Sub vs. Aide

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by AhoyHoy, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. AhoyHoy

    AhoyHoy Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I'm still actively seeking a full-time teaching position for the 2010/2011 school year, but I'm also considering my options in case I don't find one (which is seeming pretty likely). I've seen some openings for aides at a local private school, but I'm not sure if that's really a better option than subbing. Here's what I'm thinking:

    Aide
    + Steady schedule (8:00am-1:15pm M-F)
    + Know where I'm going every morning and what time I need to be there
    + I could keep my current job and work part time evenings and weekends
    + It's a small school in a great neighborhood, so I could potentially do well there and parlay that into my own classroom (though I know this sometimes backfires)
    - Pays less than subbing
    - Limits my ability to make connections at a variety of schools
    - Positions are for middle school and I don't want to pigeonhole myself as a "middle school teacher"

    Substitute
    + Pays about $4/hr more than the aide positions
    + Gives me a chance to "get my name out there" and build a good reputation for myself in multiple schools
    + Gives me a wider variety of experiences (different types of schools in different neighborhoods)
    + More flexibility - I can choose the days I want to work
    - Work isn't steady - I never know when I'll get called and when I won't
    - It would be more difficult to keep my current job to supplement my income, as my days would be longer
    - Many principals I've talked to don't see subbing as very significant/useful work experience


    I also saw a position for an "upper school assistant" at a prestigious private school, but it's not teaching - it's more administrative. I wouldn't mind working a job like that while I continue to look for a full-time teaching position, but I don't want potential employers to see that and think "what - does she not enjoy teaching? Couldn't hack it in the classroom?"


    So, I guess I'm just wondering what everyone's experiences have been. Do you get the impression that subbing or working as an aide looks better on your resume? If you've worked as an aide, do you think it generally leads to getting your own classroom once an opening pops up, or do you think that you're pigeonholing yourself?
     
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  3. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Neither position is better than the other. What will increase your chances of a future teaching job is making a strong impression with the building administrator.

    If you are a great sub and teachers seek you as their personal sub, your reputation will trickle to the principal. The con, however, is that it takes a long time as a substitute to build a reputation in the district.

    If you are a great TA, you could fasttrack to a teacher position as it will not take long to establish your talent. But the big con being a TA is that you are at the mercy of the building principal giving you an opportunity to advance. Also, there's never a guarantee there will be openings at the school you work, so you're kind of laying all your eggs in one basket.

    But those are only some of the variables. There are always going to be districts that give no preference for substitutes or TA's working in their district, and there will be districts that only allow principals to interview from their recommended pool of applicants.

    The hiring process is very convoluted, so whichever route you take, be sure to make a positive and lasting impression!
     
  4. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I know in some areas you can get called to sub almost everyday... but other areas you can go months without hearing of any subbing jobs. Do you know what the need for subs is like?

    I think that you open yourself up to many more opportunities subbing. And in the job search process, you will be able to go interview more easily for positions that pop up!
     
  5. frankies_mom

    frankies_mom Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I've wondered this as well. I am currently a full time tutor in my school hoping it would land me a better chance of a teaching job within the district. However, there have been 4 openings I am qualified for in the last 2 months and only 1 interview. So I am wondering if it is all worth it? I was wondering if subbing and getting your name out there is better too? So many decisions. You never know if it is the right one.
     
  6. AhoyHoy

    AhoyHoy Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2010

    The school I'm looking into for an aide position specifically states that they're either looking for those working on a Master's in Education or those who are recently certified, but looking for a year of additional experience before getting their own classroom. So, I don't think they expect their aides to view it as a career. Then again, the whole "eggs in one basket" thing is what really worries me.

    Well, luckily, in this district, Principals have complete power over hiring. HR doesn't get involved at all, except for making sure that all of the candidate's credentials check out and that they pass the health and background checks. So I guess that's probably another "plus" for subbing - getting to know the actual person in charge of hiring.

    Well, I've subbed before, but I was guaranteed work every day, due to being a displaced teacher. I heard from a lot of day-to-day subs that work was difficult to come by, due to the overwhelming number of displaced teachers in the sub pool. I also heard that the district was going to give all displaced teachers an "honorable discharge" at the end of this past school year, which would expand the need for day-to-day subs considerably, but I'm not sure if that ever happened. Additionally, there are a lot of schools who don't even use the automated sub system - they just call up their own, preferred subs. So, overall, it's difficult to judge whether or not I'd be getting enough work to get by, which is why I'm so conflicted.
     
  7. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2010

    I am in IL too, what part are you in if you dont mind me asking? Last year my boyfriend subbed and he signed up for quite a few different schools in the county and he subbed everyday pretty much. It did help that he completed his student teaching at two of the schools so his coop teachers and other teachers requested him. However, he still got alot of calls mostly because he was willing to work everyday and didnt turn it down unless he had another school lined up already. A position open (the one he wanted and knew about) in a school and he didnt even get an interview! He was really mad, but thats how it works. I think you have to do what is right for you. I have heard positives and negitives for both. Good luck!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Why not apply for the aide job, see where that leads and find out more about it?
     
  9. AhoyHoy

    AhoyHoy Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2010

    I'm in Chicago and I would only be able to sub in Chicago Public Schools, since I don't have a car. Luckily, that still gives me plenty of schools to work with!
     
  10. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Jul 17, 2010

    I can only speak for myself but I would definitely sub. I don't know much about being an aide, but as the sub I'm in total control for that day. It keeps the classroom management skills polished. I also teach a lot as a sub, so it really helps me to get more familiar with content on different grade levels and start thinking about what will I do if I have 1st grade vs 5th.

    There's lots of exposure by working in different school environments and different grade levels.
     
  11. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Yes, you are in a good area. I was i debating if I should become an aide or a sub too. I talked to my professors and others in the profession, and I heard that it looks better to have subbing on your resume because you are in control of the classroom and taking the leadership role where as a aide you only help a student or a few and you never have full control on the class. Unfortantly, its hard to get good references from principals and stuff if you are in and out of their school all the time. However, CPS may have good long term sub jobs which would look very good on a resume.
     
  12. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Don't let that worry you. In fact, that could be your biggest selling point. By subbing, you never get to know any principals. At all. Because our sub system is automated, the principal never has to get involved. We have a lot of regular subs, and I don't think that my principal could name a single one.

    But being a TA, you will get to know your principal. If you bust your behind, ask for extra duties, etc..., you significantly increase your chances of getting a reputation for being a hard worker. Even if there aren't openings in your specific building, your principal can go to bat for you if there is an opening in another school. Never underestimate the power of principal networking. The principals in my district seem to be very tight, and I know that they trust one another.

    This year, I've seen at least 4 TA's mentioned in the school board reports as moving up to a regular classroom position (and not necessarily in the same school in which they were a TA). I can't recall ever seeing one of our subs who are actively looking for jobs actually getting one.

    Plus, as a TA, you get benefits, which may or may not outweigh the slightly smaller paycheck.

    I was a TA in my district before becoming a classroom teacher. I loved it because it gave me a very diverse experience in working with a lot of different students and it is a huge reason that I now have my own classroom.
     
  13. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jul 17, 2010

    At the end of the last year our principal said it's in the works to remove the "principal" does the hiring thing and moving it back to somewhat being "screened" by HR. Whereas people would send their resumes downtown and then downtown would send a list of approved candidates to the principals- not sure if it went through or not.

    Edited because I realized you were referring to CPS.
     

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