Attitude towards substitute teachers....

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ktmiller222, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Nov 13, 2014

    Ok, well I'm not going to try to come off as someone trying to talk bad about teachers because I was a teacher for a few years in another state. I KNOW what teachers go through each day and the the stress! Sorry for the long post!

    So I started to sub this school year after quitting my job of 4 years to focus on getting back into teaching in one of the hardest states (PA).

    I'm in a few good school districts right now as a day-to-day substitute. One of the districts is the #1 in my county. I thought I would like this one the most because of how glorious it is....well that changed quickly. I've only met maybe 2 nice people in this district. They welcomed me with open arms and had nice discussions with me. The other teachers have been nothing but snobby. The principals don't even care about anything when I go and introduce myself to them. They (teachers and principals) don't say hi in the hallway, the act like I'm ruining their day when I need to ask them a question, if there is recess/playground duty all of the teachers group together and don't bother talking to me, etc...I find it very immature and very disappointing knowing it's the top school. To be honest, I cancelled a job last week because I did not feel like being treated as I'm a nothing. I have already accepted a few jobs in December in this district ( I accepted them before I hated this district)and I already want to cancel them. BTW, their sub plans are horrible!

    The other two districts, people have been nice and welcoming for the most part. There are some teachers and principals that don't seem too interested in knowing who I am (not even my first name...) but hey I can't expect everyone to be nice!

    Since I hate that first district so much to where I already cancelled that job last week, I decided to put a sub application in another district. I already met with the HR person and got all my paper work in. She was really nice to me and had a nice convo with me about where I grew up. I have a good feeling about this one but I guess I will wait to find out.

    Now, those who subbed before, is this normal or am I just acting a little too hurt? When I was a teacher before, my school loved the people who came in to sub. We always talked to them and invited them to have lunch with us! I don't feel the love as a substitute lol. There is one school that calls me and the secretary says they love me there, but that is one school out of dozens! Any advice??? I just don't understand it. As a former teacher, I think it's important to treat subs well because you need them for when you can't be there! Ah!! Hoping for a good 2015.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2014

    Teachers who are overworked, stressed, and/or unhappy probably aren't focused too much on subs. I don't think that the behavior you're seeing is about you. I don't even think that it's that those teachers are complete jerks or something. It sounds like they just have other things on their mind. I'm sure that it doesn't feel good, but you can't take it too personally. It's just how things are in some schools. Since it bothers you a lot, I think that you're doing the right thing by not returning.
     
  4. Mathman82

    Mathman82 Rookie

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    I agree, don't return! I am very thankful for subs and I'm very sorry you had to experience this. I think it's impolite of those teachers to do that to you. Wish you were at my school, we are thankful for you, you have a hard job!
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    All I can say is that it has been a long time since I subbed in the lower grades. At the HS level, the most common complaint is that the sub didn't follow the lesson plans, but that almost always included use of technology, which is notoriously fickle, which is often not in the lesson plan. There does seem to be a tendency not to include subs in talk or lunch at HS, but MS, where I spent a ton of time, was not like that. No one wanted to teach MS - they wanted the younger kids. I was a favorite person just because I would show up day after day and work with this age group. I also freely admit that I was well known to most of these teachers, since I had volunteered regularly and my son was in the school. The beauty of subbing is that you go where you want to go. However, if you don't find a way to relate on a personal level with these teachers, you may find one district to be pretty much like another.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree with this. I personally rarely ever talk to other teachers' subs. It's not because I don't care for or appreciate the work they do, but I'm just not into small talk with people I don't know - especially when I have a lot of work to do. If a sub comes to me to ask a question, I'll gladly help them, but then I'll move on and get back to my own work. I used to hate when I was a sped teacher and had para subs in my room for this reason. I didn't want to have to deal with the small talk all day long. I go to work to do my job, and I want to stay focused on that job while I am there so that I can go home at a reasonable hour. If I'm going to waste time talking instead of working, it's only going to be with the people I'm close with. Harsh? Maybe. But it's the truth. And it's nothing personal towards subs.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2014

    I do think it behoves us all to remember that the cold shoulder that is received by an unknown sub today might come back to haunt you should you ever need to be out for longer than a single or half day. I don't think the odd smile, gesture, or wave will make us late going home, but it can be the difference in whether subs choose to come to your district. Just a thought.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2014

    Sure, I can agree with that. And I do those things on occasion.

