Become the Preferred Substitute Teacher in Your District by Joining the SmartFindExpress Network

As a substitute teacher, you are the person the district depends on when absences occur. Permanent teachers get sick, unforeseeable circumstance arise, and accidents happen. When things go wrong, make sure you are the one called to fill in by joining SmartFindExpress. School Districts nationwide are turning to this premiere software in absence management to fill positions when help is needed.

Being a SmartFindExpress sub means you are dependable and ready whenever duty calls. This software is known for filling absences with the best substitute teachers in the district. In addition to the ease of finding positions as a SmartFindExpress substitute teacher, you can easily become the preferred substitute and be the first sub contacted when your district has an absence to fill.

Benefits of Using SmartFindExpress

Automated Job Alerts – Sub Sidekick provides automated job alerts to substitute teachers allowing them to easily accept or decline opportunities as they become available. Alert types include mobile messages and email messages. Tips, tricks, and secrets for using the service are found on Sub Sidekick’s website.

Embedded Help Videos – The system has support videos placed directly in the interface available 24 hours a day. These help videos provide the assistance you need when you need it.

Access Lesson Plans – When teachers do not want students to miss out while they are away, they can enter lesson plans for their substitute to follow. These plans are easily accessible over the system so you will know exactly what you are teaching that day.

Text to Speech Instruction – Once an employee enters the details of an assignment into the system, SmartFindExpress converts the text into a recorded message for the substitute teacher. Upon accessing the system by phone, you hear the recorded message. It is as if the teacher is talking directly to you, which adds a personal touch to each offer you receive.

How to Join the Network

Becoming a SmartFindExpress substitute teacher is as easy as contacting your district to receive a system ID number. Once you have the ID number, you can register through the login page on your district’s website or by calling a provided network phone number. After completing registration, sign up for a free trial of Sub Sidekick to start receiving job alerts.

Becoming the Preferred Substitute

When placing an assignment in SmartFindExpress, the employee has the choice of requesting a specific substitute teacher or placing a general request. Once you have subbed at a school, you have a better chance of being chosen for more assignments. Make sure no one else is chosen above you. Follow these tips to become the preferred substitute and be the first choice for every assignment.

Show up on time, ready to fulfill your duty. If you are late, you’ll make a bad first impression. Get to your assignment early, and prepare yourself for the students before they arrive. Brush up on the school’s dress code before attending. Be courteous to the other teachers, and introduce yourself. A good first impression shows professionalism and an eagerness to teach. This helps secure your place as a first choice for the next assignment.

Follow instructions left by the teacher. The permanent teacher must get through a specific amount of information within the confines of the school year. Missing days can put a kink in that plan. Teachers are trusting you to teach the students so they will not fall behind. Closely following lesson plans keeps the students on track. It allows the teacher to rest, knowing that they will not need to catch up when they return. When teachers feel they can depend on you to continue what they started, they are more likely to call on you the next time they need to miss a day.

For more great tips on becoming the requested teacher, check out this blog post.

Get Started Now

SmartFindExpress is a great service that many school districts across the nation depend on to fill their absences. Substitute teachers are a very necessary part of any education system. Be the best substitute you can be by making yourself available and being ready to fill any role.

With easy-to-follow tutorials, tips and tricks for using the service, and customized job alerts that match your skills and preferences, Sub Sidekick can help you become the preferred SmartFindExpress substitute in your district. Contact Sub Sidekick for more information on the free trial and the services they provide.

Photo © Kreg.Steppe

Become a AesopOnline Preferred Substitute

One of the unique features of AesopOnline is the ability for teachers to create a list of preferred substitutes for their classroom. Getting added to this list not only guarantees you more jobs, but will also give you the opportunity to work in the same classroom with the same students on a regular basis

Here are three easy ways to make sure teachers recognize you as an excellent substitute and add you as a preferred substitute:

1. Leave your mark

If a teacher doesn’t have a preferred substitute list already established, chances are you may have been chosen at random for the assignment. Unfortunately, this means there is little connection between you and the teacher. This can be easily remedied by creating profession business cards to leave for the teacher’s reference in the event of another absence. Professional quality business cards can be created for as little as $10. It’s well worth the investment.

2. Keep the teacher informed

Teachers like to know what happened in their absence. Be sure to keep accurate notes throughout the day indicating students’ progress as well as any behavioral problems you may have encountered. The teacher will be able to return the next day and pick up where you left off without any problems. Your consistency in doing so will make you appear more dependable, and therefore more likely to get added to the preferred substitute list.

