How bad is being a sub???

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by coffee crazy, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2008

    I guess I will sub this fall...looks like no job for me.:(
    How bad is it to sub? During my internship I saw how the kids were nasty to the subs and I am a little worried about the whole idea...if things don't go well this will not help me get a teaching job....:eek:
    Thanks for any help.

    Coffee:p
     
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  3. math_teacher

    math_teacher Companion

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    Jul 11, 2008

    If you are subbing full time you need to establish yourself as a strong substitute. Remember, your job is not to babysit but to provide a continuation in the learning process. By treating your role as a substitute seriously and sticking to your guns when enforcing good behavior in class, the students will respect you more. (They may say your mean, or hard -- but thats good!) The other teachers at the school will respect you also for following their lesson plans in their absence and for being strong!

    Best of luck!!!!
     
  4. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Jul 11, 2008

    I appreciate the fact that you appear to be making contingency plans, but aren't you giving up a bit early? We're not even halfway through July.

    Recruitment runs through August and sometimes as late as October if unexpectedly high enrollment forces a school to open additional classes.
     
  5. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2008

    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Thanks...

    Maybe I am giving up early...:confused: I just don't want to get my hopes up..a little chicken and new to all this.:eek: School starts first week in Aug. here. You are right...new units could open up. We are having trouble with low numbers and budget cuts right now.:(
    Thanks for your reply...my hubby is sick of me talking about job stuff...:yawn:

    Coffee

     
  7. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Thanks Math Teacher...
     
  8. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2008

    IMHO subbing is generally more difficult than full time teaching. Every time you walk into a new classroom it is the first day of the year and you start from zero when it comes to classroom management. That said, if the kids already know you because you have been there before, or you are on a long term assignment, it isn't much different that full time teaching. Then the real downside is the lower pay and lack of benefits.
     
  9. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    Don't give up yet- way to early! Mfirst job came in mid-October! There's always hope- good luck! :)
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Subbing can be incredibly fulfilling. If you haven't had classroom experience outside of your student teaching, this will give you a chance to gain a ton of it. True, the kids may see you and immediately all have "VACATION" streaming through their brains, but after some time and practice, they'll see you and know they'll still get an education, but with a different perspective than their usual one. The best part? If you have an absolutely terrible time, you don't have to go back to that classroom the next day.
     
  11. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I found subbing to be physically and emotionally exhausting, but if you're still jobless come September (or whatever), it's still the best means to landing a full time position. Good luck with the job search.

    BTW, I LOOOOOVE your screen name, and I'm mad I didn't think of it first :p
     
  12. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I agree with the other posts but I don't think subbing is bad! I love my job! I am so looking forward to Aug. for real and I have a job starting when school starts back on the 6th of Aug. to be like an aide for kindergarten to help for the 1st few weeks.
     
  13. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Indeed, do not give up so soon. I was hired last year in August...just 2 weeks before school started. Just keep applying on-line to different districts that you are interested in..don't give up yet:)
     
  14. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    If worse comes to worse, you may work as a sub ... but keep an ear to the ground because some jobs may come available in January.

    Teachers may leave for any number of reasons ... family problems, health, a spouse being transferred out of the area, etc.

    I have known a few subs who have lucked into long term sub positions that became full time jobs at year's end. Our art teacher got her job that way. When she was hired halfway through first semester, she was introduced as a long term sub but at the end of the year she was offered the position.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I subbed for 2 years. It wasn't too bad. I limited myself to 4 schools in one district. After a while I kind of knew the classes and what to expect and if I was called for a class I did not enjoy I just declined it. You might not have that luxury at first but if you are a good sub the offers will pour in and you can pick and choose your assignments.
     
  16. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I think there are some very very good parts of being a substitute teacher. 1) You are constantly in other people's classroom gaining ideas/experiences with different grade levels and able to see what you would or wouldn't do in your own.
    2)If a class is awful, you don't have to see them the next day! 3)If you need to/want to you can take a long weekend whenever you want to ( I know not getting paid stinks but the options there)
    I really enjoyed subbing for half a year being in different schools, classrooms, grade levels meeting tons of teachers, parents and students. Those are some really positive things to keep in mind! :)
     
  17. love2sub

    love2sub Rookie

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    I would not trade my sub job for anything but I have a great situation where I sub at only 1 school and they treat me like a fellow staff member. Schools cannot operate without subs so we are very important in the education process. I never see myself as just a sub so I love it. And yes the pay is not great but where else can I work with the same hours as my daughter and with the flexibility for $90 a day. I do have a degree and I might someday try for a full time job but right now I love the flexibility, variety, and all the kids I get to work with.
     