    I will say, however, that should I need to be out for more than a day or half day at a time, it's not going to haunt me personally if a sub misinterpreted my preference for keeping to myself. Perhaps it could cause a minor problem for my district, but it wouldn't cause a problem for me personally. It's not up to me to find my own sub in my district. The district or school finds them. If I have leave, I can take it. So, if I need to take a few days off and a sub can't be found, the school would figure out a backup plan while I take my time off.

    Again, I'm happy to help a sub who has a question, and I smile at people when I pass them in the hallway. I just don't feel the need to sit down with them and get to know every single one of them personally. I don't even feel the need to do that will all of the regular staff. I work in a school with over 100 regular full-time employees. If I don't take the time to get to know each of them on a personal level, I'm not sure why I should feel the need to get to know the subs in the building either.
     
  9. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Nov 14, 2014

    I don't expect small talk. Just some respect (just a hi or smile) and not any attitude when I ask a questions. It's funny that I posted this thread last night and today I subbed in my favorite school (where the secretary calls me and says they love me there). Well, sadly, I can't say it was enjoyable. The other grade level teachers (the grade I was subbing in today) were complete snobs to me. I asked one a few questions and she gave me such a b**** attitude and couldn't even look at me in the eye and stared a ahead of her. She just whipped her hair and acted like I was being difficult (I asked her two questions) I just rolled my eyes and walked away. And a few minutes later, she is talking to another teacher being all talkative, loud, and kept laughing. I'm over it. I heard she is loved by the principal...go figure, right??
     
  10. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    People are busy and preoccupied. I myself only interact with my own subs and maybe the ones who are regulars. I have no time for idle chit chat or welcoming people or learning their first names. I am polite and try to be helpful to subs, but may come across as abrupt because I have so much to do.

    Your expectations might be a little high. Go in, teach, build your reputation, and become familiar to people. Then you may get some more interaction from them.
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think this depends on the school. When I subbed I always thought that I was treated nicely, at the very least, fairly. With alt. ed. setting I think subs are regarded as gold :)
    At my school we treat everyone nicely, teachers, subs, others staff, we all work towards the same goal.

    But if I was a sub and felt that others are just giving me a cold shoulder, I would stay polite and focus on my job.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I was basically going to say exactly what Bella said. I'll also admit I sometimes get frustrated with questions because the sub asks before reading my (very detailed and time consuming to write) sub plans. I often have subs when I'm still in the building for PD or some type of meeting, so I'm in and out of my room while the sub is there and I definitely get annoyed when they ask me a whole bunch of questions that are answered in my plans. Also keep in mind that you may just catch people when they're right in the middle of something and can't really talk- they're annoyed at the interruption, not with you personally. I have meetings in our conference room and often have to run out to grab papers from our printer several rooms away for parents or other staff to sign in the middle of the meeting. I also sometimes have to go into other rooms because some sort of crisis is happening. If someone stops me and asks if I have a minute, my answer is honestly, "Sorry, I don't." I'm sure it looks very rude but it's the truth and the person asking may not know the situation.
     
  13. OhThePlaces

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    Nov 16, 2014

    I'll always smile or say "hello" in the hallways and answer questions if I'm able to. I don't go out of my way to chat with substitutes at lunch though. Why? Because I have less than 30 minutes to decompress and catch up with my friends/co-workers. This is the only time of day we have to vent/laugh/recharge and I don't want to miss out by attempting to have surface level small talk with strangers.
     
  14. gemgirlxoxo

    gemgirlxoxo Rookie

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    I am a sub and sometimes feel like the regular teachers look down on the subs. Also, God forbid a sub makes a mistake. I have heard teachers in the faculty room complain about subs if they forgot to do something or made some type of small mistake. However, many times I have had lesson plans where there were mistakes with the wrong page numbers, work on there that the students already completed, or just plans with barely any detail. Sometimes they don't leave the password for certain sites that you need to access to teach a lesson or I have to search for the teachers guide. Those things make the day a lot more stressful and also makes it harder to keep the management under control when you have to stop to look for things. Some teachers desks/tables are a mess and I have to clear a bunch of books/papers out of the way just so I have room to sit down and read the plans. It would also be nice if elem teachers left a note explaining their classroom management or reward/discipline system and also a list of the students with behavioral issues so you know who to look out for. Some teachers are great and leave very detailed plans but some don't and then want to complain about the subs. Then there's some teachers that don't even say bye or a simple thank you when you leave their room at the end of the day.
     
