How do fellow subs keep their heads up?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by mckbearcat48, May 31, 2016.

  1. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I've posted my story here, and needless to say, I'm getting more frustrated with myself every day that the call doesn't come to interview for a real, full-time position. I know I had a shot at an opening when I student taught, but the district went outside for someone with experience (which means I wasn't good enough then either). I've done LTS, tutoring, and volunteer coaching...but none of it seems to mean anything except waiting for a real teacher to need a day off. I finished my first year subbing this year, and I love the kids but hate myself for it. I've been asked by parents (mostly of kids I coach) if I'm coming back as a sub next year because their kid liked playing for me/having me in their classroom. I have over 20 letters of recommendation from teachers and administrators I've worked for because I go in with the attitude that I have to be perfect every day and do everything I can to make it a reality.

    That said, how do you guys in the sub game keep your heads up about it? Is this "experience" worth anything in a hiring situation? I know the market is tight, but that's not an excuse unless one makes it an excuse. I had an administrator (my former football coach in HS) tell me that he did go to bat for me but the school had to hire an internal candidate in his situation. He's one of the most honest people I've dealt with, so I don't think he's lying on this one. I want to make a real impact on education and the kids I deal with, but I don't see that happening when I'm in one school one day and a completely different setting the next day.

    Good luck to everyone still looking, and for those who have found a job, continued success in your field.
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I subbed for four years...and was working retail at the time to help save up money. That meant tons of 70-80 hour weeks, several stretches of 35+ days working consecutively, and that was with plenty of interviews and people ready to go to bat for me in between. It was tough. What kept me going was knowing how valued I was as a sub to all of those teachers (I had many take a couple "sub days" so that they could have me there along with them to do small groups and such) and to the students. That's my passion - helping others out - and that's what kept driving me forward. Eventually, if you're a strong candidate and you keep applying, it will happen.

    Subs make an impact, especially those willing to do their best to teach as well as the student's regular teacher would, and those willing to go above and beyond. Believe in yourself and the impact you have.
     
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  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I subbed for three years, and I honestly miss being a "gypsy educator" at times. Hopping from district to district was a lot of fun for me, and I could largely leave any negativity behind in my notes to the classroom teacher. Instead of being a part of 100 students' lives, I probably got to know closer to 1000 kiddos and their teachers. What fun! No, I'm serious, it was FUN!

    Yes, it was VERY frustrating to apply like crazy and get maybe two interviews. My way of combating that was to simply send out more resumes and applications. I think I was on job banks five times a day, scouring for possible openings. When I would lose out on one position, I'd apply for a bunch more.
     
  5. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I do that a lot (checking job banks). I probably look about once an hour, and try to send 10 to 20 resumes a day to anything that looks remotely possible.
     
  6. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Well, maybe there is something to timing...just got a call to interview!
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Hooray! Wiggling fingers for positive vibes for you.
     
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  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    If you are interested in jobs, like really interested, I would suggest actually visiting those schools with your resume in hand. I did the whole, sending resumes electronically... probably 500+. It got me exactly zero interviews. Instead, I started to visit schools, hand-deliver a resume and shake a hand or two--and I got the interviews that would eventually lead to my hiring. Even though they don't want you to do that.

    In my day, many of the jobs I applied for had hundreds of applicants. One told me there were 800 applicants. (I think I got into the final 30 or so, by visiting the school even though the application said not to.) You gotta think like YOU are the hiring person. Put your electronic application/resume in with 100 other ones... you (if you were hiring) would just be leafing through piles of resumes... they all look basically the same: "subbing experience", "volunteering", student-teaching...
     
  9. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Thanks for the heads up....I normally set my "commute limit" on personal submission to 100 miles one way, but I plan on expanding that to 200.
     
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  10. ABC123

    ABC123 Companion

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    mcbearcat........

    :)How is the job search going........what about that interview????
     
  11. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Have not heard a word, so doesn't sound great there. They have not returned phone calls at all. Two more this week, so always a chance.
     
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  12. ABC123

    ABC123 Companion

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    Think positively. Sometimes its when you least expect it, at least that's always been my luck..when I wasn't thinking about a particular job interview or focusing on NOT having a job, which I know is tough (I use to be a Sub) that's when I usually got a call. I always treated Subbing like it was the most important thing I've ever done, its actually how i got 2 jobs..1 part time and 1 full time..in both cases the Principals called me to tell me about an opening after seeing me so much at their schools and hearing good things from staff. Good Luck!