  18. redrose21

    redrose21 Rookie

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    I loved subbing! I did it for three years. I found it challenging some days and others it was great. It was the best thing for my teaching career. I got so many great ideas from the teachers classrooms. My advice is bring prizes for good before. Grab a bag of candy or pencils. Keep it cheap of course though. Make sure you don't show fear with the older kids. Which is hard because you are standing in front of 20 or more pairs of eyes. Take away recesses if they are bad.
    I think the biggest mistake I made as a beginning sub was not following the lesson plans. Some classes it is hard to do the work the teacher has left and easier to do your own thing. If you want to get own as a good sub and potentially get a job at a school you are subbing at try hard to do the activities the teacher has left. You will often have extra time so think of some games or other activities to do. Look at these games you can play.
    educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/learninggame.shtml
    Oh and always leave a note about how the class was. Good luck and remember there are going to be good days and bad but if you don't like a class or school you can chose not to go back to that site. Subs are in high demand and you are needed just remember that.
     
  19. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I would have to disagree with this statement. If you are a sub and good at what you do, it is not hard to gain control of a classroom and teach lessons rather than babysit. For 4 years I subbed in elementary schools in one district. Yes, there was the occassional nighmare-ish class where I just wanted the day to be over. The thing is it does end that day and you go home and it is done, over, don't have to think about it.

    I believe that teaching and long term subbing is harder and much more involved than subbing. As a sub, you don't have people pulling you out of your planning period, parents emailing you or calling you, iep's, lesson plans to write, ongoing classroom issues, school politics, benchmark testing etc.
     
  20. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    LOL I was thinking the same thing:)
     
  21. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Just to add............... subbing is the only job where you can work as much or as little as you like.

    I have been both a per diem and a contractual sub. I liked both. As a contractual sub.. I was in one building, got to know the staff, was informally observed, got great letters of reference, etc.

    As a per diem sub I was at the mercy of the phone. However, I did like going to different schools. I liked the change.

    Contract subs are guarnateed a regular paycheck, whereas per diem subs end up with fluctuating paychecks depending on how much or how little subbing is done.

    I would highly recommend subbing to anyone! If nothing else, you will learn to think on your feet! and steal a few good ideas along the way.

    The downside is you don't get paid over vacations/breaks, so you should have another source of income if needed.

    Classroom managment is half of who you are and I beleive, half of what you learn after many failed attempts. Don't let that stop you. You will deal with it eventually.

    Good luck
     
  22. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    In my area we don't have what you just described. We only have what I guess would be called per dem. But all subs go by this we wait on call type work! I wished we could be garunteed a paycheck would be very nice tho!
     
  23. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Hey Lemonhead,

    I am a fan of your posts...read lots before I joined. How do I get a cute picture by my name like yal. Thanks!!

    Coffee
     
  24. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I subbed for a year and a half (90% of my subbing was in one district). I averaged 4 days a week from the 2nd week of school till the last week of school. Honestly, some days were better than others, some classes were great, others were horrid. For me middle school was the worst (I wanted to poke my eye out by third period...lol). For the most part I loved subbing. Since most of my subbing was for the same district I got to know alot of the teachers and getting positions was easy becasue they'd see me in the school and ask if I was available for a certain day. If you're good at it you get to the point where teachers request only you and then (in a way) you get to build a rapport with the kids because you're the only one in the classroom (besides their teacher and TA).

    I was able to be very specific with what I'd sub for. The lady who called me for positions (this was 3 years ago, they didn't use an automated system) knew I would only take kindergarten if she ahd nothing else. A word of warning with schools that have someone actually call for a position-don't say "No" too many times and be willing to do a morning at one school and an afternoon at another. You'll be put at the bottom of the list if you refuse positions too often. I saw it happen with the school district I worked for.

