your experience as a sub

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Fran723, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Fran723

    Fran723 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2005

    Hi, I'm a certified teacher. I've been a SAHM for the past 5 yrs and now I think I'd like to go back to work but not as a classroom teacher. The stress was too much for me. Can you please share with me what your overall experience is as a sub? Do you like it? Do you really not know if you are working unless they call you at 6am? Is it very unpredictable? I have to put my daughter on the school bus at 8:20am so I can't be at work before 8:45 so that might be a problem. Do you deal with the parents of the kids? write lesson plans? what would you say are the main advantages/disadvantages of being a sub? Are the kids generally respectful? What is your day usually like? I'm going to need to make a decsion about what I plan to do for work soon and this is something I'm considering but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with having to wait on early morning calls but there may be a lot of advantages too. I'd appreciate any advice and feedback. Thanks! Fran
     
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 19, 2005

    I've been a sub for the past 6 yrs. Overall, it's ok. I don't sub general ed classes, because I really hate it, the kids are pretty bad & I feel pretty drained after having to raise my voice throughout the day, so I only sub speech and RSP (resource specialist program), which is a whole lot easier, plus there's an aide. But I don't get called everyday by any means. In fact, I've only worked as much as I have because my mom works for the district & knows people, one of them, a lady who has given me many long term assignments throught the years. At my district, I usually have to be there at 7:30. Overall, I'd say the kids are more bad than good regarding how they behave. I never have to deal w/ the parents, unless maybe I subbed for a kinder class, where 2-3 parents usually help out during the day. I never have to write lesson plans, but there's been times that I've come to a class that didn't have plans, but the aide is there to tell me how the routine goes. I've had many long term assignments & a few of them, I've had to find my own things to do w/ the kids.

    For me personally, since I only sub certain types of classes, it's relatively easy. I notice that w/ small districts that have maybe 5 or less schools, you have to sub any kind of class they give you where w/ large districts, you have a say in what types of classes you want to sub. My distrcit has about 33 schools. My district pays subs pretty well $115/day. Of course the advantage is unless you're long term, you just have to worry about that one day, so I'd say, if the kids are pretty bad, I wouldn't want to waste my energy yelling & screaming all day. What seems to work is taking minutes off of recess time or adding minutes they'll have to wait before going to lunch. They all seem to hate that. I think the biggest disadvantages are you get no benefits & you can never plan your whole week (or day for that matter) because you never know when you'll get called to sub. For me, they can call as late as 5:45-6am to come in that day. Once in a blue moon, I've gotten called in the late morning to come in right away because they were short on subs that day, which I've practically always declined because I frankly don't feel like getting ready then & there to go to work when my mind was set on having a free day. Hope this helps!
     
  4. Syele

    Syele Companion

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    Sep 19, 2005

    My ex-roommate was a sub. And I looked into it for me and found I was short the minimum college credits to qualify.

    The Sub-finder system... a recording thing called our house every night at 6pm, and again at 6am. If she wasn't there and I answered it would keep calling every 5 minutes till her code was entered. BAH! But it was actually really often that she would take the first ones that came in during the weekend (sometimes even on friday) and by tuesday she had a schedule for the whole week already set up. Then she did something (entered some other code when it called I think) to make it stop calling. At any rate that thing made it possible for my friend to know when she had to work before that morning actually arrived.

    I see different subs online saying different things about how they get called so it probably depends on where you live, I guess each school district does it differently.

    Also here the pay for subs is based on experience and certifications. Subs with only the min college credits to qualify get like $55 a day while experienced and certified teachers get double that. I think there are like four pay levels if I remember right.
     