  15. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Thanks for the post. Since I've started this topic on here, I've had some better experiences but I also had some not-so-friendly moments. I just know where to focus my time now due to how subs are treated. I also agree about teachers not including their behavior mgmt/reward/discipline system. None of the teachers I've subbed for so far have included this in their lessons plans. I think it's extremely important to do so when there will be a sub in the room. When I left lessons for subs in my room years ago that was the first thing I put in them! I'm starting to gain a little bit more confidence as a sub when I am able to sub in the same school a few times (it's hard because you don't want to put all of your eggs in one basket). My goal in 2015 is try to build a relationship with a few principals. All of my interactions have been initial greetings and a hello in the morning. It's hard when you are in the room all day. I've only had one principal come to the classroom to see how my day was going (nice mental note of this school for sure). Here's to a better 2015! =)
     
  16. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Dec 10, 2014

    Are the teachers cold to each other or is it just you? They may be too busy to commit time to get to know you or even say hello. It's not the nicest thing to do but don't take it personally. It's not about you, it's about them.

    Focus on your job and what you are there for. If you have a question, ask and be as kind as possible. Don't let their attitude change yours.

    I've been in your shoes and eventually the seasoned teachers warm up once you are permanent. It might not be how you or I would be but it's how it is. Unfortunately subs are not respected everywhere. Don't let it ruin your day or your employment possibilities.
     
  17. ExtraSpecialEd

    ExtraSpecialEd Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2014

    Just remember there are rude people everywhere, even in this thread in a few places. Keep your head down and do a good job, it will be noticed.

    The rudest school I ever subbed at was the best school in the district. I then student taught there and had the same experience. Conversations would stop when I entered the staff room, like I was a CIA spy or something.

    The next phase, I got picked up as an intern at a neighboring district, worst test score school in the county. You would not want to be at this school after dark, that kind of area.

    Nicest staff, most wonderful kids I have ever had the privilege of teaching. Worked hard, got a great reference from the principal, which helped me get a full time gig, even when I moved across the state.

    Even when you find a full time job, you will find some people are just jerks. I found it best to kill them with kindness, and remember it is about the kids. I mean really, bashing a sub the asks you a question? :dizzy:
     
  18. hbcaligirl1985

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    I could be of the very small minority to think it's foolish for you to go and try and introduce yourself and chat to the principal. You're there for one day. No offense, but they don't need to know who you are. IF you are there for a LTS job, then yes, then it's appropriate, but a principal has enough to do without someone coming up and going 'Hi, I am x, subbing for y. I just wanted to say hi.'

    My experience with other teachers have always been pleasant, but I don't go out of my way to talk to the other teachers. Many have come and offered me help. I suppose it depends on the community.
     
  19. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Yesterday there were a sub at lunch. She was talking about how boring it was as it was worksheets and videos all day. (This is secondary.) She happened to be subbing in her subject area so she really wanted to teach. Most people agreed that they used the same things when they had a sub. A comment was made that we usually have no idea who our sub is so we really don't know if they are able to teach that subject or not.
     
  20. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2014

    Feel your Pain

    It's not just teachers. There is a whole world out there of people that just can't be bothered to make the effort to be personable to you unless you are part of their inner circle or offer some other motivation for them (i.e. higher up on the food chain, have something they want, etc).

    I'm not saying this is the case with every teacher that seemed annoyed by your very presence or that see your questions as a burden, but I'm sure it is part of the problem. I'm a teacher and have very mixed experiences of my own. How should you take it when someone could walk down the hall towards you with a big smile on their face and greet the 2 people in front of you, then suddenly look down at the floor as they pass you? People are strange and often busy and stressed are just excuses for poor behavior (IMHO).
     