    What do you teach???
     
  13. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Social Studies and English certified. I'm in my last week of summer school, so I hope something pops soon. I just don't want to put on that sub badge much longer.
     
  14. ABC123

    ABC123 Companion

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    When did you get out of school? We got out June 15th,


    Are you teaching summer school? We are starting ESY July 5th for 4 weeks. I like the paychecks....i'm a Para in a Special Ed program and it pays great, actually better than the school year bcuz we don't have our benefits, dues, etc. taken out so I am excited to start..then I get a month off in August cuz we don't go back until September.


    Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    School typically ends here around Memorial Day and summer school started June 13. I'm teaching a 3 week government course 5 hours a day now, and it's so nice to be a teacher and see the same kids from the day before. We also have a 6 week session. I am hoping to get a second 3 week session as well, since I love actually teaching :)
     
  16. ABC123

    ABC123 Companion

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    With all that experience I can't see how something wouldn't come up soon.....
    I know around here (in CT) teachers can get called as late as the day BEFORE school starts:p:D

    Its happened a few times in our school.
     
  17. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    It happens here too. A friend of mine who teaches science got the call while he was in sub training.
     
  18. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  19. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I will be returning to subbing in the fall. I assume most kids treat subs they way they always have - with a total lack of respect.
     
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    You don't teach anymore?
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Why?
     
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  22. Caramac48

    Caramac48 Rookie

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    Pretty much, I have really found over the last year, that starting tough at the beginning of the year helps. I usually sub at the same three schools year round and word travels quick if you don't take any funny business. I must admit though I prefer having my own class any day. Started last year on a long term sub and loved having the same kids day after day.

    I'm still looking for my own full time classroom, but severe illness last year made it hard to hold down anything long term last year, which has made my resume awful. To make matters worse I am social studies certified, the only area that is actually not in teacher shortage in my area. Luckily, I have a couple of Principal's who are great mentors, who have suggested I add another area to my certification to my credentials which is a critical shortage area, as it will be easier to get back on my feet. So I am working on Elementary Education certification at the moment. For the time being I'll just keep subbing, at least my district always has jobs.
     
  23. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Well, it looks like I better get happy real quick...running out of chances to be a full time teacher.

    Looks like subbing, Year 2 is on tap and I can't kick myself any harder about it if I tried. Good luck to all of you, and may you not have to serve the sentence.
     
  24. Caramac48

    Caramac48 Rookie

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    I'm in the same boat, totally understand how you feel.
     
  25. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    @mckbearcat48
    What is your educational background and certifications? Have you considered re-attending school for a specialty, like special education? The more you can offer may open up more doors for you when it comes to hiring.
    :)
     
  26. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Going back for SPED this semester. Full certs in SS and English.

    I have a Masters in Ed-Teaching, a Masters in History, and a JD.
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I do think that SPED may help a lot. In NJ, just being enrolled in the TOSD program gives you a CEAS in the certification, allowing you to take classes as you teach. Meant to ask before - looking in both IL and MO?
     
  28. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Yes I am. I sent all my info to most STL and Metro districts on both sides of the river.
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Originally, I was from the other end of I-70 - we have best brisket, you have best ribs. I have found some real differences between teaching careers where you are vs where I am. Wishing you the best of luck.
     
  30. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    SPED will be HUGE for you! There's such a shortage ALL OVER the country that you should be able to easily walk into a District and snag a job. I really couldn't see why you wouldn't be able to. I thought about enrolling in a SPED program myself, but fancy Literacy so I can help struggling readers in rural towns. Keep subbing until you get that degree and you should be fine. Also, check out teaching job fairs in the areas that you're interested in as well.
    :)
     
  31. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Like what? Just curious... I'm in STL too.
     
  32. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Not exactly... There isn't really a shortage of sped teachers in STL. It'll help, but it's not like schools are hurting for sped teachers around here.
     
  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Originally from KCMO, spent a fair amount of time in STL because that's where my grandparents were every summer, all summer. Then went to MU in Columbia, and hey, if you are not from the KC side of the state there, chances are you are from STL. BBQ brisket - KC, but STL has the best ribs, IMHO. I do, however, eat and appreciate BBQ from varied locales. My sister's family follows the Cardinals faithfully, and the cocker is named after the "Yadi" on the Card's team. Small world, isn't it?

