I got a long-term sub job, a little help?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by engineerkyle, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Feb 24, 2014

    Hi all,

    I appreciate the good advice I get here from time to time, as it pertains to my career. As many of you know, I've been looking for work, and have been subbing all over the place in the meantime.

    Well, I got an assignment in first grade for the rest of the school year. I would like to poll the group. What is the one thing you believe I should do to insure this assignment turns into something permanent?

    I am planning to send this to the principal today, and I would appreciate a critique on this as well.

    Dear Mr. ---,
    It is with excitement that I've accepted the long term subbing position for your school. I want to make the most of this opportunity, and to touch base with you beforehand. Is there anything I need to know before starting this assignment that is important to insure the students’ success?
    Thanks,
    K--- -


    Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated as well
    :love::thanks:
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 24, 2014

    I would NOT send that email - it makes you sound like you don't know what you're doing and already asking for help. You don't even need to introduce yourself in an email, they'll find out who you are, and you should let your work do the talking.

    You're better off asking the A to Z community about what you should do to ensure student success.
     
  4. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Feb 24, 2014

    I agree. Here are some basics:
    Go to the staff meetings.
    Some schools have a teacher guide/handout for the year. It's given at the first meeting of the year and may include bell schedules, fire drill policies, list of staff, calendars, and policies including those on discipline. It's probably already in the classroom somewhere if the school does this. It's not the end of the world if you don't have one but it saves getting things piece meal.
    Send a letter home introducing yourself to parents. Sometimes the principal will do this, but don't plan on it. Keep it simple and brief - list your name, contact info at the school, etc.
     
  5. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 24, 2014

    I have to disagree with Linguist. Every school works completely differently. You're walking into a 1st grade classroom in the middle of the year. You shouldn't be walking in blind with the advice of people who have never been to your school and don't know your students.

    Depending on the situation and when you're starting maybe you could go in and meet with the current teacher ahead of time, or at least meet with a coach or a grade level colleague. It's important that you know what units they're working on right now. It's important that you know where to find information about student contact information, data on students, etc., etc.

    I know at my school my principal would not want someone just walking in and doing their own thing. They really want continuity from class to class at any elementary school I've been to- so they wouldn't want you going in and just doing your own thing.

    I don't think it sounds like you're asking for help- you're asking for the information you need to know to do your job and ensure that this is a smooth transition for very young students. It's not like you're saying "oh um how should I teach addition?" You're saying "what math unit are they on?" (without being as explicit of course, hopefully the principal will direct you to people who can answer those small questions, like a mentor of some sort) You're not saying "oh um how do I do guided reading?" You're saying, how do I find information regarding the students' reading ability so I can group them for guided reading.

    The A to Z community is great but there are specific details about every school and every class that you're not going to find here. I would ask the principal to direct you towards someone who can get you caught up on what is going on in the classroom right now in order to make for a smooth transition for the students.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 24, 2014

    And if you do decide to communicate with admin, you might want to use 'ensure' rather than 'insure'.:2cents:
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Feb 24, 2014

    The teacher you're subbing for would be a better one to communicate with than the principal.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Feb 24, 2014

    The district I was an LTS in required me to do a shadow day before the assignment began. I spent the day jotting notes and questions. The teacher and I sat down after school and made sure all of my questions were answered.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 24, 2014

    Well, yes, obviously talk to the current teacher, if possible, or other teachers from the school, observe, shadow, etc, but I would not send that email to the principal. I'm sure he's busy, and in my opinion it does sound like asking for help.
     
  10. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Feb 24, 2014

    I agree with Linguist that the e-mail sounds like you are asking for help. I wouldn't send it.

    However, I don't see anything wrong with a very short e-mail introducing yourself. short and to the point.

    I would also make sure to introduce yourself to the principal, vice-principal, other teachers, etc. on your first day. Of course let your work do the talking, but it is polite to introduce yourself.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 24, 2014

    By the way don't worry too much about making this job a permanent one.

    You've got your foot in the door and you're going to get yourself half a year of actual teaching experience which will help you when you apply to any school, and it doesn't have to be this one.

