to sub or not to sub--what one principal told me

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by tripletsteacher, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Jun 14, 2008

    HI, if you read my previous post, I stated that I had a conversation with my children's principal over the phone regarding a job. I asked his advice on the job search, cover letters, and what he thought about subbing. I specifically asked him about what some teachers have told me , and I am sure many of you have heard: Do not become a good sub because a district will not hire you. His response rather surprised me. He told me there can be some truth to that. He used the example of a sub he had. He said he could recite her number by heart and she worked in the district every day. She applied for a position after subbing for a few years at this school. He told me he had a hard time getting over the fact that she was the sub. He did eventually hire her though. I had planned on subbing again there next year, if I did not get a job. I am looking at subbing in a different way now. I know it is just one principal's view but thought you might be interested. He also told me he gets about 3 resumes a day whether they are hiring or not. He is shocked at the awful cover letters he gets. He said if any of them show "voice" he will look at the resume. He wants to see a "real person" in there. I know we all know that from learning from each other on this site and other ways. He also said he would hire a returning mother over a new college grad (sorry --but I was glad because I would be a returning a mother) He is a great principal but rather intimidating to me because his writing skills-newsletters are phenomenal. He really has a way with words. The next day I talked to him , I told him that I did not want him to get the impression that I was incompetent in writing my cover letter because of the advice I asked for, but any advice from the other side of the desk was helpful. He laughed and said not at all because even good writers have a difficult time writing a cover letter. I am not sure that he "loved" mine that I gave him last year but I know it had some "voice" as he likes to call it. I guess I have just come to the conclusion that some schools will hire from the sub pool and some can not get past the "sub" thing. The trick is figuring out which school is which.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2008

    Wow, that's rather depressing, especially since I had a meh interview with the school where I substitute a lot.
     
  4. MarshNConsMom

    MarshNConsMom Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2008

    I'm glad he told you that he'd hire a returning mother over a new college grad. I returned to work last fall, but as a para (7 years at home) My principal told me that he'd hire me in a heartbeat if a science position becomes available. Too bad there aren't any openings.
     
  5. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I've heard that as well... along with the fact that some district will hire from aides/paras, and some absolutely will not.
     
  6. ssteachn

    ssteachn Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I was thinking about subbing to add that on the resume before I start my job hunt. Is that a bad idea?
     
  7. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Oh I hope this post does not discourage people from subbing. I was just shocked with his admission about having a hard time getting over that she was a sub and a super one. I absolutley think you should sub if you are trying to get a job. The experience for me was invaluable. I took a digital camera with me everytime and took pictures of things that were great ideas for my own classroom. I also found out what grades I would not want to teach--jr. high and upper. I learned so much more about the school and networked every chance I could. In my case, I only subbed at this one school because it is my kid's school and the starting time is later than every other school around here. If I do not get a job this year, I will be back to subbing there again. Another school I applied at actually encouraged me to become a sub or aide in there district. Every school is different. Yes, you should sub for the experience, networking, information, etc. I am just viewing it in a different way now. Another thing he said was that anyone can follow lesson plans of someone else. He did not quite say it that way, but that is the way I heard it. It is all a guessing game!
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Excellent day-to-day subs in my school are the ones who are considered first for long-term positions. Our administator also tries to hire long-term subs to permanent positions if they are available.
     
  9. BackpocketNJ

    BackpocketNJ Rookie

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    I did not sub in the district where I found my job but the first question in the initial interview I had was, "Can you please tell me about your subbing experience?"

    Furthermore, my new principal was very eager to talk to the principals where I subbed to discuss my performance. I think that he liked that I had some paid/real experience outside of just student teaching.

    In addition, I think getting subbing experience was one of the best things for me. Student teaching was good for learning planning but subbing has made me a so much more self reliant and improved my management significantly.

    BPNJ
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I think subbing experience is great. You could always sub in a school where you don't plan on applying for a permanent position (if you are afraid of being cast as the "good sub" who won't get a job in that particular school).
     
  11. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    I agree with all of the above comments that stated how substituting was a good experience and that made BackpocketNJ much more self reliant and improved her management skills significantly. I know the past six years have made a tremendous difference to my own abilities an confidence as a teacher once I am IN the classroom. Outside of the classroom, and infront of administrators/district personnel, I still turn into a puddle of uncertainty.:eek:
     
