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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

Want To Be A Great Substitute Teacher? Read On!

It’s five o’clock in the morning and you just accepted a job as a substitute teacher for the day.  While you’re excited about the job, there’s always a bit of uncertainty that comes along with heading into a new classroom for the first time, with students you don’t know.  You want to have the best day possible, and you want to become a great substitute teacher.  Here are a few things you can do to revitalize the way you approach your day and that new class.

Be Happy

It might sound a little too easy, but sometimes you have to make up your mind that you’re just going to have a great day.  You know the saying, “Fake it ’til you make it”?  Do that!  Don’t concentrate on the nervous feelings you get when you stand before a class for the first time.  And don’t think about how frustrating it gets when the boys in the back of the room start talking to each other during the lesson.  Instead, think about the perks of your job.  You didn’t have to plan a lesson, and you don’t have to meet with parents every day after school.  You get to walk into a room and be a teacher that encourages young minds to learn.  Your job is important, and you’re going to be great at it.  The more you can tell yourself these positive things, the better you’ll be at teaching.

Be Prepared

You don’t know what the day has in store for you.  Quite often, substitutes get to school and find that the lesson that was left for them is really too short, or it’s only a review of things the kids have already been learning.  Be prepared to fill in the extra time in case you have some.  If you play the guitar, maybe you could bring it with you.  With the kids’ help you might put together some short songs to help them memorize facts for an upcoming test.  Or perhaps you can think of some games that will help you reinforce their lessons.  As long as you’re prepared with a few different activities, you’ll quickly become a favorite among substitute teachers.

Be Interested

The kids you’re teaching will respond favorably to you if you show genuine interest in them.  When you can, single them out and respond to them individually.  This can work wonders with students who are prone to misbehaving when their regular teacher is away.  Quite often, those students only want attention, so when you give them positive attention, the result is students who are eager to learn from a teacher who really seems to care.

Remember, your job as a substitute teacher is an important one! You provide an invaluable service to your fellow teachers, and you have the chance to influence the lives of countless numbers of children.

How to Cancel a Job Using SubFinder

SubFinder is an innovative platform that provides one place for organizations throughout North America to post substitute positions. Persons interested in being a substitute teacher can easily log-in, review available positions, apply and be accepted. You can efficiently search for positions based on your qualifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Everyone recognizes that circumstances may arise that prevent you from fulfilling a job you were accepted for. How do you cancel a job? Perform this function by reviewing your assignments. Below is a guide to the review section of SubFinder.

  • Click “Current Jobs.” Once you have logged-in, the “Current Jobs” button will list all your current assignments in start date order. This table will give you complete details, including who you are substituting for, the position, the site location and the dates and times applicable to the job. There are also hyperlink columns entitled “Special Instructions” (SI), “Itinerant Schedule” (IS) and “Substitute Notes” (SN). The hyperlinks are active when information in those categories is available.
  • Select the “Job ID.” The “Job ID” is located to the far left of the review table. Click the job you need to cancel to reveal a new window with detailed information, including a “cancel” option.
  • Click “Cancel.” SubFinder will want to verify you want to cancel. To confirm, simply click “Cancel Job.” If you change your mind, choose “Don’t Cancel.” In some cases you may be prompted to add a reason for the cancellation.
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Classroom Management Made Easy For Substitute Teachers

As difficult as being a teacher can be, if you’re a substitute teacher, you definitely feel the stress in your job.  When students are introduced to a substitute teacher, their first response is often to think, “Today’s a day to goof off!”  Here are a few classroom management tips that will help you to wrangle even the toughest group of students into submission.

Establish Your Authority

One of the problems many substitutes have when they’re looking at a new sea of faces in a classroom is lacking authority.  You’re in charge.  The authority has been given to you by the school district to take charge of that classroom.  While you want the kids to like you, they need to know you’re just as authoritative as their regular teacher.  The kids will respect you if you demonstrate that authority right from the beginning.  Speak loudly and use body language that reinforces your level of confidence.

Don’t Yell

Yes, you’ll probably lose your temper.  But if you can maintain your composure, you’ll maintain control of your classroom.  Kids are used to their teachers yelling at them, and it doesn’t really do any good.  Yelling at kids shows them that they’re gaining the upper hand, which is the last thing you want them to think.  Speak in a firm voice that’s low enough that the kids will have to stop talking to hear you.  You’ll get their attention.

Use Rewards

Kids love rewards.  Even older kids will rise to the occasion to earn a free hall pass or a homework pass.  If you can find out from their regular teacher a few types of rewards that will be okay to hand out, you’ll quickly gain the confidence of the classroom. Kids generally expect punishment from substitute teachers, so by using rewards, you’ll give them (and you) a positive classroom experience.

Your job is important.  Even though you don’t have the opportunity to get to know a group of students really well, you provide their teachers with a valuable resource.  Learning how to effectively manage your classroom will help you enjoy your job even more than you already do.

Photo © COEComm

Photo © COEComm

Why You Should Consider Using Substitute Teaching to Obtain a Full Time Position

Getting into the education field has become much more competitive. Years ago, it was relatively easy to gain entry into the field, but now even substitute teachers have to obtain a license to work in most districts. However, sometimes you may want to consider using Substitute Teaching to Obtain a Full Time Position. This is especially a good option for people that want to get into the teaching profession, but they may need some time to transition from another career.

In most school districts, anyone can become a substitute teacher if they have a bachelor’s degree and they complete an application and a background check. Once you have become a substitute teacher, you can work on gaining experience as a teacher. Many schools will give substitute teachers perference when it comes to hiring decisions because it shows your commitment to teaching.

As a substitute, you can use your time working at the schools as part of your practical experience and begin taking classes toward your teaching certification. It is also very common that school districts offer alternative certification programs. These are programs that are designed for people from other fields to become teachers. Alternative certification programs are typically offered in conjunction with local institutions where students can take classes on the weekends or evenings and gain experience teaching in schools while staying in their current positions.

Given that there are more people interested in getting into the teaching profession, some of these programs are more competitive now. They look carefully at your grades, Praxis scores, and background before allowing you admission to the program. Also, some districts only hire a certain amount of substitute teachers every year as well.

In order to figure out what is the best path, you should research the programs offered by the district that you would like to work with first. Look at their options and then make a decision that will fit into your current role in the district.

Photo © COEComm