Enjoy subbing?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Jbrid, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Jbrid

    Jbrid Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2006

    Hi subs!
    I just wanted to get your opinions about subbing. Soon, I will have an opportunity to be either a Substitute Teacher or a permanent Instructional Assistant. I am torn between the two.
    Do you enjoy your job even though you can never be fully prepared and you are called early in the morning? Would you recommend the job to most people?

    Thanks for your input!
     
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  3. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Do I enjoy my job even though I don'[t know where I am going in the morning..... hmmm well it depends on the day really,but mostly yes, definitely yes.
    The good side is that you get to meet and work with alot of really wonderful kids and fellow teachers are generally very helpful and most are very glad to share ideas. I love bringing my camera and taking picutres of neat management ideas or bulletin boards for my own future classroom.2] If you have a rough day, well its just one day and you can walk out of there and choose to not return with little flack. You don't have to do any report cards, long term planning, or attend long tedious staff meetings unless you want to or you have accepted a long term position.
    The down side is: its a pain at times when you walk into a classroom and there are no plans ready for you. That's where you must make a pledge to yourself as a professional that you will never allow yourself to get caught unprepared!! Make yourself up a cart with puzzles, word searches, get these from the educational stores or libraries, particularly colleges that have an education department.
    I personally don't think even a contract teacher is ever fully prepared for everything. Ya just gotta think on your feet and keep smiling.!!
    HINT:One way to combat those early morning phone calls, is to call the schools regularly around mid afternoon and ask if there is any openings for the next day. Sometimes its ok to call in the morning, just to let them know you are interested. Once the contact is made, make sure you get a number that you can call if something should happen to you and you need to cancel or let them know you'll be late. Then use that number sparingly and do the reminder calls about 1 time a 9 week period. Let them know what hours you can take phone calls too. Make sure you get up every morning prepared to walk out your home and go to an assignment each and everyday. Positive thinking can and will get you those regular assignments and also make it easier on the stomach butterflies when you walk into a new surrounding.
    Pack your car with a crate tied to a luggage cart with small office supplies and genericthings to fill in when theres a lull in the classroom.
    3}Would I recommend subbing for just anyone?? NO. its not for everyone. YOu really have to be able to be extremely flexible and have extremely thick skin on your ego. It can really wear on you, when you know you are doing the very best you can do and still don't get the calls at the schools you think you want to go to. Not everyone can handle the lack of structure that comes with an open schedule(it gets real structured once you get there!!) Talking with only little ones all day with no reprieve or helping children that whine, cry,fight, bite,come in sick then throwup usually in close proximity of yourself, sneeze and wipe unmentionable body fluids on you can be disgusting!! Yes, I know most of us have either babysat or have been a parent, but its different when its a roomful of strange kids that can smell fear or intimidation at 100 paces!!!:eek: That puts them into a feeding frenzie of : Sink the Sub;):p
    If you go into it thinking that its easy money... you won't be happy. Its not easy,most of the time. There are those days when its so easy, its boring. Like the times I've subbed and there was a student teacher there that did everything and I just assisted when needed. YOu most definitely Work for every cent they pay you and then some, if you are a teacher at heart. :love: So , if you ask why do I do it? Because I love teaching, and I believe that is why God put me here on earth and I am tired of fighting Him and telling Him , no, when it is all that makes me happy and warm and fuzzy at the end of the day no matter how hard it was. The pay is nothing compared to the absolute comfort in knowing deep down that it is my calling.:angel:
     
  4. Jbrid

    Jbrid Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2006

    Thank you so much, Munchkin, for your thoughtful input! I definitely have a passion for teaching as well, and believe there is nothing else I would rather do!
    I am receiving my B.A. in March and will begin my credential/M.Ed program in June. In the meantime, I would like to do something in the teaching field that will better prepare me to take on my own classroom.
    I think it’s wonderful that you actively look for great ideas from the teachers you sub for! That seems to be very beneficial. The main concern I have with subbing is that I will not be fully equipped to teach "on the spot" the subject matter in every classroom. For example, in my fieldwork observations, the fifth grade class I am observing is going over scientific concepts that I would need to read about before I felt comfortable teaching. Are Subs expected to actually teach all of the material, or do they primarily work at directing students and managing the classroom?
    Thanks again for all your thoughts!
     