  12. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Jun 15, 2008

    tripleheart, I am curious(maybe a little braindead after a Father's day feast:blush: what do you mean by "... putting alittle voice into it..."
    Do you mean personalizing it, with how you can "connect/match what they need, or a small side line of personal information?
    ex.: Last week I interviewed at an elementary school, that I really liked. My hubby and I checked the area out, talked to some people at the mall, a nearby restaurant and asked their opinions of that particular school- all of which was good, and I told the interview team that during the interview.
    BUT the thank you letter, after being rewritten 10 times, didn't include anything "with a personal touch" except one item- a balanced Literacy course that I had taken, and I made the connection comment with that part of their district curriculum. It was a standard form letter, that I substituted some specific items in it to match that particular interview. Everyone has always told me that I was TOO informal, what gives? :confused: Or maybe that isn't what you meant...
    Still got the rejection letter, with the standard, all candidates were highly qualified, decision was difficult..... blah blah .....:(
    please help.
    munchkin
     
  13. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Jun 15, 2008

    :blush:Ohhhh! so that's what you meant when you said .. going to post something about substituting! Oops, woulda helped if I had read the entire thread again!! Sorry.:eek:
     
  14. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I know that all of our most valued subs that were (or will be by Fall) certified teachers were hired this year in the very early rounds of hiring. We have a few that are good subs that are retired or are still going to school, but otherwise they are hired as soon as we have a position that they are eligible for:)
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I can only hope that the school districts where I sub like me so much as a reliable pinch hitter that they are reluctant to give me up in that position. I wanna be in the starting lineup this fall!
     
  16. KinderCali

    KinderCali Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2008

    communicate your wishes firmly and politely

    I was a sub that was working every day in a district DESPERATE for subs. In truth, I was probably more valuable to them as a sub than for the position I wanted, elementary teacher, because the area had many elementary teachers already but was having trouble getting reliable, day to day subs. So when I was told by an administrator that I could 'always sub next year if I wasn't hired' by them, I told him politely in no uncertain terms that I 'wouldn't be available the next year to sub', as I was committed to finding a full time position and was willing to relocate to get one.

    Now, in reality, I am not sure what I would have done had I not gotten a full time gig there or elsewhere, but this made it clear that they couldn't just keep me on as a sub indefinitely and pigeonhole me in that manner.

    I believe my honesty was one of the reasons I ended up getting the next opening at the school. As awkward as the conversation was, I think I earned the respect of the administrator by asking for what I felt I had earned. You don't want to be the 'always the sub, never the teacher' person, ending up feeling resentful about being passed over.

    That said, subbing is great classroom management experience, and I always play it up in interviews.
     
  17. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I think it varies by district. I sub a lot in one district that struggles to get enough subs, especially good ones, and I cannot get a full-time job there for the life of me...I've earned the "good sub" label. However, I sub in another district and had the principal tell me that he is all for hiring a good sub. He said it made more sense to him to hire a good sub full time and have them 180 school days a year and find a bad or ok sub for filling in. I wish more principals had that mind set.
     
  18. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I experienced this first hand. Saskatchewan only has two major cities, and I became a sub in one of them. As many of you know, I am a linguist, I speak English, French, Spanish and some Plautdiestch. This put me in EXTREMELY high demand as a substitute teacher.

    I was also comfortable with kids in every grade level. I spent a year and a half toiling away as a sub, volunteering my time with 4 different high school teams. Then the yearly round table came.

    I came with excellent references, as well as with excellent reviews from teachers I had subbed for. The High School Principals wanted to hire me. The elementary school Principals did not - they wanted me to remain on the sub list. There were issues about prep time between the high schools and elementary schools (high schools got more) and I ended up a victim of politics.

    I left, and have reapplied with this division. I have only ever been asked BACK as a sub. So I don't go, I refusee. I've worked in a small city, a hamlet, a town, and will be in a secondary city (Saskatchewan has 3 or 4) next fall. A secondary city is good enough for me. I have a permanent contract and I intend on staying put for awhile if they'll have me.
     
  19. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Jun 15, 2008

    The same at my school. When my p found out one of our good subs was starting an alternative cert. route for the fall she snatched her up very quickly. I was a para at my school for two years before I got my own classroom. My p said she would pick me over someone else because I already knew the school, and she saw me in action.
     
  20. colie

    colie Companion

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I say to sub! Quick story...

    The district posted for leave replacement teachers. I applied, I was told I must sub first. They only hire leave replacement teachers from within their sub pool.

    Now I'm subbing and networking a lot!!! When I go to a new school I introduce myself to the principal and give them my resume. This has gotten me a few interviews.

    Many of the teachers I met have started subbing or as a leave replacement. Schools like to hire someone they know that also knows the school. You will learn great classroom management strategies too!
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Our school is always short on teachers. Last year I think we had 5 or 6 long term subs. I know that they were LTSes not because the school wouldn't hire them on as regular teachers, but because they weren't fully certified/licensed.

    Our school will always hire competent subs as teachers if a position becomes available and if the sub is appropriately licensed. I know of at least 2 LTSes who were hired midway through the year as soon as their licenses cleared.
     

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