How to Get More Sub Requests

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Oregon Sub Girl, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2011

    I've been subbing since the beginning of the school year, and I work probably 3 days a week on average. I get most of my jobs by checking the Aesop system a thousand times a day (probably more). My question is, how do I get more teachers to request me? I went around at the beginning of the year and introduced myself to all the teachers at the 3 closest schools (which are the ones I want to work at every time, if possible). I still only get jobs at those school occasionally. Every time I go to those schools I see other subs who seem to sub there almost daily. I am a good teacher, I manage the classes well, I'm on time to pick them up from recess and specials, I am friendly to the other teachers, I leave good, detailed notes for the teacher and leave the room clean.

    What else can I do to be the sub that is in the same building all the time? What suggestions do you have?

    Thanks for any help or advice.
     
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  3. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Feb 25, 2011

    If I'm at one building a few days in a row (and even if I don't go back until the next week) I find the teacher I was in for an introduce myself, tell them I enjoyed their class (if I actually did, I don't tell stories.) and offer myself up for another day if they need it. If it's a history or english teacher, I tell them I'm willing to teach an actual lesson. Sometimes if teachers see me in the building and they know they will be out they'll ask if I want a day.

    Honestly though, aside from when one teacher called me back to sub for him while he had surgery, the only teachers that usually request me either 1) had me as a student when I was in school and remember me 2) know me from outside of school or 3) made a connection with me while I was student teaching.

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact they have so much going on that unless they've had some trouble with other subs or you left such an outstanding impression on them, requesting a particular sub probably isn't real high on their to do list.
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 25, 2011

    Many teachers have their favorite/first choice sub(s) who they like to request & they just don't want to change. That can be tough because unless the sub moves or gets out of the profession, they'll pretty much always be there.

    I've created substitute business cards & flyers on my computer & put them in every teachers' box before. That helps make yourself be known. Now whether they choose to try you out is another story however.

    Also, I'd kindly tell the substitute technician (who's in charge of having the AESOP system notify subs of jobs) know that you'd love to get more work opportunities and to please give you more days.

    If you really want to be bold, how about the next time you sub for someone, be dressed up more than usual & introduce yourself to the principal. Tell him or her that you're a substitute who really loves working at his/her school (I think it's good to say somthing flattering like that) & that you'd love to substitute for more of the teachers. Ask the P what he/she suggests to do to make yourself be known. I've never had to do this myself, but the competition is high out there for subs to get jobs.

    If you ever find out the ideas that principals say, let me know! Good luck! :)
     
  5. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Feb 25, 2011

    As a teacher: Business cards. If a sub did a great job in my room (and it sounds like you are) and they leave a business card, it goes straight in my wallet. That way, I always have their number on hand if I need it.

    For me, it's helpful when they eat in the lounge - I get to know their faces and hear through the grapevine if they worked well :)
     
  6. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Feb 26, 2011

    These are all good suggestions. I know that subbing is ridiculous nowadays! I subbed in a large district so at first I worked EVERY day and I had my pick of buildings and classes. All of a sudden everyone started subbing because no one could find jobs and before I knew it last year I was only working one to two days a week!

    I had a fair number of requests as a sub, but it helped that I subbed in the district I went to as a student, that my mother worked in as a lunch monitor, and that I student taught in. (And I still could not get in even as a perm sub). Some I admit that I got through my Mom or through teachers that had my siblings, but there are others I earned on my own. It doesn't hurt to chat with other teachers when you can. Make your presence known. Like someone else suggested introduce yourself to a teacher you just subbed for. The business card idea may be a little too forward depending on how you present it. There were times with me it was just pure luck. Like I subbed for a teacher who was at a workshop and she came in while I was mid lesson. I didn't stop. I continued teaching until the activity was finished. That way she saw me teach and she told me she was impressed and took down my name for future reference. I also wound up getting a 5th grade leave replacement just being right place right time. I was subbing in the same building a lot and this teacher noticed that. She was even in the teachers lounge venting about how she was trying to get all her copies and stuff and plans made for maternity leave because she was so anal and joked with me about how if I wind up doing her leave keep that in mind. Then a few weeks later I wound up getting booked for an assignment that they had already given to someone else so they floated me to her room to take over her class to give her some prep time to get things in order. She showed me everything and explained her classroom routine to me as if I were going to be her sub. Then she said well since I already explained this all to you and I know that you have good classroom management because I've seen you around, I'm going to talk to the principal and see if you can do the leave. A week later he called me offering me the position. So yea... Sometimes it really is just luck.

    Just be aware though that some districts are not the best at honoring requests. I know of several times that I was requested, but then not offered the job. It all depends on your sub coordinator.
     
  7. MsHistory

    MsHistory New Member

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    Feb 28, 2011

    I get a lot of jobs through the Jobulator that Aesop has. Its a widget that sits on your desktop and dings really loudly when a job shows up on Aesop. If you are quick then you can grab it. I have it on my laptop and keep my laptop nearby with the lid open and the volume up during the evenings.
     