  5. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Feb 2, 2006

    [/QUOTE]... For example, in my fieldwork observations, the fifth grade class I am observing is going over scientific concepts that I would need to read about before I felt comfortable teaching. Are Subs expected to actually teach all of the material, or do they primarily work at directing students and managing the classroom?
    Thanks again for all your thoughts
    ![/QUOTE]
    Mainly managing the classroom then directing the students. Its been my experience, that there will always be a few (or if you really unfortunate) semi proffesional hecklers and/or slackers in the room which will try your sanity and professionalism to the nth degree. I Lay down the law according to Mrs. T. If they can't work with me, then they certianly are welcome to work it out with (insert the name of the meanest teacher on the hall, with prior permission of course) or the principal as that student explains to his/her parent and the principal why he./she can't sit still and do 50 minutes of work ...." Usually they back down really fast. (The braver ones mutter ugly names under their breath) Which just brings out the evil eye from me.
    Well, its just my opinion but no, you work your way into teaching all of the material. When introducing an unknown/personally hated material like square roots, I start by going over the vocabulary definitions and really emphasize for the students to physicall write down the examples given word for word. KWL charts help me find out what they already know, and what they dont have a clue, and it looks good to the returning teacher that you bothered to do an informal assessment by using the KWL chart.
    Alot of classes will have seatwork that they need to complete, which gives me time to glance over the needed skill. Better yet, Find a student who knows the material and let them shine by having them demonstrate to the class what it is they need to know and do. Or let them peer tutor each other as long as it doesn't get above a whisper and they stay on topic. ;)
    :cool: As a reward, those that quietly finish their work are allowed to get a pass to the library for 10 minutes if they are done early, work on the computer and take AR tests/play edu games, Or they can sit in the back of the classroom and whisper with another student that has finished. SOmetimes, if I am feeling really generous, I will bring snacks for them. Animal crackers,juice, raisins.... But anymore schools are not allowing anyone to bring food in because of allergies.
     
  6. Jbrid

    Jbrid Rookie

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    You are so helpful! Thank you so much!
     
  7. Mrs. West

    Mrs. West Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2006

    I would take (and recommend) the permanent instructional job over subbing! I like my subbing experience, but would LOVE to be a permanent fixture in the schools! Subbing takes sooo much energy. Subbing is good experience, but I'd much rather know what I'm dealing with everyday and be able to plan ahead more effectively. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  8. teach123

    teach123 Cohort

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    When I started subbing, I really, really enjoyed it. It is what fit into our family schedule at that time. Now I would be ready to have a permanent position. It depends on your schedule and what you want to do.
     
  9. NELNaples

    NELNaples Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2006

    I am not sure your teaching background but I would be an assistant above subbing, only because I realize how much watching a teacher interact with the kids helps me. I guess it depends on the teacher of course.

    Having said that, I do like subbing. I just prefer to sub in a room where the teacher is prepared. Both everyday and at a moment's notice.
     
  10. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Feb 23, 2006

    Mrs. West: I am curious and need clarification....do you mean being a classroom teacher with professional educational certificate or is an instructional job the same thing in your area? It isn't here, in my area. An instructor is usually someone who has a four year degree in a technical/vocational field and has chosen a critical needs area such as business, home economics, computer technician...
     
  11. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Feb 23, 2006

    Look at the pay. In the districts I've worked there was a huge gap between the pay of a sub and an assistant. Even though assistants get benefits I decided I couldn't live on the pay. It was only 3/4 of a sub's pay (now it's closer to half) and I pay for my own benefits and still come out ahead (but I sub nearly every day).

    If you decide to sub print your own business cards (you can buy them at office supply stores) or magnets (craft stores--maybe business supply also) and pass them out to every teacher you sub for and any that asks you to sub. It has been my secret. I do work for two districts also. I haven't needed to work for more districts than two.

