Stand Out Above The Rest – Being The Preferred Substitute Teacher
Being the preferred substitute teacher for the schools you work at is the best way to insure your schedule is always full. Over time, you can build a network of teachers and schools that will turn to you before reaching out to the substitute pool. Work the following four tips into your routine to help get your name on everyone’s preferred substitute list.
1 – Hand out business cards.
Make business cards with your name and contact information. Keep them on you when you substitute. If you enjoy the class you are working with make sure you leave a card in the classroom. Hand your business cards out to the teachers in the surrounding classrooms. Also, leave a few in the teacher’s lounge. Business cards are a quick way to get your name in front of teachers. This is the first step to getting on a teacher’s preferred substitute list. If they have never heard of you before they can’t call on you to take care of their students while they are away.
2 – Be open to short and long-term placements.
Teachers love when they can count on a substitute to cover their classroom for multiple days or weeks versus having many substitutes for the same time frame. While an eight-day placement may not be ideal for your schedule, if you can rearrange things to be there for a teacher it will go a long way towards getting you to the top of their favorite substitute list. The same idea applies when a teacher calls and asks if you can cover their class every Tuesday for the next three weeks.
3 – Keep your planner on you at all times.
Never leave your planner at home when you are substituting. Inevitably a teacher will come to you and ask, “Are you free next Thursday?”. Being able to open your planner and answer immediately shows you are prepared and organized. Both are qualities that gets good substitutes to the top of the preferred substitute list.
4 – Leave detailed notes.
Teachers need and want to know what happened in their classroom while they were away. Leaving detailed notes is the easiest way to convey information. Knowing you will leave them all the information they need allows the teacher to not stress while they are out. Remember to tell them the good stuff along with the bad stuff and they will ask you. Don’t forget to attach your business card to your note!
Working these four key items into your substituting routine will easily get you to the top of any teacher’s preferred substitute list. If you have any questions about substituting or what you can do to catapult you to the top of the preferred substitute list at your favorite school feel free to contact us.