How many districts? When does the ball start rolling?? --1st Yr Substitute Teacher

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by mizzkaren, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Hey everyone! This is my first time posting on this website, but I have read some posts by you before. :thumb:

    This is my first year student teaching. I don't have the exact details but it looks like I will definitely be at a k-8 charter school for one elementary and one middle school placement in my first semester. I can't wait to know what grades I will have!

    I have done cadet teaching for 3 credits for 2/3 High-Ability for one semester, volunteered for 2/3 High-Ability for 2 months, volunteered as a Help One Student To Succeed reading tutor for 2 months, and worked at The Goddard School as a floater (6 weeks-6 years) for a year and a half. I've loved all of the experience I've had, and I can't wait for this year!! :D

    Not only will I have my first year student teaching experience, but I will be substitute teaching for the first time also. I am on the list to sub at 5 different school districts. I would love to sub for 3 more, but I don't want to have to say "no" to too many districts, as I would like to keep my foot in the door with as many of them as possible! How many districts do you guys sub for?? I am signed up for k-12 in all of them. :huh:

    My biggest question to all of you who have subbed before since I am so excited for this year is--when do your assignments flow in consistently? September? October? I assume most teachers wouldn't want to start a year off with days out in the first month-August, but is this assumption right? :unsure:

    Thanks! I read all of your stuff and I think you all come together very nicely to give great advice! :)
     
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  3. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Well, I can't answer about how many assignments I'll get because this will be my first year subbing, but I can tell you how many districts I'll be subbing in. I'm starting in 3 districts, the one where I student taught and two districts right by my house. I'm adding two other districts that require interviews early on in the school year. One of those districts is actually where my sister works so I already know I'll be in for her on some days. The other district has potential for openings next year. If I hear that any of those schools have potential openings because of retirees or transfers or what not, I'm going to focus on those schools. At least that's the plan, who knows what will happen after everything starts. :)

    I know my sister was signed up in 7 districts but only consistently subbed in about 3 or 4. (she was often the only music sub in the district...)
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Hi & welcome! :) Wow, 5 districts, they must be pretty tiny, meaning not consisting of many schools at all...am I right?

    I've been subbing for 1 lg dist (33 schools) for quite a long time, but during that time briefly, I was also signed up as a sub w/ 2 other tiny districts (3-4 schools). Plus, I'm very picky. I only do speech & RSP...used to like kinder & P.E., but no longer. I've been blessed to have numerous speech assignments, usually all yr long or for mos at a time.

    My dist starts Aug 9th. They don't really get going until about a month into the school yr w/ subbing assignments. The very last month of the school yr's slow too.

    Good luck & have fun!
     
  5. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jul 26, 2010



    Correct you are! We don't do districts by counties. The district where I student taught at only has technically 3 schools all on one campus. Out of the 5 districts the largest (which is one of the largest in the area) has 9 schools.
     
  6. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    TeachingHistory--we have an exciting first year ahead of us! That is cool you will be able to sub for your sister! My previous cooperating teacher keeps saying she will be using me too. :haha:

    Ms. I--33 schools in one large district?!!! Wow! Yikes! I didn't know there were districts that big! Besides the Indianapolis Public Schools around here (I will be at IPS #84 sometime for ST), I haven't heard of districts bigger than the one in the town I attended and am going back to with 11 schools (6 elem., 2 JH, 1 HS, 1 alternative school, & 1 senior academy). It is good to hear from your experience that it is usually slow the first and last month! I just got a part time job only for the time being until I can count as subbing for a steady paycheck. :help: This college girl needs money!

    It is so hard to estimate how many districts to sign up for. My previous cooperating teacher was shocked I was with 5, and she said that I would most likely be very busy with those 5. I don't want to tell districts "no," because I know they can get mad from that and I may want to return someday in the near future for an elementary position! I kind of wish I would have went to the 3 districts I haven't before 2 of them I am signed up for though. I don't know what to do about that. :confused:
     
  7. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I won't have to tell districts no personally (if I have to say no) because most schools use an online subbing program (read--you have to obsessively check the computer to sign up for subbing jobs) to sign up. That is, until teachers start to personally request you, which is always nice :)
     
  8. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jul 26, 2010

    As for having to say no to districts...I would wait and see how things pan out. Things have a funny way of working out sometimes....
     
  9. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Thanks, TeachingHistory! I forgot that some school districts use the online sign-up programs. I am on the list for one school and they said I do not need anymore info and they will call when they need me for assignments, but for the other 4 districts I have not been to orientation. I go to orientation for one of those tomorrow, but it is one of the two smaller districts (of the 5 total). How do you know if the school district uses those online programs? Do they tell you at orientation, or is there a way I could find out before orientation?
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 26, 2010

    My dist stopped having an actual live person call eons ago. Nowadays, it's either the automated system OR online subfinder website.