  8. asianbeauty

    asianbeauty Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2011

    I'm fortunate to be able to work full day assignments everyday, so I have no need to subscribe to the Jobulator service...As it is, I'm already pretty aggressive w/calling in to check for jobs...Now, if I were only working once or twice a week, then I would reconsider...I have better things to do w/my $40.
     
  9. labar

    labar Rookie

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    Mar 1, 2011

    Do you sub for special education teachers? I started subbing special education a year ago and I get that about 75% of the time now (work pretty much every day of the week). Special ed. isn't for everyone, but its definitely a nice niche to get into if you feel your able to work with the kids effectively. Special education teachers tend to have more professional work days due to IEPs. Just hang in there, my first year was slow, but now that people have gotten to know me more I get specific request, and often times get asked by the school secretaries if I'm available before I even walk out the door.
     
  10. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2011

    Unfortunately, my district doesn't allow Jobulator, but I don't even understand how it would work. If 100 substitute teachers in the district have Jobulator, how does it decide who gets the job when it becomes available?

    I do sub for special education, and in my old district, that got me a lot of jobs. For some reason in my new one, it hasn't been nearly the door that I'd hoped it would. I did enjoy it, but not as much as a regular ed classroom.

    Thanks for all the tips everyone. Maybe I just need to give it more time. I'd love to jumpstart it as quickly as possible though, so I appreciate any insider secrets.
     
  11. meeper22

    meeper22 Companion

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    Mar 2, 2011

    I've tried that as well, giving business cards to teachers and making myself known but it didn't really help with me because I think they have their own subs they want and they just don't want to let them go.

    As for the sub coordinator, it's best to get to know her. The one at this middle school I sub for calls me whenever a teacher calls in sick at the last minute and I figured out that THAT IS THE KEY.

    I wasn't getting a lot of assignments because I was only checking for days to sub for in advance. I didn't think to check assignments for the same day.

    So I check on the system online here in Florida that posts sub jobs early in the morning. I get up like at 6:00 in the morning and check for assignments. I do get full day assignments and there are times when I get half day assignments but that is something.

    I also check later the same day too. Teachers usually don't need a sub till like the very last minute? Have you tried checking for assignments on the same day you check for them?
    Ever since I started doing that, I've been getting more assignments everyday.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2011

    I've only started full time subbing a month ago, before that I was student teaching from August, and before that I subbed 2 days / week for about 6 months. I get about 1/3 of my jobs as requests, a lot from the school where I student taught.

    This is what i have learned: personal connection is the best strategy. Obviously you can't have a face to face interaction with the teacher you're subbing for, but you can with the other teachers.
    - I always introduce myself to the neighbor classrooms, asking them if I can send a student there if I need to and get some conversation going. I give them my business card also, etc. I get a lot of requests from these teachers, often more than from the ones I actually subbed for.
    - another person that is important is the front desk secretary. It's good to let them know if you have a credential, if you've been subbing for a while, if you have any special attributes (subbed a lot for special ed, bilingual, if you live close by and they can call you last minute, etc)
    - lunch time is a great opportunity: go socialize with the teachers. Not all of them will be friendly, sometimes you might feel lonely, but at other times you can network.
    - it takes time to build up your connections. A teacher you subbed for today may not need a sub for 2 months.
    - if I liked the classes (almost all the time) I let the teacher know that I would love to be back. She can't read my mind, so if i don't let her know that I want to come back, she'll think I don't.
    - something that might be helpful, if you have an easy day, and you have a prep (especially if it's your last period, and you're done with everything) ask the front office if they need you to do anything. At the school where I student taught the students know me and respect me, so often the principal asks me if I could go walk into classrooms that have subs and have a hard time, or one time I helped them do some filing... Even if they don't need you to do anything, they will remember.

    I also see a lot of subs at the same schools all the time. It's not that they're necessarily better than others, but they probably also know how to network.
     
  13. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2011

    Thanks for all your help. I have been working way more since making this post!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 30, 2011

    So much so, you now wrote a book....:woot:
     
  15. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2011

    :lol:
     
  16. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Dec 31, 2011

    I would say, at first, take everything and anything that comes along. Special needs, art, music, half days, short term coverage (ex. 2 hours). Heck, I've even subbed for the secretary! Once they know you are dependable and willing to help out where needed, you will get more assignments than you want!
     
  17. snapples

    snapples Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2012

    What I have found to be the best bet is friending the secretary. She is usually the one to make the calls during the day when the teachers are busy. This has worked for me for a couple schools I subbed for, and even my current school, which is one I aided for in the past. I always make sure to smile and say hello, and introduce myself if it is a new school. :)
     
  18. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2012

    I agree. The secretary if often the nucleus of the school. I have gotten many calls from secretaries. Also, at least here in Oregon, the secretary is the one that makes the top 20 list for the school.

    The secretary is definitely someone to make friends with. That's why I always offer to help her if I have extra time that I don't have filled with classroom work.
     
  19. meeper22

    meeper22 Companion

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    Jan 5, 2012

    Have you tried looking last minute?

    I find a lot of assignments more on the same day I look. I get up early in the morning, 5:00 am, look, and I find more assignments for that same day. I may not get there on time to get a full day's pay but it's better than nothing.
     

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