  5. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Sep 19, 2005

    I have been a sub since Jan.2005. I am a middlecertified teacher looking for a permanent position.
    Do I like being a sub. Yes and no. I like kids alot. Sometimes I let the trouble-makers get me down and hating subbing. The elementary school and middle school is usually eay for me. But discipline at the hs level is harder for me...but I am getting used to it.
    I usually know my work days in advance because the school secretary calls me and days or weeks in advance. There are days that I am called last minute, but it's not often. Last Thursday I got a call at 10am. A ths teacher had an emergency and had to leave. So I agreed to go in, but I told them I couldn't get there for and hour and the school settled for that.
    The best part about subbing is that kids run to you in the hall and call your name out in malls or at the store. I feel that I am very respected by 98% of the students. Of course there are the trouble-makers who don't even respect their parents so of course they will give you a hrader time than most kids will.
    What are my days like? Elementary and middle school, I feel like a teacher. I teach the lessons that the teacher leaves and all that. At the hs level it's more stressful becasue teachers leave busy work for the students so your job is to make sure they do it and keep them from being loud. I feel like a babysitter in the hs.
    I do not write lessons, but I have modified some when I thought it was needed. I have never had to deal with parents.
    If you don't really want to wait for calls, maybe you could talk to the school you plan to sub at and tell them you can only be called in advance.
    As for stress. I am a naturally stressed person. But I have the gift of always appearing calm. I think subbing is kind of stressful. But that's because I feel like I'm doing something all the time without the chance for it to become routine. But just because I say it's stressful doesn't mean I don't have tons of fun.
    Yesterday my family and I went out to do some shopping. I wore a cap and sunglasses just for privacy. I couldn't believe how many kids (teens) came up to me and talked to me. Not that I really mind, but we live in a tiny town that has a high population of kids. So I always seeing kids I KNow everywhere and by the time I talk to all of them I am too exhausted to shop.
     
  6. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2005

    I have subbed a lot and now I have my own class. Advantages-- not dealing with parents, no lesson plans or paperwork, not dealing with other staff on a regular basis, leave when you're done with students, making a decision if you want to work that day. Disadvantages--no lesson plans sometimes, no insurance, "sub behavior" from kids, low pay and the phone ringing early in the morning! I think you just have to look aat what fit right with your life. Good Luck!
     
  7. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Sep 21, 2005

    I have been subbing for 5 years too. I work in two districts. One has a subfinder, but they are also online. My last few jobs that I have gotten from them I got off the web. THe other district that I work, the secretaries call me. Although this year she has only called me once and the rest of the time have been pre booked because I have been there and the teacher catches me in the hall. I don't like the sub behavior I get from the kids and this year seems especially bad when it comes to that. Monday I actually had to call the principal into my room. I have never done that EVER! I was just so frustrated with the 7th graders behavior. I have had to deal with a parent. I gave her child time out from recess and the mom was offended. Her child disrespected not only my rules but a school rule of respecting others in the classroom. I know now why the kid acted like he did. Up until last week I have always had everything I needed to teach the class that I was put in charge of. For some reason the teacher didnt so I had to go find the materials. That proved to be a bit challenging as the other teachers were doing the same things at the same time and they needed them, but we managed. I have to agree that the best part of subbing is that hug I get from kids in the hallway or even that Walmart. My kids avoid their teachers but always talk to their subs at stores. I feel pretty good when a kid comes and hugs me.
     
  8. msm123

    msm123 Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2005

    This is my first year subbing. I am a building sub which means I go in everyday and they place somewhere I dont know where I am going all the time unless there is a teacher out for a week or more, thats when they use the building subs first. I am certified in Sp. Ed and Elementary I am just waiting for an opening. I am subbing in the middle school I love it there. Advantages like others have said no lesson plans and not dealing with parents disadvantages at least at my school some of the teachers look down at the sub and no health insurance. But I like it and the kids are starting to know me and I am starting to know them.
     
  9. Hnana

    Hnana Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2005

    I think subbing has the potential of being a very high stress job. But, the more I do it the more self assured I get and I don't let the stress get to me. I subbed many years ago and the not knowing what my day held when I got up drove me nuts. This time, it doesn't bug me, I am just happy to get the work. Guess the difference is that I had a family to deal with back then and now it is just a husband and dog at home. The little tricks that the kids try to play when they see a sub amuse me--they think they are the first to try them and that they are so clevor. "Teacher, I am going to go get a taco. I'll get one for you, too! What kind do you want?" Yeah, right!
     