    Oh and I don't love it a lot but I don't write lesson plans, I rarely have time to grade papers and I get to leave at 3:30!:cool:
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jbrid, I think the main thing to look at to enable you to decide if you want to sub or be an instructional assistant is to really look at your life & financial situation & where you are in your life.

    Subbing is good if you don't mind being called at the last minute to go to work & always going somewhere different. It's definitely flexible, if you want to take a week off, you can do it w/o any advanced notice. The pay is better than an aide, but the downside is that it's an on call type job where every week is different & you don't get benefits. Every summer, the district sends out an employment assurance letter stating that they want you to continue being a sub for the next school year, but you just might get a letter one year stating they don't need you anymore. Then that's it, you're out of a job just like that. I think that subbing is a nice 2nd job or nice to supplement another job. The length of a sub's workday is 6 1/2 - 7 hrs.

    Instructional aides - They are are usually paid on an hourly basis (which calculates to be less than a substitute teacher). I believe they get benefits, but I'm not positive. You usually work 5-6 hours a day, which is nice.

    For me personally, every school I've subbed at, there hasn't been one school or class where I think, "Wow, I'd really like to work here permanently". But on the other hand, I like it when I know the routine & not always having to learn how the routine goes.
     
  13. Mrs. West

    Mrs. West Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2006

    Clarification for Munchkin...

    Munchkin: To clarify, in my earlier post I was answering the first question posed on this thread, as follows:

    In my area there are only two positions available working in a classroom with children; teacher or paraprofessional. I would take a paraprofessional job over subbing anyday. This would provide me an opportunity to know the staff and show them how reliable I am on a regular basis, plus get benefits and guarenteed work! :)

    By the way, I LOVE to write lesson plans. And, when I sub I grade papers, if I know how the teacher wants it done, even if that means staying a little later than I need to. I would love the consistancy of being with the same students everyday. So, that's me. Each person has to decide for themself what they like and don't like about working with the students and the school. Good luck figuring it out for yourself. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006
  14. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    I enjoy having the extra time for my life right now as I used to work two jobs (an 8 hour day as a sub and then 4-5 hours as a waitress). I've also very rarely been left instructions on how to grade papers. When I've been a long term sub I've seen that it can take hours each night to grade assignments (just third grade worksheets). I personally would not put down the work of someone who honestly tried to help me by grading papers but there are teachers who do. I've heard complaints in workrooms (where I'm a regular and considered "one of the staff"). Don't get me wrong I'm not a lazy teacher. I look for ways to help out where I can. Some people are just control freakish and I am sensitive to that.
     
  15. Mrs. West

    Mrs. West Rookie

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    ViolaSwamp, I didn't mean to put you down because you don't grade papers. In my post, I was saying that I enjoy grading papers, but only do it when I know the teacher would appreciate it. :)

    Sometimes I don't do it because I don't know exactly how that teacher wants it done, or it will take me too long. If grading papers will keep me from being home when my own kids get off their bus, then forget it!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I too would take the full time instructional assistant- I think it's a more reliable 'foot in the door' than subbing...
     
  17. NELNaples

    NELNaples Rookie

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    I always wonder if I should grade the papers too - as I have seen subs doing this but there aren't instructions and usually I spend the little time I get for lunch and planning organizing the rest of the day or getting things in order. I am always amazed on the amount of teachers that have subbed. I can't believe that. How do they know what to leave if they have never done it?
     
  18. sassychick

    sassychick Rookie

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    Quick "new girl" opinion: Subbing is really helping me decide what age-level I'd like to teach on a full-time basis. I had thought I wanted one group, but through subbing I've experienced new groups, and am now leaning toward a whole new area that I never would have considered before. Also, I tend to get bored easily, and not that teaching would ever be boring :), but subbing adds that little extra shot of adrenaline. lol
     
  19. Jbrid

    Jbrid Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2006

    Thank you all so much for your opinions! You have brought up many good points, and I've learned that this decision requires one to look at who they are and what their current situation is. Some people might thrive on the flexibility given to them as a Sub; others need more structure.
    From your posts, I think Subbing is a better fit for me and my current situation. So, I think that's what I'm going to do.