    With my dist, the more you decline, the further down they put you on the sub list to be called next time. I would have started w/ maybe 3 districts just to see how things go at first, especially since you're brand new & all.

    How about doing something like telling 3 districts that you're only available MWF & the other 2 districts that you're available T & Th, so at least you won't be bombarded w/ calls every single day by everyone. Then as you get a feel for which districts you like better, you can work more days for them & diminish the others you don't like as much..
     
  11. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Yeah...that would have been a great idea. However, on Tu & Th's I will be student teaching. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are my only open days...but oh well, I will figure it out somehow! If I get called by 2 districts on the same day I will just have to say yes to the one that I want to go to more, which I guess is OK then because it will just move me up on the list at the place I want to be.

    I know one of the 3 districts I didn't sign up with uses subfinder. Another in the area where I will ST at uses it, too.

    Thanks for all of your help! :) Now I know my confusion is OK because I will eventually figure it all out like I thought, and I know I have a good month before assignments come in. (I have 4-6 weeks after the start of college until ST starts too--oh boy will I be busy!)

    I am so excited for the upcoming school year! It feels so good to know I am completely done with prerequisites (66 credits/124..yuuuck), and I will be in all different classrooms! However, it is NOT exciting that orientation for one district is at 9 AM tomorrow morning! :| Goodnight!!!!!!!
     
  12. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Jul 27, 2010

    Hi everyone!

    I just filled out a job application this morning for a substitute teaching job for a large district (about 50-70 schools; didn't count them all). I hope to get called. They pay is decent and it would be very, very flexible since grad school is starting soon.
     
  13. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2010

    Good luck! :hugs:

    I just returned from orientation at 1 of my 5 districts, and I hope I get a lot of calls too! ;)
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Good luck. I hope you get called!
     
  15. SPECIALEDMAN

    SPECIALEDMAN Companion

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    Jul 29, 2010

    In my district the sub jobs start coming in around the first part of September and the calls are wide open and non-stop October – March.

    A few pointers.....

    Don’t forget to make yourself know at the schools when you get a sub call. I would always leave the business card that I made with the front desk, in teachers interoffice mailboxes etc… I would very often receive direct calls on my cell phone before any job ever got posted on the automated system.

    This will also give you a great advantage when it comes time to find that teaching job! Sometimes it’s all about connections.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 29, 2010

    You aren't on sub lists for the time you are doing your student teaching, right?

    Just curious...why are you doing your student teaching in a charter?
     
  17. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    SpecialEdMan--that's great to know about the rate it goes for your area! I reckon it's probably about the same around here, so that's good to know.

    I will definitely be making business cards. I can see this helping a lot, as you mentioned. Do I just go buy the "business card paper" from Wal*Mart, design them through Microsoft Publish, and stick it in the printer? I have never made business cards before!!

    Czacza--Yes, I am on the sub lists to be available M,W, and F's and my field experiences are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's great to know about when the calls start coming in, because I just started a PT job for some desperately needed extra cash until I get sub calls! To answer your second question, the college I go to--Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) sets up contracts for us to go to. They pick all of the schools for everyone. They pick 16 schools for each student to have 4 schools to visit by the time we graduate (we are the biggest college right now in IN), and they base their school choices (mainly charter ones if not all) on diversity because they think it is important for us to be able to know how to teach in a diverse area and most of the charter schools are the ones that are really diverse ethnicity-wise around here. They want us to be able to show other kids that all races are accepted together, and they want us to be able to teach to a wide range of learners I guess! In my opinion, I think it's great that they want us to be able to have those things but if it was up to me I would have 4 schools based on different reasons and not just the same reasons for all of those 4 if that makes sense. I know an employer might ask me in the future why I ST at blah, blah, blah, & what I got from it, and it would be nice to say ___school showed me a lot of diversity & I showed students I care about all backgrounds & blah, blah, blah; while ___school showed me a lot about collaborative teaching because they are really into that; while ___school showed me a lot about how to get parents involved because that is their main focus; and finally while ___school showed me a lot about finding resources outside of the school because their school doesn't have a lot of income to bring a lot of materials into (OR WHATEVER!) If that makes sense...sorry I just rambled so much!! :)
     
  18. azure

    azure Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    For the last couple of years, I have subbed almost every day (maybe missed 3 or 4) and that is from the first day to the last day of the year. But I'm in my ninth year. I wouldn't expect to do that if this is your first year. Also, if you school district(s) use AESOP or some other automated system, a lot will depend on how much time you're willing to spend at the computer constantly checking for jobs to pop up. They are taken VERY quickly.
     
  19. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Yeah, I bet you get a ton more than someone new since you are known as someone who is experienced in the district!