    I know having to do it while waiting for a full time position sucks, but it's a foot in the door. Use subbing as an "in" with a school district. Do a good job, make your face known around the schools, get to know the teachers, build a rapport.
     
  25. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    In my area they have a list of who to call but they call whoever they want unless they can't find anyone and then they get desperit. They never go by not calling you if you say no . They understand we have lives other than work and can not come evertime. Now if you never work at there school or they feel like you are avoiding them or there school then yes they will stop trying. I had one teacher and I could only sub for her very few times(I was already booked). I told her I was sorry that she can never get in my into herclass much and she said ya I have heard good things about you but I usually only need a sub if my kids are sick or I get sick and she said so its almost always last min or early in the morning/late at night after I had already been booked! Hopefully she will call me this up and comming yr!
     
  26. Ms.C teaches

    Ms.C teaches Rookie

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    Hi ~ I have actually really enjoyed being a sub. Don't get me wrong, I'm really hoping I can find a special ed interning position for this fall. If I don't, I will continue to sub and look for a full-time position at the same time.

    Subbing also gives you a great opportunity to try out different grade levels. I always thought I would only want to teach elementary, but now I would rather teach middle school.

    As far as the kids being nasty, true they will try to get away with whatever the sub will let them get away with. I am lucky that I work 4-5 days a week at the same middle school, so the kids look at me as if I'm a permanent teacher there. My advice is to go into the classroom, and never let on that you are feeling insecure (even if you are), introduce yourself, be firm yet fair, and have fun.

    Good luck in the job search!!
     
  27. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    How about being a TA?
     
  28. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    being a sub greatly ranges from about a -10 to beyond a 10. There are some schools I couldn't be paid enough to return to and others I put off for something better. And some schools I grab up the job right away. You will know which schools work for you and which don't after a fairly short time. It has its high points and its low points. Poor pay and poor benifits have caused me to become very picky about which jobs I will and will not take.
     
  29. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    We have a lot in common job wise. I am subbing now as you can see from my picture beside my name and I am in school to teach special ed. What type do you want to teach? Do you want to teach just students with learning disabilities or do you want to teach profoundly mentally retarted children?
     
  30. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    I started subbing late last year around March and I only had one school in the district I was on the list for and it was jr high kids- unfortunetly I was not old enough to do high school- I was only a junior in college and needed to be a senior, but I think subbing is very rewarding. Behavior management is all about you- you need to read up on your schools understand their discipline system and how to react, what to say! Always stick to the lesson plan as best you can, have extra activities at hand- games are good to reward a well behaved class if they finish early, and also as someone else said its awesome to learn how to think on your feet and implement it. There are many times you have to come up with something quick, spur of the moment. I have a learned a lot even just seeing the classrooms and the age groups. I learn what I love from each experience and what I dont love, what works and what I need to work on. Its a definite learning experience and I have loved every moment, but its also very personal- subbing is not for everybody, but that does not mean teaching will be the same either.
     
  31. MoonMomma

    MoonMomma Rookie

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    I've only subbed a few months at a time a long time ago. Yes it was very challenging, but a good learning experience as well. If I could afford it I would sub full time in hopes of landing a teaching job.

    I think it's important to get a feel for the school's culture and the individual teacher's approach when possible. It will be a little easier on you if you're able to adapt accordingly. In my case, I had a difficult time going with the flow. I really wanted to do a good job and was heavy on the classroom management and stuck with the lesson plans as much as humanly possible. I left TONS of notes for the teachers. Some teachers and offices really appreciated my efforts, and some thought I was laying it on way too thick and made it clear I was "just" a sub and shouldn't be trying to act like a "real" teacher. I had principals offices send kids back to the classroom if I sent them for highly disruptive behavior. I had teachers tell me I was too hard on their students. I also had teachers thank me profusely for trying to stay on top of their students, and some offices that followed through with the discipline if I sent them to the office. (It wasn't that often, but it did happen a few times). A lot of things varied from school to school and classroom to classroom.

    The moral of the story being, be adaptable and realize it *can* be a great learning experience if you approach it that way.
     
  32. Barbera

    Barbera Companion

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    Try special education assignments. Usually there is an aide so the kids tend to lie less when there are other adults in the room.

    Also MH students are very nice and they enjoy school and are eager to learn please.

