This is the first day of the new school year. A lot of changes occurred over the summer since the close of the previous school year. The district replaced the old “SubFinder” substitute assignment system with the "SmartFindExpress" system.
The old “SubFinder” was telephone access only. I could call the system for an available assignment any time of the day or night. Alternatively, the system would call with an automated request if an assignment was available.
If I declined the assignment, the system went to the next name on the list until it found a “taker”. If there were no takers, it simply looped back around to the top of the list and tried again. The list, presumably, was ordered from high to low by some desirability or seniority scale, and would keep calling even AFTER the start of the school day, attempting to fill the position until canceled by the school. The system, though a bit outdated, worked fine.
Over the summer, the district installed the new “SmartFindExpress” system and encouraged us to check it out and get familiar using it. It has both phone and web access to display, presumably, all upcoming assignments for the week, month. The phone access operates, presumably, the same way its predecessor did.
I say “presumably” because the “list of available assignments” feature disappeared from both the phone and web access menus a few days before the start of school.
I called the district office to inquire when the substitute assignment system would start showing available assignments. The substitute coordinator informed me that the system up and running and showed no problems. When I asked about the unavailability of assignments list menu, the answer was disappointing.
Due to budget cuts, the district layoff of several teachers over the summer placed them on the substitute teacher rolls, which was ok with me. I assumed that they would be placed on the top of the list of all available substitute teachers to call.
What I didn’t expect was there are now TWO lists: the fired teachers (FT) list and the list for the rest of us. Only the FT’s have access to all available substitute assignments. The rest of us won’t be called until all available FT’s have had a chance to accept ot decline the assignment up to and until the morning of the assignment. That’s presumably when they’ll activate the second tier list to service the late morning “leftovers”.
“It’s only fair. I’m sure you understand…” was the last comment from the “Substitute Coordinator” at the district office before I hung up on her.
What I understand is that I’ll probably be working a lot fewer days this year. I’ll have to wait and see if renewing my yearly state credential was worth the cost.
Too soon to tell…