If you become a substitute teacher, do you just work for first 2 minutes each class?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DontMiss, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. DontMiss

    DontMiss Rookie

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    From what I remember about substitutes in high school, all they did was give out instructions on what to do for the first few seconds, maybe make the class watch a movie and just read a book for the remainder of the class. Is that how it is for most classes?

    If I moved to New York City or Boston, would there be some competition among subs to get an assignment on a daily basis? Is there more demand than supply?

    How much could you expect to earn per month after taxes?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I can't answer your questions about competition or pay, but please don't go into substitute teaching thinking that you'll only be working for a couple of minutes each class (or, you may quickly find that you aren't getting any jobs). Even if the teacher leave a movie or independent work, you are "on" all of the time--monitoring student behaviour, answering questions, being proactive and heading off any difficulties before they can begin. You should always be prepared with a Plan B, C, and D--what if they teacher leaves a movie to show, but technology isn't working? What to do with the students who doesn't have a book to read, if that's what's in the plans?

    I had two subs within the past week and my kids reacted very differently to them. The one who sat at the desk all day, except for reading my plans aloud, struggled with behaviour (and I have a GOOD class) and the kids got almost no work done; I would prefer they aren't in my room again. The one who actively engaged the kids will be happily invited back into my room.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sometimes my subs are able to do that. Fridays are my independent reading day. Most of my classes are so well-behaved. They would be fine with my cat watching them :lol: With those groups, you could definitely read. I have a couple though who will try to be chatty, so they need some extra guidance.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It seriously depends upon the full-time teacher whether you'll spend the full period giving instruction or monitoring learning, but the entire time would likely be spent on behavior management. It takes open eyes and a quick mind to be a great substitute.

    It's been a few years since I substituted full-time, so I'm hoping the per diem wage has gone up, but it was financially tight.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Define work.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If the poster is asking a serious question, then that poster doesn't have enough qualification or familiarity with the job to be considering it as a profession. For what it is worth, I seriously doubt that anyone can live comfortably on a sub's salary.
     
  8. DontMiss

    DontMiss Rookie

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    I guess it's about $1200 after tax?
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    In this area, a sub who is a certified teacher earns about $11 per hour.

    I don't know of any sub situation where the sub works for 2 minutes.
     
  10. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    This isn't really comparable to Boston or New York because I am in a much smaller school system in a state known to not pay teachers all that well, but in my district certified subs make $90/day before taxes. $70 if not certified. So a certified teacher would make $1500-$1900 ish a month around here before taxes. I could maybe live on that if nothing unexpected (car repair, medical emergency, etc.) happened. It would take a lot of work and budgeting though.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I had a sub yesterday who pretty much worked for the first 2 minutes of each class. I will not be inviting him back to my room because my students were not given their assignments and my room was left a complete mess. I am not sure that I've ever had a worse sub, to be honest, and I have had some doozies.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I had to dismiss one the other day for falling asleep (yes--he was actually snoring) in class. We've had some subpar subs at our site lately!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Subs in my district earn about $90 per day.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    The worst mentality you can have is that you will only work for the 1st few minutes. WRONG!! Actually I've never heard anyone say anything like this, so I'm kinda shocked right now.

    Sure, some days at some schools can be pretty easy, but even then, you have to watch them, and make sure nothing happens - you're responsible for these students.

    I can honestly say I only had 1 school with one teacher whose class was like that. It was the best school in the district, and anytime I subbed for his 7 and 8 grade science classes, he would have them watch a movie. I hated it, because it was boring. I made them take notes and graded it because it was so boring.
    Every other teacher always had lessons, some more involved, some less, but even if there was just a movie, I still had to watch for behavior and to make sure the students were on task.

    Trust me, when you sub, you work for every single dollar.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Unfortunately, there are a few substitute teachers who may teach only the first two minutes. I do everything I can to not get these subs in my classroom.
     
  16. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    There may be days where it seems like you only "teach" the first few minutes... but if that's the expectation going in, you're going to be sorely disappointed and probably not get very many jobs.
    The district I sub in pays $135 per day (a little over $16/hr) and that's REALLY HIGH for most subs from what I've seen around the forum. I have definitely had very, very easy days like you describe. They are incredibly rare, and actually end up being really boring for me. Can I use those days to sit and read while the class works independently? Yes, and I have, but not in every class I have those days (because it's always secondary that's like that), and not for the whole hour because as others have mentioned, you HAVE to monitor behavior and make sure kids are on task if you expect them to get things done and if you ever want to come back to that class.

    Elementary this is never an issue because you are on from the minute you walk in the room, even before the kids come in. You're on for the whole day except lunch and maybe specials, and sometimes even then because I usually use specials/plan time to review the lesson plans for the remainder of the day.

