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AesopOnline’s Preferred Substitute Teacher Program – Is It Fair?

If your school district uses Absence Management, formally AesopOnline, to manage teacher absences, you should be aware of the preferred substitute feature. When teachers and school administrators assign select substitutes the preferred status, those substitutes are given the opportunity to fill some or all open positions before other substitutes are alerted.

Aesop offers this feature for the convenience of teachers and school administrators, but there are some advantages for substitute teachers as well:

  • Aesop has the potential to match your education, experience, and preferences with ideal openings within your school system. The better matched you are to a position, the better you can perform on the job.
  • Just as teachers are likely to have preferred substitutes, you are likely to have preferred teachers. You can spend more time subbing for those preferred teachers and less time subbing for random teachers.
  • You are more likely to feel appreciated when your school system utilizes the preferred substitute teacher feature. This is one way teachers and administrators can show that they value your hard work.

It is true that these advantages are enjoyed only when you are listed as a preferred substitute for your school district. If that seems unfair, think about it from the perspective of a teacher or school administrator. The most efficient way to ensure the best fit for every classroom is through the preferred substitute feature.

Teachers are more comfortable leaving their classrooms when they are familiar with the substitute filling in for them. You are likely more comfortable when you are familiar with the teaching style preferred for a classroom and the lesson plan being taught. Students are more comfortable with substitutes that they have worked with in the past. Everyone’s needs are met through the use of a preferred status system.

If you do your job to the best of your ability and develop strong working relationships with every teacher you assist, you can become an AesopOnline preferred substitute.

Do you want to be among the first to know when substitute positions are open in your school district? Contact us to start receiving alerts today.

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  1. Jodi Gunter

    Well I love Aesop and have Jobulator as well which is really nice instead of having to wait on a phone call from a school to sub for them like the old system.

    The problem is that I live in a small town and they already have their picks and cliques which is not fair. I thought school personnel and teachers taught fairness but this is not when they do this. I paid the same fee and went through the same application process as the next sub locally so it’s worse than politics.

    Seems like that is a form of showing special treatment and or a form of discrimination when a system is not fair for all in the work force.

    • This can definitely be frustrating. The best way to handle this and stay vigilant about searching for jobs at your schools and take anything that becomes available. It only takes a couple times of subbing and doing a great job (sometimes in positions that other people don’t want) to make an impression on the school administration and teachers. Every teacher wants a great sub who will go above and beyond so if you’re able to get any job and show your skills, they’ll consider adding you to their list of who they contact first. Good luck!

    • Linda J Lawson

      There aren’t too many messages posted on this site. The only two I see are from 2 years ago.
      I’m not very happy with the change. I wonder why they started this since the principals and teachers already had “into place” their list of favorite people to call. Calling them on the phone is a little less discreet. At least that way, it wasn’t as advertised as it is now.
      Now, I feel like a 2nd class substitute. When I was hired I was made to feel important. Life throws so many curve balls.

  2. Not every substitute teacher can be preferred.
    It makes me think of educational segregation. If administrators want to keep a preferred list of substitutes to call, as a general rule, that’s one thing, but to change the structure of Aesop, and allow administration to add this feature does not give equal opportunity to every qualified substitute, as it should.
    I’ve been in some schools long enough to know that as hard as I try, I don’t always feel preferred, while others do. How does anyone know it’s not based on some type of favortism. Favortism has little to do with experience, or dedication. The focus should be on helping not hurting employees. If the focus doesn’t apply to equal opportunity, then they are isolating qualified people over the preferred.

  3. Linda J Lawson

    Wonderful idea!
    Everyone should be a preferred substitute.

  4. A.F. Segre

    Suggestion…One thing which would help the entire system is if teachers and support staff were instructed to ALWAYS list their grade level and particular type of assignment when posting. Too often the job opening simply says, ” Ed. Tech., or ESL…..even, just Spec. Ed. No grade level(s) explanation as to who the substitute will be signing up to work w/ that day. Not being choosy buy it’s not easy to do your best if you walk in and are then told you are assigned to a pre-K or 5th grade…..or multi-level classroom. We all have our strengths. Also, some schools never put out a job / or use the system…..or, only put out Ed. Tech. positions

    • carolyn

      If you’re on a preferred list are you notified by phone or only by email? Are the jobs held for you for a specific amount of time?

      • Hi Carolyn,

        It varies by school district and teacher. However, at SubSidekick you can be alerted via email, text message, or our exclusive SubSidekick App. Please contact us if you have any questions! 🙂

  5. Carol Thomas

    This system does sound good on paper, however, I haven’t found it to be fair. One school system that I worked for exclusively for two years had their sub coordinator retire. The new person gave just about all the available work to friends of hers. One woman had only worked for a month and a half, and she was getting more work than I was. I started to get days when either they never called, or I only got called if another sub (who was always calling out sick, but was a “favorite”) called out sick. These were last minute calls too. Now I was waiting not only for a full time teacher to be out, but for a sub to be out also. I felt that I was on the bottom of their list. So much for loyalty. I had no choice but to branch out to two other school districts, which really aren’t as good as my original. I also get no choices on AESOP about who I get called for, I’ve had to weed out undesirable assignments by putting the teacher on SubSideKick’s Do Not Alert list. I also get no option to give feedback. I write notes to the teachers instead. This seems to be an optional feature of AESOP. I’ve only seen it available with one school system. I don’t know if the teachers for the districts I’m in have this ability. Another problem I’ve had is accepting an assignment, then being cancelled off of it the night before, in favor of someone else. This is not my imagination, I’ve looked into it, it’s the truth. This is definitely not fair, and it messes up my schedule, now I have to wait again, and it might be a last minute deal. Once someone has accepted, they shouldn’t be allowed to cancel, or at least, we should get a 24 notice, but that’s not the case. One of my districts recently added a feature that if YOU (a sub) cancels inside of 24 hours, you are locked out from getting any more calls from them. (This is called “a late cancellation non work day”) I’ve been dealing with AESOP for the last five years, and to be perfectly honest, the entire system is slanted in favor of school districts, the office staffs and teachers. We subs are getting the raw end of the deal, we have no real choices or say about anything, in my opinion.

    • Thank you for your insight, Carol!! Here at SubSidekick we hope to help ALL substitute teachers have a steady work flow of job assignments. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help! Have a great day!

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