  21. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    When I subbed for two years, that's exactly how I felt most times. Disrespected. If I even made a small mistake, the teacher would start yelling at me or just get all snobby instead of just telling me how to do a certain thing right. It got to the point where I've had to defend myself (and it wasn't pretty). And I can't stand when people just tell me "oh, you're just a sub." Uh, I'm a teacher trying to get a full-time job.

    Fast forward to now: I am TOTALLY overworked with my new full-time job. Forget it, I want to cry sometimes. But I try my best to treat subs nicely. I wasn't a fan of how I was treated as a sub during more than half of the time I was one, so I use that experience to not make that same mistake. Yes, a lot of times there's no room to even breathe when you have a ton of work. But by the end of the day, you're making a difference on kids (I sure am!!! :D), and there's still room to be nice to others.
     
  22. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I will say hello to them, and help them out. There have been some strange ones in our building, though. One started telling kids about her time in a cult, another one looks like a homeless guy.

    Some don't act like teachers; and the result is kids take advantage.

    I agree about Pa. being tough place to get a teaching job. :eek:
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I would say subs are treated cordially in my school. If sub plans are missing or 'light', teachers are really good at helping the sub with finding additional resources and activities to keep kids on track. We check in on subs and make sure all is going well. In the lunchroom, however, there are just some conversations that arent had with or in the presence of subs. Sometimes a teacher may need to use lunch to meet to speak with a colleague about concerns for a shared student. Or there may be building/administrative/union issues that are appropriate for colleagues to discuss but not for subs to take part in/be party to.

    Also know, as Caesar pointed out, teachers have incredible demands and responsibilities upon them....changes in curriculum, high stakes testing, tenure reform, new teacher evaluation protocols....it's a juggling act that can be stressful. Most teachers are dancing as fast as they can and in their efforts to jump through all the new hoops and still deliver quality, engaging lessons so that their students' learning is optimized, subs in another teacher's classroom just tend to not be on most radars...:sorry:

    That said, it is totally appropriate and professional to make sure any sub feels welcomed and has needed materials through cordial and professional interactions. So sorry when anyone is made to feel unwelcomed and unappreciated.
     
  24. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I communicate a lot with subs only because we are departmentalized so they would have my students for half of the day...IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN. You shouldn't care if someone doesn't want to speak to you, they are there for the CHILDREN. I would never let teachers and principals be the reason I didn't go back to sub at a school...now if the CHILDREN were out of control, then I might not return.
     
  25. nrs6425

    nrs6425 Rookie

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    I'm also subbing until I find a position. Things I wish for while subbing: info on where the teacher restroom is located, policy on using student restroom, where is the teacher lounge so that I can warm my lunch, a clear spot on the desk, access to the laptops or tablets when students are given an assignment to use them, info on their classroom discipline (phones, earbuds, etc.)


     
  26. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    THIS. I so often wish teachers would leave their rules on bathroom breaks because sometimes kids get up and leave and I have no clue that that's acceptable normally. @_@
     
    JAD likes this.
  27. luv2teach444

    luv2teach444 Companion

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    I know this is an old post but still want to chime in.

    YEs I have found this to be true everywhere. In the 11 schools I've been in the teachers are snobby. They rarely speak even when sitting side by side @ lunch. It's the same in elem, mid, intermediate & high. Now if I start the conversation I sometimes can get someone to talk.

    As a sub I'm treated as a nobody, like I know nothing. I guess most of them don't realize I'm a certified teacher.
     
  28. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    I don't really have a problem with being ignored by teachers. My expectations are pretty low, and I eat lunch in the classroom while racing around prepping for the second half of the day. In some schools I'm completely ignored (given a few weird looks if it's middle school, since I look not much older than a student). In others, teachers say hi and ask me how my day is going. I certainly appreciate that!
     
  29. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    When I was subbing, teachers were either nice to me, neutral or didn't say anything. I didn't look at it as rude or ignoring me, I figured they had enough to deal with, they might have even had a rough day or week or a year. No one was flat out rude to me.