  10. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Sep 28, 2005

    I've been a sub since March of this year and I thorughly enjoy it. There's some days I do abolutely nothing or just run a few copies and get paid $90 for my day.

    Yes, subbing can be a high stress job. There's times I'd like to pull my hair out and mainly over classroom manaegement issues. The good thing is that I'm not dealing with the parents, just the children. Don't think I could deal with parents as well. The kids prove just enough as a challeneg for me at times that it's nice not having to deal with parents as well.

    Overall, the majoirty of kids have been respectful. I've only met a small handful that habven't. Then again, i sub for affluent districts where parents are really involved and teach their children to behave and be respectful of other adults and authority figures.

    I get a call at the last minute. Most of the time I know in adavnce, at least by a day, as to what I'll be doing sub wise. Most schools begin well before 9 AM and some begin, at the latest, at 9 AM. So yes, the fact that you have to put your daughter on the school bus at 8:20 AM every morning could be a problem unless you made it clear you can't take full days and will only do half days in the afternoons or, if subbing for a high school, sub one, two, or three periods of the day.
     
  11. justus

    justus Rookie

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    Oct 22, 2005

    First, subbing can be stressful (at times, more stressful than my previous job as a emergency dispatcher!) but can be very rewarding. I found that grades 6-8 were the most challenging, but again the most rewarding. There have been times when I wanted to run out of the building and scream (so if you feel like that, you are normal LOL!!) then the next day I just couldn't get enough of the students. The early graders (K-2) really, really knew their routine and they could pretty much run the class themselves. When I subbed at the high school level, it was mainly me sitting there while they worked on worksheets or watched a movie (Except for drama class-I probably had more fun than the students!!)

    Regarding the assignments-once the school knows your name (at least in our area) they will call you on a regular basis (well, for middle school and high school). I would usually get sub assignments well in advance (I don't do well with the call at 7:30 for subs-I have young children myself that I am getting ready for school at that time-unless it is at their school). Check out the teacher workshop schedules and ask the school if you might be needed during those times. That is also a good way to get yourself out there.
    Good luck!
     
  12. Shylac

    Shylac Rookie

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    Oct 28, 2005

    Just started subbing

    I just started to sub last week, since then ive subbed for kindergarten and fifth grade. I always thought i wanted to teach the younger kids but now i enjoy teaching the older ones..of course they were telling me bogus things such as one student kept telling me they were allowed to call their mothers! The kindergarteners were cute but wild! They ran to lunch i ran after them!
     
  13. Mldouglas

    Mldouglas Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2005

    Good and Bad Experiences

    I worked as a substitute for five and a half years. During that time I subbed in every situation I can think of. I worked general and special education as well as some educational assistant positions. I worked with Pre K through 12th grade. There were some classes that I absolutely loved subbing for and there were other classes that I hated. In this one school that I subbed in I had a particularly favorite class that I loved to sub in because I could always talk in my normal voice. The kids were so great and whenever I was in the building for another teacher I always made sure that I had time to visit that class at some point during the day to say hi to the kids and tell the teacher how great her kids were. Needless to say, I got several callbacks for that particular teacher.
    The worst experience I ever had as a sub was in a 1st grade class. I had also had the chance to observe things going on in this class before I actually worked in the room. The teacher was very lazy when it came to discipline, So much so, that she would use a whistle when she wanted them to quiet down. They were a busy little bunch. The first time I subbed for her, I actually brought my own whistle. I was very uncomfortable using it and I ended up screaming at the kids almost the whole day. At the end of the day the principal came in to talk to me and see how I was doing. Just prior to him walking into the classroom one of the little boys took a girls boot and threw it in the inclass toilet while I had my back turned helping another student get ready to go home. I ended up subbing for her two more times that school year and both times I left my whistle at home and just used good old common sense. Both times things ran very smooth and no bathroom incidences.


    Marci D.
     

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