    Try IEP coverage. You may be in a regular ed class for 15-45 minutes. The teacher comes back and you move on. Kids know their teacher is coming back, they won't get too crazy.

    Don't be afraid of lower socioeconomic schools. A lot of times those students are much nicer than their rich and spoiled counterparts.
     
  33. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Before I became a teacher I did alot of Sub work. I loved it. If you sub enough around here you usually get a job offer if you can show classroom mangement and handle most situations that come along.
     
  34. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    we are positive that we postively want a plan B :|

    I'm with you there.. cc
     
  35. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    ditto...

    every day is a brand new day

    unless, you go back to the same room!
     
  36. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    everything you wanted to know about subbing

    1. get on as many districts as possible, if you want to eat
    2. pick and choose your battles... you don't have to teach every grade
    3. be open for 1/2 days
    4. be ready to leave every day at 7am
    5. know your district, and their kids. if you can't speak language, learn!
    6. don't be afraid to say NO!
    7. if you went there before, and didn't like it, you don't have to go back
    8. long term subs make more
    9. if you really like it, tell everyone
    10. let office know up front that you want to be out certain days
    11. keep a sub kit for all grades in your bag
    12. bring lunch and a few dollars, in case you forget lunch, or something happens to it.
    13. something can and will happen to your lunch
    14. find more than one way to get there
    15. don't be afraid to ask to leave early, especially when your last period is prep! you are not obligated to sit for 30 min to do nothing
    16. if you really aren't sure about something, say so!
    17. don't be fooled into thinking sp. ed. will have an aide. sometimes they both take off!!
    18. make sure you know all of your duties. you may have a bus to watch at 3pm
    19. make a friend down the hall before the kids come in.
    20. be wary of people who come in to 'put things away'. Many are actually 'shopping'
    21. Take all money to office asap. Don't leave in desk.
    22. Bring pens, chalk, paper, crayons, and lunch money.
    23. Lock your purse, cell phone, and other valuables in your car..if you don't have a key to the room.
    24. Always leave a note for the teacher, telling them how your day went.
    25. Don't feel obligated to grade papers!
    26. Do leave the room neat, even if it was a pig sty when you came in. Don't perform miracles, but at least leave your area neat.
    27. Don't attempt to clean a pig sty. They are very touchy about their space!
    28. Always show up for the specials a bit early. You need time to find your way around the building!
    29. It's okay to eat in the room, especially if you want to review notes.
    30. Don't be afraid to call office if you have any questions!
     
  37. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Most of this is right but heres a note about a few things from what my area does:
    #8- in my area its only after like the 10th day of working for that same teacher 10 days in a row then you make more
    #29- No eating in the room in my area we have to eat in the lunchroom with the class we are subbing for unless we are working library/computer/music teachers that don't have a class during your lunch break then you may eat whever you like as long as its in the building
    #29-Students know there way around the school and can direct you they always show me the way
    #20 - I have never thought of this one nice point
    #12- or unless you are only working for a 1/2 day and then it turns into a full day. Like one day I was working for what was suppose to be a 1/2 day in the morning for one teacher. Another teacher in the school came and asked me if I had a job for the afternoon I said no and she asked me to sub for her class for the second half. Thank goodness that school took checks but it was a nasty school lunch that day!
     
  38. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Special Ed. is hard and I am going into it and have worked helping as a student helper in HS and a sub totalling 5yrs altogether. It should not be your 1st sub job unless you have been around these kids before.
     
  39. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Stock up on instant soups, microwave dishes, and granola bars!

    Nasty lunches are bad... people who steal from others are even worse! I write in my notes, "Mrs. S. came by and wanted to return something to your closet. I said I would take it, and she made a face at me, and left in a huff. Thought you would like to know." Jill from 5th grade asked for your keys to get a video out of your cabinet. I told her the secretary let me in."

    I do not lend out anything unless I see a note that says otherwise!
     
  40. artist

    artist Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2008

    I really do not like subbing. I have been offered a teachers assistant job. Should I take it. I really want to work in this district but I don't want to hurt my chances for a teaching job in the future. Help!
     
  41. Barbera

    Barbera Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    artist,

    Take the assistant job if you will be happier. Being an unhappy sub could possibly hurt your chances. Especially if you lose your temper in class.
     

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