    Just take this time to learn the ropes, develop a classroom management plan, develop some procedures, and gather lessons and student work that you can show off in your interviews for next year if they don't ask you back for this one. (they might not ask you back for any number of reasons: no funding, they're cutting the position, the main teacher came back, etc.)
     
  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Feb 24, 2014

    Show up with a positive attitude, come in knowing both what was done before and knowing that you are going to observe what is currently working well (both for you and for the students) and what could be better, and then work your butt off every day. Let your attitude, work ethic, and teaching speak for itself.

    Trust me...I am nearing the end of a 3-4 month long-term sub job, and while I've asked plenty of times for help, felt low in confidence several times, the attitude, work ethic, and my actions each day have parents and staff wishing I was not going to be done here in the next couple weeks.

    And do your best to follow peregrin's final suggestion. I'll probably be kicking myself because I don't know if I'll have any specific written-up lessons or student work that I can use in interviews (and I'm already horrible at interviews).
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 25, 2014

    I agree. Don't send that email. You don't even know if you'll like it or how things will go. Just introduce yourself to the P soon after you start and maybe ask him/her when the staff meetings are because you plan to attend those. That's good enough to start for now. Then, just let your good work be silently seen. Every once in a while, make sure the P sees you a couple hrs after school has dismissed, so he/she can see that you're putting in the extra work...even if you've not really done much but killed time in the classroom. Yet, always "appear" busy. After all, you never know who'll just walk into your classroom.

    If you felt things have gone well, but you may not necessarily want to work there, then maybe ask the P towards the end if he/she could write you a letter of rec. Otherwise, ask the P at the end if there's a possibility of you interviewing for the position.
     
  14. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Feb 25, 2014

    Actually, I changed it from insure to assure before i sent it. Great minds like alike.

    I was blow away to learn that the whole thing was posted "in error". Here in Michigan, subs are contracted out. PESG is the company that supplies the subs and cuts our checks. The districts reimburse PESG.

    Both the Districts and PESG communicate with teachers and subs through an online program called Aesop. This assignment was posted on Aesop and I accepted it. The principal responded to my email right away, apologizing that there really was no opening for a long term-sub, the job was posted in error.

    I have asked both PESG and the district for a further explanation. In the meantime, it's back to bouncing around between buildings and districts. Plenty of work, but I still long to have a classroom of my own.

    :dizzy:
     
  15. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Interestingly,

    The name of the teacher I was to be filling in for is not listed anywhere on the schools website or staff directory.

    Strange and disappointing; By the way, I modified my email so there was no possible hint of helplessness.

    What do you think went down?
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Most likely, the school district outsourced to a bunch of incompetent bozos to try to cut costs.
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Feb 25, 2014

    I am a PESG employee as well, and I had my LTS as a PESG employee. My LTS was set up by the district. The teacher called me and offered it to me, after the P told her my name. The P then worked with the HR office in the district to get me set up. I wasn't even a PESG employee yet- they rushed me through the orientation and everything to be the LTS.

    In my area, all LTS positions are set up this way. The district/school contacts you and they put your assignment in through Aesop.

    Even 1 or 2 week assignments are usually set up through the district's sub coordinator/HR secretary. I've gotten a bunch of calls for those since I've taken my contracted position.

    I don't know how this mistake was made, but just for future reference, the likelihood of scoring an LTS through Aesop has to be extremely slim. Network! I know it is hard. I got my initial LTS and I was offered 2 more- one in the same district, different school, and one in a district I've never even subbed in because my LTS P passed my name along.
     
  18. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Feb 28, 2014

    I got some resolution on this, and it kind of confirms what Giraffe is saying. The hiring of a LTS includes an interview process. The LTS was already grilled and hired, THEN some administrator tried to add her to PESG so she could get paid, and it ended up going out through Aesop.com as an opening that I happened to see first. I accepted an assignment that had already been filled weeks before.
     
  19. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Mar 2, 2014

    Agreed. You would never accept or be offered a LTS more than say, 1 week on AESOP. That had to be a mistake. There is no way they would just go out and grab a sub willy nilly for months at a time!
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 2, 2014

    That actually happens in my district all the time. I currently have a LTS who is in my room just because she was available. She doesn't know my content at all and isn't really qualified to teach it, but she's there anyway because she picked up the job.
     

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