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Monday, September 15, 2008

Drought Then Flood...

My 5th season substitute teaching started mid-August. My average subbing assignment schedule usually runs two or three days a week during the school year. I’m happy with that frequency as it gives me some down time if I happen to get clotheslined with one or two of those unexpected difficult assignments in a single week.

So it was with some apprehension when the first three weeks went by with absolutely no calls. I was starting to wonder if I was even on the subbing list.

I don’t have to wonder anymore. The subbing drought ended with the first call late last week that resulted in a flood of five consecutive assignments starting Sept/12.

The first random call was for a school I rarely get assignments. Three days for 2nd graders. At lunch in the teachers lounge the first day, a 5th grade teacher asked if I was available for her class on Wed this week. Today, also in the teachers lounge, another 2nd grade teacher who knew I was subbing next door asked if I was available for Friday, also this week.

There are two schools of thought about substitutes in the teacher’s lounge. Some subs feel the atmosphere is basically hostile to subs and will eat in the classroom or the car to avoid uncomfortable situations. I have the opposite view. It’s a great place to meet and greet teachers for potential future assignments.

But enough is enough for this week. I want Thursday off so I might be eating my lunch in the car tomorrow.


Super Sub said...

I'm feeling that flood here too!

I've been subbing almost non-stop since the 5th day of school. I'm only off today because I wouldn't change an appointment for this afternoon. I almost called to change it so I could go back to the class I was in yesterday. But I heard my husbands voice in my head saying "You wouldn't be so busy if you learned to say NO."

So today I'm learning the power of NO!

Worked 17 of 24 days so far this year.

Margaret Kravat said...

Thanks for leaving me a message, Mark! I've been reading your blog since January or February when I started student teaching. Thank you for keeping a blog with some insightful comments about being a substitute teacher. It's really been a help to a new teacher like myself!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

It was like that last year in Las Vegas, nothing and then I worked everyday of the year.

Sladed said...

I've never found a downright uncomfortable or hostile teacher's lounge except during one of my student teaching assignments. In fact many are friendly and some teachers will go out of their way to make conversation with you whether you're a first-timer or a regular.

I would encourage subs to eat in the lounge. You have many opportunities to make connections and get teaching jobs that way. And if you need a day off on a day you get requested, you can always say no, you have something else scheduled...even if what you have scheduled is a BREAK from the "little darlings"!