    In some ways subbing is easier than full time teaching -- you don't have to plan, you're not responsible for IEPs or tests or any of that oh-so-wonderful stuff that teachers have to deal with. But it's also harder in some ways, because kids often don't think they have to listen to a sub. They won't take you seriously, they ignore your rules, they won't do most of what you ask, and they will test you like crazy, JUST because you're a sub. I literally had a 6th grader say one day, "She's not a real teacher, she's just a substitute." and then proceed to talk about how I didn't know what I was talking about because I'm not a real teacher.

    So yeah. Don't go in with the expectation of easy work and fantastic pay, because it will bite you in the butt. XD

    Re: your other questions --
    There is a really high demand for subs near me and there are almost always jobs, especially if you're not as picky as me (I never take HS jobs because HS kids are bigger than me and it scares me, and I've stopped taking K-2 jobs just due to the whining and stress level of those grades). Obviously it depends on the area, but if I wanted to sub every day I would have almost no problem doing so. If you do well and start getting requested, that adds to the stability a little bit (though you need a LOT of teachers requesting you for that to guarantee your work).

    As mentioned before, my district pays $135/day, so if I subbed every day, it comes to around $2200/month after taxes. I have never subbed every day in a month, so I average probably around $1200 (I also work part time somewhere else, so that limits my subbing income quite a bit). It just depends on what your district pays and how often you can find/are willing to work. It does get exhausting to do every day, so again... make sure you know what you're getting into before you start subbing.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Please remember that subs have no benefits, no income over the summer, and some states require you to be certified to teach before you can sub, not just have 60 college credits, with is kind of the bare minimum that many states get by with. I thought KS was/is one of the states where you have to be certified to sub, but I haven't talked to anyone there in 8 years, so things could have changed.
     
  18. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    It is, though I think it is a decision made partially by district. I'm technically a sub in two districts (but I'm never in one because it doesn't pay as well), and one is hiring emergency subs just because they're so short on certified subs. However, the emergency subs are the "C" list -- A being fully certified in the area of the individual job, B being fully certified but in a different area (say, elementary certified but a HS job), and C being the emergency level. I got the impression at orientation that jobs rarely make it to the C level of subs because it usually gets accepted in the A or B lists.

    The other one I'm in does require full teaching certification.
     
  19. Mr. Radiohead

    Mr. Radiohead Rookie

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    I subbed for 2 years- getting jobs daily. Pay ranged from $85-120 a day depending on the site. If I got a long-term position pay went up $5 dollars a day up to a ceiling after the 5th day subbing in the same classroom (I think the most I got was $150 a day).

    I also got in good with secretaries at the continuation/adult schools where they had night and Saturday classes. I would sub from 8 AM- 8PM some days and double my pay. Most I took home was a little over $2400 in a month. Breaking $2000 a month wasn't that rare. My first year teaching take-home was 2200 so it wasn't that far off.

    The tough part about subbing though is the no pay during holidays and summers. Not too mention walking into the "unknown" every day. I don't miss that feeling.
     
  20. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Subs who only work for two minutes a period would not be asked back, and we are always desperate for subs.
     
  21. DontMiss

    DontMiss Rookie

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    If you want to be certified do you have to go through a Master's program in education if your Bachelor's degree wasn't in education?
     
  22. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This exactly.

    I teach elementary, but I would be livid if a sub only worked the first two minutes of each subject in my classroom. I take a LOT of time to write out detailed sub plans and come up with learning activities that will make the day productive for the kids.

    I think if you want to be a sub *because* there's a chance you only have to work 2 minutes a period, you should probably find something else to do. I for one really hope that the subs in charge of my students actually want to be there and care about kids...:2cents:
     
  23. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    That's one way to get certified, but there are other alternative routes, as well. Some programs will let you teach as you earn your degree.

    To answer your original question about how much teaching subs do... You rarely have effortless days, no matter which grade/subject you teach. Most of the time, sub plans will involve some degree of teaching so that the students have continuity, and you will always have to keep an eye out for behavior.
     
  24. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    :thumb: Totally agree. I write detailed plans that I expect to be followed. The rare exception is that my grade level partner recently retired and she is my regular sub now :). She has free reign to tweak and change the plans as she needs to - and she often discusses any changes with me ahead of time.

    If you only worked the first 2 minutes of the day in my room you'd have a loooooong day .... and my kids would eat you alive.
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Go to the website for the state's Department of Education where you want to get credentialed, and look for alternate route to certification. Virtually every state has a route, but they seem to take much pleasure in making sure that no two are exactly the same. The DOE pretty much is the bible for all things having to do with certification, requirements, routes to licensure, and other goodies, like what exams you would need to take, how many courses you must have to be considered for any endorsements, and most questions you could possibly consider. If you don't find it there, you can always call the number they ultimately provide. Reading through these sections for the states in question will give you some idea of what you are looking at.
     
