Feeling guilty for not coming in. (Am I wrong?)

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by ColeTrain2731, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. ColeTrain2731

    ColeTrain2731 New Member

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    Nov 18, 2020

    First time posting a thread, and still something of a rookie, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I also apologize if this comes off as ranting. I just want to get this off my chest, and am probably anxious about the whole thing.

    For context, I am in my second year as a sub. I am usually called in to one of three different schools with regularity. I'm still new, but I am starting to be recognized by the staff whenever I'm called in. Some of the students even recognize and light up whenever I show up to sub for the day, which warms my heart.

    I also work three different jobs, including being a substitute teacher. The other two jobs are tutoring at Sylvan Learning Centre, and a job in retail (one that was deemed essential when Covid hit). It's not all that rare to be working two of the three jobs on the same day. Days where I actually don't have to work at all are rarer still.

    With such a busy schedule, I have on occasion had to decline a subbing assignment, and at times I have felt really awful when I do so. I find myself wondering if I am wrong to be declining opportunities, as I want to one day be a full time teacher. To clarify, it's not that I dislike teaching (I LOVE teaching elementary, especially the more challenging classes!) and more I am either unavailable due to my other jobs, or I am so drained that I can't bring myself to go in.

    But then the guilt kicks in, and I keep wondering if I should have said yes.

    I try not to make a habit of declining, and usually I decline because I simply can't get my shifts covered. Since September, I've declined 8 times. The school board I'm a part of uses an automated system, so it's pretty mechanical (Just push a button to say you can't take it, and hit another to list my reason as "working part time (elsewhere)" but I still worry that saying no one too many times will one day stop the calls entirely, or that I will be seen as unreliable.

    What do you fellow subs and teachers think?
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2020

    I wouldn’t worry too much. Some districts do have a system like you described — if a sub declines so many jobs in a certain timeframe, they drop down in priority on the sub list — so it could be worth checking just in case.

    if you have some regularity with your other jobs, I’ve worked in districts that have some scheduling for subs and you could potentially block off days that you know you’re unavailable.

    otherwise I wouldn’t worry too much.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2020

    Yes, you are wrong to be worried about needing to decline as you hold down three jobs just to make a living. The declines are nothing but x's and o's to the machine that handles the responses - it isn't like the days of live sub-callers who knew who was almost certain to accept any job versus those who would say yes, then cancel. They could hold a grudge. I doubt that the machine that tallies the number of positive and negative replies could even tell you who you are if you met on the street! Yes, a little sarcasm, but the sentiment is genuine - you have more than enough things going on in your life right now to be so concerned about possibly negative results from your declines. Let me wish you a wonderful holiday season, and send wishes for a brighter, more lucrative new year!
     

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