    I know for a fact 2/5 of my districts do not use it....I am not sure about the other 3 yet. I'm not sure which one I would like better. Which one do you prefer? An early wake-up call or having to be glued to the computer bright & early in the AM? Hopefully my districts will call the night before & as much in advance as possible like they say, because I am definitely not the kind of girl who can fly out of bed & make it somewhere in 30 mins, & I like to have a "heads up" on my day!
     
  20. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2010

    The year I subbed, I did a long-term position for about half the year... when I went back to daily subbing that spring, I was called almost every day... I was also willing to sub for TAs, which gave me more of a chance ot work every day (it's less money, so lots of people don't sign p for that... I figured less money was better than no money!!!)... I always worked on a "first-called, first-served" basis... I worked mainly in 2 distrists at that point, and they knew I was working more than one place... so I didn't feel too bad when I had to say "sorry, I'm already booked today..." although one district often called to book me in advance because PreK and K knew I did a good job in their classrooms, so would request me. That was nice.

    It doesn't hurt once you've gotten to know some of the schools to give the sub caller a call to see if there's anything you can book in advance. I know thep laces around me try as much asp ossible to avoid calling morning of if they can help it! :)

    I agree with the start with a few and then add more later if necessary approach... depending how busy the sub lists are, you may be busier than you think :)
     
  21. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    Wow, 5 districts! Are they small?

    That's the most I've ever heard. I work in one district, but it's a big district with a lot of schools, so I get plenty of jobs. If I could, I'd only take one more neighboring district.

    Jobs start flowing for me in mid-September.

    A rule of thumb: directly preceding and following any school holiday, you probably won't get too much work. The period surrounding summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring breaks are hard on the bank account. :help:

    Last year was an exception: I subbed for a teacher who had a wedding and honeymoon during Christmas break, so she had me in for the first week of the second semester.
     
  22. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    The 2 largest of those school districts have 11 schools (all levels) each. 1 of the others have 4, another has 5?, another has 3-5?

    Unfortunately, I went through a miscarriage :angel: at being three months pregnant & very excited for the first time last spring while I was working part time & in school full time with midterms & finals....to say the least it was a NIGHTMARE. :unsure: We were so devastated (& still are depressed) that we were even going to try for another, but we decided to wait until right after I graduate in 2 years so I can have more time with our baby instead of always feeling like I'm missing out to go to school. I was in my college's teacher ed program way before I found out I was pregnant for this fall, and then when I found out I was pregnant and I didn't know what kind of complications could come up to make me miss more than 2 days I decided to be nice & give someone else on campus an opportunity to be in the program (it's competitive). Then, I miscarried and wanted my position for fall back instead of having to wait for spring...but it was past deadline & I was #8 on the waitlist. I didn't think I'd ever have a chance to get back in so I had reading endorsement classes scheduled just in case, however 1 of those I was on the waitlist for (!) & I needed it for all of the others, so I also had a third set scheduled just in case I didn't get into the fall program or the fall reading classes that were basically filler-education classes to keep myself on health insurance for the semester. :rolleyes: I was ECSTATIC to find out last month that I was back in the program!!! :D Without the program, I would have had to wait another 6+ months to get married & get a teaching job after I graduate, wait 6 more months to get into the program, and the opportunity to sub was in question depending on what classes I would be enrolled in. SO, since I have been excited to sub forever, when I found out I could, I made a list of all of the districts around me I would be willing to go to...and I had a list of 13!!!! I want to be able to have my face in as many districts as possible so that in 2 years when I go to get a job, I hopefully have more opportunities in case my "dream district that knows me" doesn't have an opening. I cut that list to 8, and then after I had already started the process of getting into 5, I decided that was PLENTY! I'd love to be in the other 3 possibly more than I would like to be in 2 of the ones I am signed up with now, but that's OK because I will just see how these 2 go! I have a feeling I will be choosing which ones of these 5 I want to go to constantly, and I will have an insanely busy schedule with a nice paycheck! :thumb:

    I bet that was nice Christmas bonus!!
     
  23. azure

    azure Companion

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    Aug 11, 2010

    I actually prefer the automated system because I can book days in advance. Under our old system where a human called they would never call for a sub until the day before even if the teacher had already called it in. Sometimes I'm actually booked for 4 or 5 days before the week starts. Get some business cards made (Vistaprint) and leave one on the teacher's desk at the end of the day with your detailed note. Grade papers if you have time (unless teacher says not to), and leave the room and teacher's desk tidy. Stick to the teacher's plans and try to get through them. You'll be busy before you know it.
     
  24. mizzkaren

    mizzkaren Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Thanks, azure! I'm excited! I'll definitely be sharing my first experiences on here...hahaha!! :)
     

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