Discussion in 'General Education' started by Leaborb192, Jun 21, 2016.
Jun 21, 2016
I had about 170 days worked as a sub this year. I will add some more info soon.
As others on this board have said, subbing is tough on your bottom line. Thankfully, I have some money in reserve and the pay hasn't been that huge of a deal. Daily in my area (metro STL), the schools go between 60-105 dollars a day with a half day being half that payment. I did basically unlimited subbing in 11 districts total (1 district I only went to once), and I didn't have an issue finding sub jobs. AESOP is the preferred sub software, and there are a couple of related apps you can use to find out about a teacher absence roughly the same time they post it at the school. Also, you have to learn what district pays on what schedule. Some are weekly, some are every two weeks, and some are monthly. Limiting what schools/classes you will sub may not be the best idea if the goal is to make money, but it does get you exposure in those areas.
Subbing is one area where you get treated many, many different ways. In my home area, there are some schools with some animosity between substitutes and teachers for a lot of reasons. If you are treated respectfully by the school staff, it makes the day infinitely better. I saw a lot of both sides of this, and it makes a huge difference. You will go from being thanked all day to being "just another sub" or worse in the same building. It's unpredictable, but in the so-called tight market, many people (including myself) are taken or have taken this route to get in front of a classroom. I love teaching, but I hate the process is the best way for me to describe my own interactions with subbing. If you find a building you like, make sure the secretaries know you well (they are far more important than the administration in terms of sub placement, and maybe even hiring ).
I have been told by college professors who are former local administrators that the more they emphasize treating subs better, the worse it gets in their buildings. This is part of what the "sub shortage" is based on...that people get tired of dealing with some of the silly stuff and decide not to come back to that building. One local district brought in some new classroom teachers to sub training (they had never subbed) so they could see firsthand the training methods in play for their substitutes. The classroom teachers that were at that training left some of the best sub plans I've seen anywhere (besides one district that the principal audits their sub folder personally).
I disliked subbing more because I saw it as failing at teaching. That said, it did get me a summer school position at the school I student taught at and would like to work full time (at least that's what I'm going with). If you can afford it and have a better attitude than I do, it can be valuable.
Definitely was a part of that for four years. I can give you my situation, but honestly, it depends a multitude of factors, only some of which you can control.
Not fully in your control:
Size of the district(s) around you - if you were in the district I was in right now, there are dozens of schools to possibly sub at. Up 60-70 miles north? It'd be a drive, and even then, you'd probably have half as many possible schools to sub at.
Need of subs at each school - Again, need varies quite a bit. In this district, you wouldn't have to try very hard and you could probably sub virtually every day without a problem. In other districts/areas, it may be more competitive (when I was subbing, I could get positions usually, but often times I did have to spend some time refreshing Aesop - the sub system!).
Pay - This differs between district. You need to calculate the number of days you would need to work in the course of the year at that pay rate to make it work for you.
In your control
The impression you make -- When you first are subbing at schools, are you positive/friendly towards the rest of the staff, from the office, to the specialists, to other classroom teachers?
The connections you make -- talking to other teachers / staff around you, networking, and showing that other teachers should want you to come cover their classroom, too.
Really, your willingness to go above and beyond and show that you want to be a teacher there and be subbing regularly. That attitude shows both in your social interactions and in the job you do with the kids. It's the difference between having to dig for jobs each day, and having 3-4 days worth of sub jobs practically fall into your lap each day you sub.
It took me a while before my first sub job in the main district I eventually solely subbed in, but within less than that full first day in that school, I had already gathered another several sub days, and become a part of the community there due to the three things that were in my control.
I'd suggest asking those around you / HR people in districts to see what is common around you, and then do the calculations to determine what's best for you, financially. Just know that if you want to sub, and are willing to put out great efforts, barring a tough district to sub in, you'll have the opportunities.
You know you've been a sub when you know the fun of hitting F5 on Aesop over and over.
I was a Sub years ago We have 2 full time building subs in our elementary school now, each school in our district has building subs since 2013. They are so busy, work everyday and sometimes in more than 1 classroom..but they are happy because they know they will be making a full time paycheck each week now.
AESOP is also the source of the greatest error message ever.
"An error occurred where an error should not have occurred". Umm, really? Isn't that why it's called...an error?
