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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Perfect Storm, Subbing Wise...



The year I decided to cut back on assignments is the year that the district says they are extremely short of subs. They blame the recovering economy for subs leaving the sub pool to return to full time, better paying jobs.

That meant that the "roving sub" status they had me on last month had me traveling and working more than I wanted so I did not re-up for the rest of the school year.

The district is "strongly suggesting" to teachers, not take any discretionary days off for the rest of the year unless they personally arrange for substitute coverage.

Judging by the number of emails I am getting, I'm pretty sure I could work almost every school day for the rest of the school year if I wanted.

Things are so dire that I have already booked an assignment for the last Friday of the school year in June.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

District Office Roving Sub...



A "roving sub" assignment implies that you won't be in one classroom the entire day. I've "roved" for several classrooms at a single school. I've "roved" two different schools the same day to work a half day at each.

It seems that 2015 is the year of "perfect storm" conditions for substitute shortages.  The number of teachers being out of the classroom has greatly increased for "Teacher Training" while the number of active substitutes teachers has not.  I know a number of substitutes purposely cutting back work availability or leaving for one reason or another.

Last week the district office contacted me to see if I would be willing to do "roving assignments for the district office". I hadn't heard of this before so I had to ask exactly what I would be doing as a "district office roving sub".

I would be pre-reserved as a "District Office Roving Sub" for any days in the week I was willing to be available. If they didn't need me, I would still get paid. 

If they did need me, the office would call after 07:40am with a list of schools and grade levels to pick from.   

As an added bonus, being pre-reserved means that the automated system will not be calling at 05:30am. My wife especially likes this feature.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Scam Almost Worked...



(Not related to school)
I got a call this afternoon from my nephew saying he was in Mexico on vacation and ran into a little problem.

I know, I know...this already sounds like a scam but the caller DID sound like my nephew and he has vacationed in Mexico several times before.

He said he was driving when the police pulled him over, tested him for alcohol and found an open bottle in the car. With my nephews past history, it was highly conceivable.

He said his lawyer, Kevin Williams from the U.S. consultant, had plea-bargained the offence down to a fine of $1980. Of course he didn't have that much and was calling to see if I would send the money Western Union or he would be jailed. He promised to pay me back when he got back to the U.S.

If he couldn't pay the fine by 04:00pm today, he'd have to spend the night in a Mexican jail cell.

Of course, my B.S. meter was pegging the max but this person's client DID sound like my nephew. I got as far as going to the bank, getting the money but on the way back home, I thought that maybe a night in a Mexican jail cell might do him some good.

It was then I started an internet search for the lawyer's name at the American consulate...and found nothing. I did fine a few interlinks for "Mexicanjail scam" and things started to click.

I didn't send the money.

I called my brother to see if he knew where our nephew currently was. He didn't and was sure this sounded like a typical scam. My brother called later with a report that our nephew was currently at home, in California, watching TV with his wife.

"Mr. Williams" called later to see when I was going to send the money....

Monday, January 12, 2015

I'm Not a Linguist...



I try, but sometimes I am not very good at pronouncing some names.

When taking roll I'll most likely mispronounce unusual names that have no vowels or even some that have too many.

When I try to repeat the name as close as possible to what I "hear", I'm often wrong and it becomes like that commercial for insurance about "Frog protection". The kids will eventually help me out by giving me an alternative name to use.

This also is a problem when reading history, social science or the current novel

Now, whenever I encounter one of these situations, I just write the name on the board and tell the students that whenever I say "Dude", I mean the guy whose name is on the board.

If the character is female, I use "Dudette"


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Working Hard or Hardly Working...



I received my school district paycheck in the mail yesterday and realized that things have changed. I only worked 4 days last month and only 4 days so far this month.
The shortened Thanksgiving break accounted for some the lull in activity but the rest was entirely me. 

There were many more opportunities to pick up assignments last month but the urgency to take them has not been the same since reaching a life milestone that I thought would be nonexistent at this time. 

Social Security & Medicare! 

Just over 10yrs ago, I began documenting with this blog my experiences of an entirely different environment from the profession I worked previously. Subbing was a way to cover our health insurance costs and other expenses that come with living in Silicon Valley. Now that those expenses taken care of, I can actually consider real retirement.

If I do not have an assignment booked by bedtime, I set my online status as "not available" to eliminate the automated early morning 05:30AM call. 

I am now more selective on assignments. I find myself preferring 3rd grade up to middle school as choice. There are a couple schools where I will no longer consider working at any grade level. Life is too short for the stress involved.

If the office calls later in the morning, I'll consider it if it doesn't conflict with other daily plans. Time with the grandkids is much more fun & productive at this early age...before they turn into teenagers. 

I don't know if the school district can live with my limitations or not. I assume they will let me know if they can't.