  26. DontMiss

    DontMiss Rookie

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    What assignment was it?
     
  27. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Does it matter what assignment it was? It was an assignment left by the classroom teacher to be given to the students and it wasn't done. :dizzy:

    Teachers leave plans and they should be followed. If they aren't followed the sub should leave a note as to why i.e. the technology didn't work, something took longer, etc. Not oh, we didn't do this because I wanted to do this.

    The schools I've worked in, if you expect to work only the 1st 2 minutes of the class the room will be in total chaos within minutes. Even if the class is completing independent work or silently reading you need to be walking around the classroom monitoring the students.
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What difference does it make?
    A sub should follow the plans left by the professional educator for whom he/she is covering. Or risk not being invited back.


    Ditto!:thumb:
     
  29. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    Not exactly for two minutes, specially for lower grades.

    For higher grades, the assignments/activities are more independent work because regular teachers don't usually know what sub they are getting and many assignments require subject mastery. So that usually translates into more time for monitoring which some subs mistakenly see it as downtime to text, sleep or whatever else they see fit. However, there are some great subs out there who do their best even if the assignments are more independent work.

    I think the sub perception of occupation and regular teacher planning for days out needs to be addressed. There were many days when I walked inside a classroom and saw no plans, or a one sentence or one paragraph note for three preps and a bunch of unorganized handouts. There are negatives from both sides. We have cases in which subs walk in to a set of notes well organized for the day but that sub goes of track or completely ignores everything and we have regular teachers who are not organized enough to leave clear expectations and a lesson. While the first group might be accused of being unprofessional, it is true that many regular teachers might use the excuse of last minute emergency. That's a bit of a double standard because both parties are not doing a proper job.

    The point is, everyone needs to do their job well.
     
  30. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I think that hackles go up when a person implies that it is "routine" to only have to teach for a couple of minutes, while going on inquiring how to go about getting certified, possibly through the alternate route. Yes, some teachers leave subpar lessons, and some leave those plans because they have been up sick all night and called out at the last minute. Similarly, the lesson plans that teachers keep as sub plans for an emergency are seldom going to tie in with the plans and lessons that the teacher has been doing with the classes, so those lessons may appear fluff. They aren't the way you teach day in and day out - they are how you do the least damage to what you have been working on if you suddenly find yourself needing to be out sick. I have been the sub and the regular teacher, and I can tell you that I will usually idiot proof what I leave for a sub unless I know that sub very well. As a sub, I loved working in a class where the teacher knew I could teach the material, and I was given the opportunity to do so.

    I don't care what assignment the sub didn't cover well, because it doesn't matter to me. I always hope to get one sub who truly knows my classes and material, and I just accept that sometimes I don't get that lucky, so sub plans a and b exist. It is hardly ever a movie, however, and my kids will keep any sub on their toes, so I always hope they come prepared to stay sharp.
     
  31. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I am sure some of the kids would have fun with you, some would not be so appreciative of your laziness, you may not have much fun with any of them though, and I am sure the teacher would not have fun with picking up the pieces from your visit if you really tried to manage through two minutes work.
     
  32. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I can't answer your questions about pay and competition, and I have only ever taught elementary. However, I can tell you that even when a teacher left a video or left "SSR" time in the plans I was actively monitoring the class and making sure they were engaged. Maybe it was wandering around and checking work over their shoulders or having them write bullet notes on the video so the regular teacher could see what they picked up. Maybe it was giving a pop quiz if the class at large seemed to not be paying attention to the video. Maybe it was just getting a discussion going about whatever the subject matter left happened to be. If you are going to be looking for a full-time job, subbing can be a foot in the door. Use this as a chance to show what you would do as a regular teacher. The kids deserve to have your best self show up.
     
  33. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    This...especially in elementary school, even during an "independent reading" time, I'd be actively monitoring, walking around and reading with students, diving into their comprehension of what they have read, or even having brief conversations of a book to make that connection to the student. Always something to do as a sub. It's a choice to not have anything to do (for the vast majority of the cases)
     
  34. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    THIS. I thought the exact same thing when I opened this post up...
     
  35. TonyBalonga

    TonyBalonga Rookie

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    Many teachers are intimidated by subs.
    There's a lot of classroom management psychology going on so that teachers have an excuse to sit behind the desk. Many students will not be in the habit of having an adult getting around the room checking papers to help motivate them to stay on task.
     
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What? :confused:
     
  37. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    This doesn't make sense. Teachers are intimidated by subs? Can you please explain your thinking?

    As to students not being in the habit of having an adult moving around the room that also doesn't make sense to me. Although, there are times that the teacher is at the front of the room, not walking around.
     
  38. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Ummmmm...no. Hell no.
     

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