3. Follow directions

As a substitute, you may occasionally find yourself in the position where you must use your emergency plans, but usually the teacher will have left you materials. If this is the case, that teacher has the expectation that you will follow directions to the best of your ability. This can be difficult because it sometimes puts you in a position as a professional educator where you may want to modify the lesson as you see fit for the benefit of the students. Remember that you are only seeing a snapshot of the overall unit and the teacher may have other plans ready for when he/she returns. By being a team player and following directions, you will prove yourself as a reliable substitute and the teacher will be more likely to add you to the preferred substitute list.

For more helpful tips to secure you substitute teaching jobs, visit our blog or contact us!

Photo © Kreg.Steppe

May I Park Here? Questions to Consider When Subbing

As a substitute teacher, there are helpful hints you probably didn’t learn in your substitute teaching class. But following these seven hints can help make your day run more smoothly and can even make you stand out from other substitutes in a positive way.

1. As you drive into the parking lot, try not to park in the spots closest to doors.  Although there are no assigned parking spots, some teachers tend to have a favorite that they have been parking in for years, often the ones closest to the doors.

2. Before school starts, locate a teacher’s bathroom that’s closest to your classroom. Also, find out who can cover your class if nature calls during class time.

3. Are the students overly energetic? Ask if it’s okay to take them out for an extra recess. If so, make sure the doors stay unlocked or are propped open so you can get back in.

4. Is it okay to drink the coffee in the teacher’s room coffee maker? Often, teachers pool their own money to buy coffee. Before pouring, ask if it’s okay to have a cup. If you’re doing a long term subbing job, offer to contribute to the coffee collection.

5. Be careful about school gossip. If a teacher comes to you and starts to complain about the teacher you’re subbing for, politely change the topic. You don’t want a reputation as a sub who gossips.

6. Ask how the copy machine works. Is it okay to step out of the room to make an extra copy of a worksheet while students are in the room?

7. Finally, it’s helpful to know what time you’re expected to leave and what you need to do to clean up at the end of the day.

So next time you get that morning call or accept a subbing job on AesopOnline, keep these eight hints in mind for an enjoyable day as a substitute teacher.

Photo © Kreg.Steppe

How to Cancel a Job using the AesopOnline Service

We’ve already told you how easy it is to accept a job using AesopOnline, but occasionally the need arises to cancel a job that was booked using Absence Management, formally known as AesopOnline. This may be because another more desirable job opportunity became available, or perhaps something came up on your personal agenda. Regardless, cancelling a job is easy – just follow these simple steps.

First, log in to the system using your ID and pin number. By default, the page will display available absences. Since you intend to cancel a job rather than reserve a new job, click on the “Scheduled Absences” tab. This tab will display all upcoming jobs scheduled through AesopOnline. Locate the job you wish to cancel. Click the red cancel button located in the upper right of that job’s description. The system will prompt you to confirm the cancellation. It’s that simple!

Just a warning – Some jobs cannot be cancelled because you either do not have permission in the system, or because it is too close to the start time for that job. If this is the case, contact the school immediately to notify them of your cancellation. You should always try to present yourself as a dependable substitute. You do not want to make a negative impression that may hinder future employment opportunities.

AesopOnline is a robust system to help manage substitute teaching jobs. Despite all the excellent features, navigating the system is intuitive and easy. Feel free to contact us for any additional help. AesopOnline will assure that you get the jobs you want, when you want!

Six Steps to Being the Requested Sub

Most school systems have a large pool of substitutes.   How you do move past being just another sub to being the first sub requested?

First: Maintain professionalism.  First impressions are important.  Follow the school’s dress code and arrive on time. Introduce yourself to the teachers near your classroom. If you have questions, be sure to ask someone before the day begins rather than interrupting a teacher during lessons.

Second: Try your best to maintain classroom management.   Teachers on either side of your classroom notice if a classroom is noisy or quiet.   For suggestions on classroom management, read our blog post, Classroom Management Made Easy.

Third: Follow lesson plans.  By following the teacher’s plans, you reduce her need to play catch up when she returns. .

Fourth: Clean up at the end of the day.  A teacher loves to start her day to a tidy room.   If you have extra time, straighten up the reading books or sharpen pencils.  These small actions will leave a big impression on a busy teacher.

Fifth: Smile at students and staff.   Even if you’re exhausted and need to force a smile, the staff with tell the teacher you were a pleasant sub to have in school.

