When Will I Be Called? [Substitute Survival]

impatience-300x183[This post is part of a series on Substitute Survival]

So you’ve made your way onto the rotation lists for substitute teachers at the various schools in your district. Now what? Wait for your first call. The amount of time you wait depends on how many substitute teachers there are in your district and how willing the support staff are to call you (based on how comfortable they are with you — first impressions are key!). Your wait time can also depend on how large your district is, i.e. smaller schools with smaller staffs generally have fewer sick days taken and therefore host fewer opportunities to sub.

Whenever I experienced a lull in calls or had sporadic unscheduled days, I took it upon myself to call the secretaries at my selected schools to see if they needed any subs. I very rarely made a call that didn’t result in either an immediate scheduling or one the following day. They may not have something the moment you call, but if a time-off request hits their desk the following morning, guess who is fresh on their mind? A little proactivity can go a long way.

While you may hope that you will be able to schedule your subbing dates ahead of time, the reality is that many are scheduled at 6:30 am of the day you are needed. Whether you are subbing for the extra income or to get a foot in the door to become a teacher, it is best to make yourself as available as possible. Knowing that you can be counted on to answer your phone in the wee hours of the morning is a big feather in your cap with the support staff who make the calls.

With that in mind, make sure that your phone ringer is turned up on all school nights! If you are a bit of a deep sleeper like myself and your phone has the capability, you should consider creating a contact group in which you will save all of the school phone numbers (and secretaries’ home/cell numbers as you learn them). Assign this group (or each individual contact if you’re not into the whole ‘brevity’ thing) a special [read: loud!] ringtone.

A loud ringtone, a proactive attitude, and a little perseverance will have you in a classroom before you know it!

[This post is part of a series on Substitute Survival]

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