapport with the students. They will talk to their regular teacher and that's how it starts.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:52 AM
 
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Usually I make sub plans at home. I don't have my list of subs at home (why not? Who knows.) so if the usual 3 or 4 aren't available, I put it in as open for whoever to pick up.

When I come back, often I am too swamped trying to figure out what actually happened to sit back, relax, and thoroughly read the sub notes, especially if they are too long. I scan them to see what stands out and then set them aside. Sometimes never to be seen again. My job at that point is to decide how to move forward after a day away.

I have subs who have left me cards, folded origami, and whatnot. A better advert for me would be an email. Go to the school site, send me and email with your basic info and maybe a catchy phrase and remind me to save it for later when I need a sub. Then, when you are in, follow my plans, leave things as neat or neater than when you came in, and I would invite you back if I could find your name! I don't really listen to what most my kids say. If they tell me you were awesome, it probably means they did whatever they wanted to do. If they tell me you were mean, then that might mean you made them work. I judge on what the work looks like.

I hate it when I come back and 100% of every kid completed the work I left as that means someone else did their work.
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