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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Working or Not Working?

Working or not working? That is the question for the start of this school year.

The normal process for getting an assignment starts with a computerized call to sub a particular class. If I accept, the computer issues the assignment number. Sometimes the school secretary or teacher can enter assignments and get a number directly if the job has been pre-arranged.

I don’t get paid if I don’t have an assignment number.

It’s rare that I don’t have the assignment number before the day of the assignment. On those rare occasions, the school secretary will have an assignment number before end of class day. It’s a risk to work without the number. It all comes down to trust in the teacher and/or the school secretary to not screw up.

The first three calls this year failed to get me a number before class day. The first was corrected the morning I showed up. The teacher called me late the night before asking me to take over for the sub who also got sick that same night. The school office didn’t know there had been a switch but corrected the number to my account.

The second teacher was a definite “maybe” but never followed through. I called the office the day of just in case and was told no absence was requested for her. No harm, no foul. I went back to bed. I didn’t work that day.

Last night, I got an email requesting me for the next day (today). She said she was feeling ill and would put the number into the system if she didn’t think she could teach. As of 11:00pm last night it wasn’t there. As of 6:30am it wasn’t there. Again, I went back to bed.

Logged on the computer at 7:15am and saw an email in the inbox with the lesson plan attached. I would have to shower, shave, dress and be at the school in less than 45min.

I checked the system again to get the assignment number. The district system still says I have no assignments. No one is answering the school office phones either. Go or don’t go?

The teacher evidentially expects me to be there but hasn’t followed through about calling it in. I assume the school will correct the situation and get me the number I need after I get there.

So I arrived at the school a couple of minutes late to check in and explain why I’m there. The secretary informs me that the teacher is absent, but the lady standing next to me at the counter has the assignment number for the class. I’m not working today.

I hate when that happens!


Jene said...

I would be thinking twice about going in for that teacher w/o a number next time. I wonder if the lady who got the job had a lesson plan?

Another Casual Teacher said...

How frustrating!!

Unknown said...

That system sounds totally messed up. No number I won't waste the gas to drive to town unless the principal herself calls me and asks me to come in.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Ours is totally computerized and generates job numbers. The only thing that happens is if the teacher(ME) forgets to check the box that the job is prearranged and when the system calls you and you don't answer it goes to the next available sub. 2 people show up and the one with the number gets the job. Maybe your system is like that. Either way, it stinks.

Connie Z. said...

ouch. This happened to me last week on the first day (well now the day before the first day) of my current long-term sub assignment. I had the lesson plans in hand but another sub had the job number. They couldn't do anything about it since it was in the system. I opted to stay to teach the first class, an AP class that the teacher was worried about. I didn't get paid but I figured I could help out since the maternity leave needed to start earlier than planned.