    Keep up all the good work, and thanks again!
     
  20. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    well Viola Swamp, That's exactly were I am now in my life. Subbing every day and working 7-8 hours there, then turning around and working 9-20 hours per week as a sales clerk in a woman's clothing store at the local mall. It's sheer exhausting.:wow: And if it weren't for the fact that I have two college age son's tuitions, I don't think I'd do it. Oh, yeah... yes they both have student loans, jobs when they can squeeze them in, and no they don't have scholarships anymore, their GPA's have dropped,becaue of the working a job. (sorry if that is too much info, but I am sooo tired of everyone asking, well do your sons' have scholarships,loans, grants,jobs.....)grrrrr. somedays I'd like to bite those nosey so-so in the leg for opening their mouths before thinking! Just kidding:p
    I grade the papers too IF I know how the teacher wants it done. Sometimes I mark it (x amount correct) /total # of questions, and put it in the lower right hand corner of the paper. I try to put all papers in ABC order according to last name, and clip together by subject with any notes on the pile too.
    Have any of you ever come across a generic form or checklist that you could fill out to make the "overview" easier to do and easier for the teacher to read? JUst trying to find a way to streamline, and thought I'd get some ideas from you all...:confused:
     
  21. NELNaples

    NELNaples Rookie

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    Munchkin, what a great mom you are. You remind me of my mom - she worked so hard to put us thru school. I already called her in old age. That means I take care of her and my sister gets dad. Ha.

    South Carolina (I lived in Charleston for 2 years) is a tough place too, you've got some tourism which seems to push the pay scale down (because of the service industry wages). Good luck to you. Things will get better. I believe that because I have to so that I remain sane:)
     
  22. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Mrs. West thanks for clarifying. I did get in a snit about that (sorry so snotty:eek: ). It did help for you to explain:)
    Thanks!

    Munchkin--feeling your pain. I decided not to go to grad school myself (for now) because of the cost and not having my own classroom (yet)/steady job. The questions I'm sick of hearing are

    "How long have you been subbing?" Four years, alright?

    "Don't you want a classroom of your own?" No, I really enjoy having to find a low paying job to pay my bills each summer or (depending on the day/my mood) No I like having to follow someone else's poorly thought out behavior plan or...

    Seriously though there are definite benefits as I mentioned in my previous post. Because I can take off as much time as I want (though unpaid) I was able to to go to Mississippi to do Katrina Relief for a week. It was a life changing experience I wouldn't trade for anything!
     
  23. lmurphy

    lmurphy New Member

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    Feb 28, 2006

    enjoy subbing

    Hi,

    I've been subbing for elementary grade levels now since September 2005. There are pros and cons to this occupation. I am only doing it until I get a perm. job. I am a certified teacher with my Master's degree and subbing until I land a perm. job has proven to be VERY beneficial.

    It's hard to do because the anxiety of not knowing where you are going everyday gets overwhelming at times. It is, however, a great experience for several reasons. The first one is to figure out which grades you really like to teach and which ones aren't as good as you might have thought. You might like the higher grades instead of the younger children. Subbing helps make that decision for you. It's also beneficial because it gets your name out there and people (teachers, principals, etc.) start to know you and if you're flexible, show good decision making, and can handle any situation in a classroom at any grade level, you look really good. Looking good and having exposure in a school system you might want to land a teaching position, is a great opportunity!

    I have landed 2 long-term substitute positions since September 2005. It has put my name on the map in the district I'm in and it's shown people what I can. When job posting go up for the Fall 2006, not only will people know my name, they will have experienced how I teach and can identify whether or not they would want me working with them.

    Overall, I would stick to subbing, if I were you, because it gets you more exposure. It really all depends on what your ultimate goal is... if you want a position in the school system offering the other job, maybe it would be in your best interest to take that position.