Sixth: Leave a note explaining the day. Let the teacher know the good things that happened.  Let her know how impressed you were with something in the classroom, like her science area. Be sure to thank her and clearly write your first and last name when you sign the note. Let her know your subbing schedule.

As more substitutes are alerted electronically, sites such as AesopOnline and Willlsub, include teacher requests in their programs. By following the six steps listed above, you will assure a teacher that you are the one to be requested. If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Photo © COEComm

How to Accept a Job using AesopOnline

AesopOnline is a great service and resource for substitute teachers to find teacher absence postings on the internet. SubSidekick gives you unlimited access to AesopOnline as well as other substitute placement and absence management systems. Your school must be using one of these management systems for the notification system to work properly. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how to use AesopOnline. This article will tell you How to Accept a Job using AesopOnline.

After logging in to AesopOnline and navigating to your Home Page, you can first check your “notifications” and confirm any that require your conformation. The main tabs are Available Jobs, History and Preferences here. There is also a calendar that is color coded to help you see both past and scheduled jobs, available jobs, and non work days at the school. The main body is below the calendar and holds the Job Tabs which consist of Available Jobs, Scheduled Jobs, Past Jobs and Non Work Days.

To look for jobs you will first need to select either of the “Available Jobs” tabs. On this list you can see all the details of the job without having to move to another screen. Accepting or rejecting a job is as simple as selecting the Accept or Reject button. The icon that looks like a sheet of paper is a “Notes” button that will contain notes about the particular job from the teacher. Some jobs will list as multi-day absences. For these jobs you will select “See Details” instead of accept. This will expand and detail the days offered so you can make a decision. Phone number and even a maps buttons are also available on this page to help you contact and locate the school.

Once you have accepted a job, you will then receive a confirmation number. Bring this number with you to the school when you start the job. There may also be a file attached at this point for you to review with helpful information from the school.

Your home page and calendar will be updated automatically with the newly accepted assignment. You can go to your home page and access this information by checking the interactive calendar.

It’s as simple as that. Aesop will offer you the flexibility to search for jobs the way you want. And by using SubSidekick, once you are logged in to Aesop, the jobs will come to you. If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Photo © COEComm

Tutorial on Accepting an AesopOnline Job Over the Phone

You can use AesopOnline to search for jobs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using the phone or online service. You will only receive a call from Aesop at times designated by your district. Accepting an AesopOnline Job Over the Phone is easy requiring just a few steps.

When you receive a phone call from Aesop and say “Hello”, you will hear the following recorded message:

“Hello, I am calling for [Substitute Name].”

After the prompt, you will have a few options that you can choose. They are:

  • Press 1 if you are interested in a job.
  • Press 2 to prevent further calls for the day.
  • Press 3 if the person the system is calling for is unavailable.
  • Press 9 to prevent the system from ever calling again.

If you press 1 to show you are interested in a job, you will hear the next prompt.

“I am calling on behalf of [School District Name] for an assignment at [School Name].”

Enter your PIN number followed by the # sign to continue.

Next, you will hear the details of the job.

“This is a one day assignment at [School Name] for [employee name and title] starting tomorrow at [job start and end times].”

The prompt gives you instructions on where to report as well.

Now, you can choose to accept or reject the job.

  • Press 1 to accept the job.
  • Press 2 to hear the message again.
  • Press 3 to reject the assignment but still allow additional calls for the day.
  • Press 4 to reject the assignment and prevent calls for the day.

Finally, you will hear a confirmation number, which you should write down, showing the system saved your selections. You can end the call now.

Congratulations! You accepted the assignment, and you are ready to work tomorrow. Accepting jobs over the phone has never been easier.

Sub Sidekick is a service for substitutes that supports a large variety of Aesop products. Contact us to find out all the ways we can make your job search easier.

Photo © COEComm

Emergency Substitute Teacher Lesson Plan Ideas

Normally, the teacher leaves the substitute a lesson plan. What happens if the teacher forgets? What if you are sitting in for a Spanish teacher and you majored in French? It can be hard creating a substitute teacher lesson plan if you are teaching an unfamiliar subject. There are a few tricks you can have up your sleeve to insure you are never left unprepared.

Look at the teacher’s schedule. Are you teaching a history class, foreign language, math, science, etc.? Does the teacher teach one subject or multiple classes? You can find where the students are in their course once you familiarize yourself with what is going on. Have the students read the next chapter, or have them answer review questions.