    But at one school this teacher definitely judged me. Kind of a funny story. This was the roughest middle school in the district, I actually liked working there because I like challenges. I was checking in at the front desk, and 2 other teachers (both female, about my age) were quietly laughing, one of them was looking at me and said "oh my God" as she was laughing. It was clear as day that she was laughing at me, thinking "how is this Barbie going to handle these badass kids?". I looked at her, didn't react, because I'm usually slow with that, but I never forget it. It was funny and it didn't bother me because I did handle those badass kids lol.
    Actually one teacher next door to me, seeing how I lined them all up and gave them my expectation of how things will be in the classroom (no electronics, no gum, go straight to your assigned seat). chatted me up during lunch and said that he's actually thinking about calling in sick the next day if I can sub. I did and he took the day off :)
     
  30. JAD

    JAD New Member

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  31. JAD

    JAD New Member

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    As a credentialed teacher who moved across my state a few months ago and am subbing for multiple districts, I've seen the spectrum of adult courtesy from faculty and staff. Generally, I interact more with the secretaries than other teachers as I am in the classroom all day; they've been great. However, I am appalled at the large number of teachers who leave vague, 1-sentence lesson plans yet leave NOTHING regarding instructions on how to implement the lesson, cooperative groups, hall pass policies, restroom breaks, disruptive students (especially those who need to need to go to the VP or dean), or instructions on how to operate tech equipment for their lessons. I guess the teachers assume that "Ms. So-and-So" is coming in, and she knows the school policies" or that "the students will let the sub know". Well, not exactly. Subs don't need the 100-Step Plan, but they DO need to know how the teacher's classroom functions, so s/he can cover adequately and follow the established procedures. A well-organized plan, with detailed notes, is the best courtesy that can be shown.

    And, for teachers who are going to be out long-term, please do not leave as your only lesson plans "read the novel every day, and discuss". Explain your expectations for the students. (Otherwise, if I've taught that story/concept before, I will supplement the lesson with an appropriate activity.)
     
  32. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Jun 4, 2016

    I hope we don't come off that way in my district! I subbed for a number of years before applying and being hired full-time, and I always found it to be a pleasant experience. There was only one instance where I felt a teacher treated me poorly (and she was later non-renewed). I do try to be welcoming to subs if they step out of the classroom, but I will say that this is a busy time of year for both administrators and teachers. That is not really an excuse, but it may be why they don't really spend lots of extra time.
     
  33. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    At most of the buildings I've been to, I've seen 3 separate and distinct attitudes.

    1--Respect substitutes

    2--Disrespect because the sub is a "threat" to them

    3--Disrespect because of the attitude "if you could teach you wouldn't be a sub".
     
  34. IloveSF

    IloveSF Rookie

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    Jun 7, 2016

    THIS. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked out of a room kicking myself for some mistake that I made that, in reality, would not have happened if the teacher had included things like bathroom breaks, leaving the room, etc. in their plans. Some either are too lazy to include this info or just assume we should know. I subbed for a teacher once who left 7 pages of sub notes, but I loved them! They were so complete, and I had very few questions. I'd rather have to read a novel than get this one page thing that tells me nothing.

    IF I ever get my own classroom, I am sitting down and thinking of every little thing that could happen in a day to include. My plans will leave no questions.
     
  35. IloveSF

    IloveSF Rookie

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    Anyway, my experiences have varied from building to building. I've gotten teachers who come in and introduce themselves right away, tell me if I need anything to just holler, etc. I've also had everyone ignore me. I think it just depends on the personality of the teachers. I personally enjoy going to schools more where the secretary is nice to me than the other way around. If the first person I encounter is a B, that sets my whole day off wrong.

    I'm not the type to really leave the room much and make myself known - suppose I should - but then I'm never sure if I'll be welcomed warmly or not.
     
  36. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 8, 2016

    I've been the sub and had subs. As a sub, my job was to help make sure that school went on as smoothly as possible with people out. As the teacher who had a sub, I always hoped that my kids stayed out of trouble and didn't burn down the building. If the teacher left my room neat, I was impressed. If a lesson was taught, I review that anyway. I seldom got to know those who subbed for me, but as a sub, over time, I got to know most of the teachers in the schools I worked in, because I would ask if there was anything I could do to help if I had free time, or preps I didn't need. As far as the secretaries, ALWAYS get know and like the secretaries and sub callers. Your life will be much better for the effort. :rolleyes:
     

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