You know you've been a sub for a while, and know the schools, when you're hitting F5 non-stop hoping for something to open up the morning of, but then hesitate when seeing what position it is that opened up
Jun 22, 2016
We have a definite sub shortage. We had a sub teacher that was trying to get hired at our school full time (and she did, for this upcoming school year ) who literally just started showing up at our school every day in the spring to see if there was a last minute job available, and there was every single day. In my area, if you're not picky about he jobs you're taking and you have a decent reputation as a sub you could definitely work every day. I wouldn't limit yourself to just Spanish at the secondary level if you find yourself having a hard time getting jobs. Secondary teachers don't expect their subs to be certified in their content and will write their plans accordingly. Even if you manage to get a few jobs in a Spanish class, it's likely that the teacher will assume whoever the sub is won't know Spanish and will leave some other activity instead.
As far as money, if that's your only income and you're on your own, it's not a living wage, at least in my very high COL area. I am barely getting by on a FT teacher salary (I'm lucky to not have loans, other teachers I know are having a lot more trouble). I just quickly calculated what a sub could make in my district if they worked every single day and it's less than 1/3 of my FT salary . I know you said you can cover it with your school loans, but that's piling on more to pay later.
I only had to sub for a year to know this feeling. There was one classroom on my "Never again" list that I made the mistake of subbing in again... first thing that morning before the bell even rang one of the kids punched another kid in the stomach and bolted from the room.
Needless to say it was a FANTASTIC day after that.
Seconding this. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised by branching out to teach other grades than your focus area (and you might find out which grades you NEVER want to teach). I found out through subbing that I actually really enjoy middle school, but my certification is elementary. Also found out I can't teach high school, mostly because they all look older than me.
And if you do get to sub for a Spanish class, leave a note for the teacher at the end of the day saying that you know Spanish and would be willing to teach content if needed. Leave contact info for the teacher to request you. I did this with a middle school math class and told the teacher on the first day I was there that I loved her classes (even the one she apologized in advance for) and have been considering adding middle school math certification. She requested me every time she needed a sub for the rest of the year, and with her it ended up being probably almost once a month. Not a ton, but enough to get to know some of the students and feel like I knew the school a little bit.
Make a good impression on the kids, leave a stellar review for the teacher with your contact info, and you'll be able to get some pretty steady jobs. And just take jobs that are open, regardless of certification. Some classes will probably be awful (I had one class where the other teachers in the building apologized to me at lunch when they found out which class I was in) but some will be really great and those ones you can try to get requested for future jobs.
In my vast experience subbing, it was a "secure" job in terms of working. I was able to work pretty much 5 days/week. It did not start out that way though. Early on, it would often be as low as 3 days/week. And often, those included whatever was available (i.e. middle/high school, I preferred elementary). Being available in more than one district helps a lot too, since many don't overlap... e.g. you can work Spring Break or a part of Thanksgiving week in another district.
As someone who subbed for 10 years (yes, willingly), let me chime in. You can work virtually every day but only it you take every job that comes down the pike. I also worked 170+ days a year, but that's not the way it was in the beginning. I saw little red flags when you listed 1-6 and 7-12, Spanish. First, most every new sub wants elementary, although they often don't want PE or SPED. In HS, your spanish will serve you best speaking to your bilingual students, but I can assure you that the teaching jobs for just teaching spanish would be few and far between. If you are thinking that you are opening yourself up to teaching K-12 for a "real" job, open yourself up to the same thing is subbing. You may not want to be the HS science teacher tomorrow, but it is the same kids who would be in your spanish class, so get some practice in classroom management. Most teachers are going to leave sub plans that DON'T require you to be certified in that subject, but you can gain significant experience in handling the classroom duties and controlling behavior. If you spend any time on this forum, handling behavior while maintaining a learning environment is high on the list of first year teacher complaints and concerns.
As for the financial aspects, I don't know what they pay in NY. Around here, across the river, most pay $75/day, more or less. Some pay $100, but with the advent of Source4Teachers, some pay less - S4T is "earning" the missing money! In the beginning, the schools need to "get you on their radar." If you call in, and they don't actually have a sub-caller, you may only be limited by how picky you are in job selection or your access to the internet.
Best of luck
This past year, I subbed at a private Christian school. Interestingly, as small as the school was, I got to sub most days, but often it was part-time, one or two classes per day.
If you have a bachelor's, Metro Nashville is paying $78 per day, plus an extra $25 per day if you sub every day in a pay period.
I am trying to land a full-time position on a transitional license, but if that doesn't work out, I'm thinking I'll be subbing for Metro this school year. My reasons are two-fold. It is, far and away, the best paying sub job in the region, especially if you hit every day in a pay period, AND it will put me in front of administrators who will be looking to hire the next year.
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