    Good luck,
    L
     
  24. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Ha ha ha. I agree with you. Some of those questions are enough to send St. Peter wishing for a ticket downstairs!
    "Why don't you teach in your own classroom???" Welll, duh let me see... You haven't answered any of my 47 phone calls, letters, emails...... or, Then that would mean I couldn't of been here to help you to day, sugah..... Ya know I jess live to get up before the crack of dawn and start dialing that phone like a junky on withdrawal.....
    You're certified? Well gee, I wish I had known that, I had a long term that I just hired for.... [SNARL] meanwhile I am thinking, and what happened to the 15 resumes,letters, phone calls , emails I sent you for the past 6 monthes been answered. Canya read or what???/
    "Why HAVEN"T you gotten a job after subbing for so long...." Well, its because I bit the last administratorin the leg(just joking) who told me that subbing in more than one school didn't look good for stability, while he maintained that I needed to have some kind of tenure in teaching various backgrounds and a diverse economic background...." GRRRR, whatdoya think working 41 schools in one school year does??? Is that Diverse enough for ya??? How about taking over a classroom that has chased off 7 substitutes in 4 days time and completing the last 6 weeks of school, overseeing the state mandated "PACT" test, cleaning and packing up the previous teachers pigsty of a classroom, writing detailed inventory lists, packing up the classroom supplies and her personal supplies, organizing her grade book so that she could atleast have 3 grades for each subject cause she neglected to collect and grade them much less put them in a grade book?Does that show enough dedication and ability to work with diversity???:eek:
    Just once I'd like to see that so and so come and live in my shoes for one week. Its not just the uncertianty of not knowing where you will be,atleast for me. Its being treated by staff and students alike,like your a sub person, not someone to be taken seriously. That what you say and do doesn't matter, cause you're gone the next day....:eek:
    SIGH, :sorry: Got on my soap box again. I'll just tuck my tail in and wipe the snarl off my face and go take a long nap....
     
  25. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    I have been thinking about this also, but for the next school year when all my kids are in school full time. The deciding factor for me occurred when I had 3 of my kids home with strep throat for a few days. I thought about how great it would be to have a job with flexibility.
     
  26. missc

    missc Rookie

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    While I am fairly new, I have begun to notice how I feel about my job.

    Do you enjoy your job even though you can never be fully prepared and you are called early in the morning?

    I usually have at the least a 12 hour notice for some of my jobs, only once have I been called at 7:15. I enjoy the variety. I enjoy how I can spend monday as a 3rd grade teacher, tuesday as a 2nd grade...etc.

    While only shortly into my job, I have noticed alot of good things. ALOT of teachers have taken aliking to me. They enjoy the fact that I am a student becoming a teacher, as well as a substitute. I have been able to meet alot of wonderful people, as well as get my name out.

    There are the occasional down sides as stated above. When you're called in to be a 3rd grade teacher, and you get there and they tell you that you'll be a para for a EBD class, or Kindergarten. I recently subbed Wed-Fri for a 4th grade class. While there was a book of the lesson plan, it was written shorthand so only the teacher could best make it out. I was also not informed of the schedule. etc... You'll find this sometimes. But I have learned sooooo much! I have learned great ways to plan a class, great room set-ups, good lessons, and sooo much more!


    Would you recommend the job to most people? A big N-O! For example I love ot sub however I am 18. So when I subbed for 9th grade I had quite a problem. I decided to stay with middle and below for now until I look older. I think that a good sub has many characteristics such as compassion, respect, discipline...etc. While wanting to be a teacher does not automatically make a great sub, it does help...but I have know some outstanding subs that do not wish to become a teacher.

    It is completely up to the person!


    GOOD LUCK
     
  27. retr0kate

    retr0kate New Member

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    Oct 12, 2006

    Encouragement



    Thank you for your honesty. I think part of my own anxiety about subbing (why I am reading these posts), is that so many teachers seem so together and perfect! The second day I subbed, I had a fight in my classroom. I sent one kid to the nurse and one to another teacher, and I just prayed I handled it the right way.

    This was such a good recommendation. I think I'll need this whether I am a sub or a fulltime teacher (I'm considering a position)!


    This is exactly what I needed to read! :thanks:
     

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