    Now in NJ, we don't do the mild/mod/severe classes as such. We are known for a lot of things that people shake their heads about, but our SPED is truly amazing to me - so proactive, cutting edge, and child centered. I do believe that we truly service the students with special needs very effectively, but it is expensive to home owners, since the school budgets are funded by property taxes, which are quite high and still rising. The parents are fairly well informed, and not afraid to question and initiate legal action if they think their student is not getting all of the services they are entitled to. It teaches you to dot your "i"s and cross those "t"s! HIB is big here, and I think a good policy, but time consuming to define, investigate, and consequence. Being in a SPED school, we probably see more of HIB (real or imagined) because our residents are very savvy about the procedures and how to initiate an investigation. I am surprised that STL doesn't have a need for SPED teachers, because on the East Coast, it seems to be a common posting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
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  34. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My parents also have a dog named Yadi. ;)
     
  35. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Do you think it is at ALL sports related??? He seems to be one personable and talented ball player - loyal fan base. I still follow the Royals, as the NY teams spend so much money and still come up short (for the amount of investment). Since NJ has no baseball or football team (even though football plays here), I have no trouble following Royals, Chiefs, and KU Basketball.
     
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  36. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    My college career person is all for SPED for me. I figured do it while it would still be free to me. :)
     
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  37. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    I substitute in SPED during summer school and although subbing is different from being a contracted teacher, I can tell you what some of the benefits of SPED are for me: small class sizes, at least one extra conference period, and a paraprofessional who will help you with teaching the students. Some teachers think that writing and implementing IEPs are a lot of work; depending on your district, IEPs can actually be less work than grading the work of 200 students. How is it possible that as a contracted secondary teacher I had 200 students a day? Well, at the middle and high school level, some of us taught about 40 students per class period and there were 5 instructional periods in the day. We received one conference period a day.

    A few of the SPED teachers that I have subbed for have agreed with me about the benefits because these teachers also used to teach subjects such as math, social studies and science in overcrowded classrooms. They made the transition to SPED because they preferred the small classes and extra prep time.
     
  38. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oh, yeah. If it's free, you should do it. Even if it's not free, it's not a bad idea to add the cert., as long as you are okay with teaching it.

    I was more just trying to point out that there is not a desperate shortage of sped teachers around here, the way it is in some other parts of the country. I know fellow sped teachers who've been looking and keep coming up short, or have to take a less than ideal job, as well. That said, if you really are able to relocate, I'm sure you can find something somewhere with a sped cert.
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Giants and Jets should both be 'Jersey' teams. ;);)
     
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  40. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Just noticed that you added more to your post...

    Yeah, in all honesty, I was surprised too. I was dual certified from the very beginning, and I was surprised when I landed my first teaching job in general elementary ed over sped, as I was applying to both pretty fervently. I had always heard that sped was a higher needs field, so I assumed that I'd be stuck doing sped whether or not it was what I wanted. I had to wait for a mid-year opening to get a sped job (which I preferred at the time). Before I left for that position, I had asked my previous principal to switch me to sped, and she said that she had no openings. On the flip side, after having worked in sped for a few years, when I asked my then principal to switch me to gen ed, he made it happen with relative ease.

    I think one reason it's different here, although surely not the only reason, is that we have the Special School District, which supplies sped teachers to many of the local school districts in the area. So, if you're looking for a sped job, they are the only district you can apply to, if you want to work in the near suburbs of STL county. Of course, you can apply on the IL side, further out MO counties, in the city, or at charter schools, but SSD is dominant in the STL area. They have very high standards and many teachers who stick it out there for their entire careers. I applied and interviewed there when I was looking for my first teaching job, and I didn't make it past the first round.

    It's not impossible to get a job in any certification area in STL... I think PE is probably the toughest I've seen. Maybe music or art, as well. There are just so few positions available in those areas, and most teachers tend to stay in their positions for awhile... but STL is definitely not an area that is in dire need of teachers in any specific cert area either. We have plenty to go around.
     
  41. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    And that is a case I have made for years, to no avail. I'm not a HUGE football fan, but we have two teams playing in the same NJ stadium, and they belong to the state next door? It isn't "truth in advertising", is it?
     

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