If you cannot find the teacher’s schedule, look on the school’s website. Usually, materials are arranged by course. Find a handout kids can complete and turn in by the end of class.

Carry printouts of puzzles. Word searches, crosswords, and other games are great ways to keep students busy. Common games are entertaining too. Play a game of Pictionary by placing slips of paper with popular movies, songs and such into a bag. Have the class split up into two teams. Each team takes a turn at drawing the item on the slip of paper.

Writing assignments are a sure way to get the students thinking. Have them write stories about themselves. Ask the class, “what if…” questions. Another option is to start a sentence on the board like, “It was a dark and stormy night…” Have each student contribute the next sentence in the story.

If you have a talkative bunch, ask them questions. Get to know the students. Ask them, “Who is your hero?” A group discussion is a great way to keep control.

If you’re interested in learning more about emergency substitute lesson plans,  please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Photo © COEComm

Photo © COEComm

Tutorial: How to Accept a Job Using SubFinder

You’ll find that using SubFinder is incredibly user-friendly.  One of the most important things you’ll need to know how to navigate is the Available Jobs screen.  Let’s review how to accept a job using SubFinder, so you’ll be prepared to start accepting jobs as soon as you finish reading this article!

Log In

  • The Welcome screen:  On the left side of your screen there will be a list of menu items.  Click on Available Jobs.

Available Jobs

  • View the jobs you are qualified for.
  • If you have been requested by a teacher, you’ll see those jobs listed first.
  • Look through the list to find jobs of interest.
  • To look at a job more closely, click on Select in the Job ID column.
  • View lesson plans for the day and any notes the teacher has left for the substitute.
  • Make your selection before the time has expired.

Accepting A Job

  • To accept a job, simply click Yes at the bottom of the screen.
  • Read additional instructions from the teacher.
  • Record the job number for future reference.

Look At Other Jobs

  • To go back and continue searching, click No or Return To Available Jobs.

It’s as simple as that!

SubFinder is a great system for substitute teachers because it gives you a full overview of the types of jobs you can choose from.  It also gives teachers the option of choosing a substitute they’ve worked well with in the past.  Why not log in right now and try it out?

For more information on SubFinder, contact us today!

Photo © COEComm

Substitute Teacher Tricks to Keep Students on Their Toes

The average teacher misses 6-13 days of school per year. This means that students are spending a good portion of their days with substitute teachers. You might remember when you were school-aged and much of your time was spent guiding subs down the wrong path.

Substitutes get to choose the age group for which they will fill in. They also get to turn in their key to the school at the end of the day. This means they don’t have to take papers home for grading. Subs truly have the upper hand here.

Imagine walking into a classroom full of kids you don’t know and stimulating them with creative and fun assignments. The right sub will be able to keep control of a classroom. This is a hard feat in itself. Subs stand out to the students who appreciate the effort. When a student is prodded with knowledge in a unique way, it keeps them engaged. Of course full-time teachers do this as well but it’s the subs that are remembered because they don’t stick around for long.

There are outstanding substitutes as well as mediocre and bad ones. The subs that do their jobs flawlessly have tricks hiding up their sleeves.

Walking into a rowdy classroom is anxiety provoking. When the class won’t settle down the old fashion way, it may be time to pick a name out of a hat. The chosen student will have to take over the sub’s duties and teach the class himself. Perhaps this student will guide the class through the previous night’s homework assignment, do some creative writing, or read a story aloud and discuss it afterward. The student will have a newfound respect for the substitute teaching job and will hopefully pass the word along to fellow students.

When in doubt, the substitute can load up on educational crossword puzzles and word searches. Break the classroom into teams and make it a challenge.

The sub can hold a debate depending on the subject he is subbing for. Students rarely resist the opportunity to stand up in front of the classroom to speak their mind. This may also get some of the shy folks the time they need to speak up for all the things they remained hushed on in the past.

Games can also be fun. Charades never gets old. The sub can come up with a bunch of subject matter depending on the class so the kids can be silly and learn at the same time. Chances are, come test time, the students minds may be triggered by something that was acted out during the game.

These are just a handful of tips substitutes can utilize when facing the battleground that is the job ahead.

If you’re a substitute teacher in search of a new way to obtain jobs, check out SubSidekick.  This is a free service provided to substitute teachers that will continuously search for jobs based on your criteria (title, school, assignment plan) and alert you by email or text when a job becomes available. The job can be instantly accepted using either method. Contact us today to get started.