Last night, I had the distinct privilege of being a part of a panel designed to help new teachers adjust to "life after teacher school." We talked a lot about subbing, since most of these teachers are being pretty realisitic in their quest to find work. The panelists gave a lot of advice to those new teachers, but I forgot a lot! So I thought I'd share it with the world.
Here's some unsolicited advice for anyone in the subbing world.
Always, always, ALWAYS leave a good impression. I know that's kind of a vague idea, but essentially, you need to act as if you are always bring watched, and that this is a big interview. People notice you and what you are doing, and they make judgments about you based on what they see and hear. So here are some sure-fire ways to make sure you are leaving a good impression!
- Be on time. If the job starts at 7:15, be in the office checking in at 7:15. The secretaries notice, and remember you as "the one that shows up on time."
- Don't leave early. If you're done at 2:45 and the job ends at 3, go to the office and ask if anyone needs help grading. This gives them the opportunity to tell you to go home early, (rejoice!) or give you something to occupy your time. This gives the impression that you are efficient (you finished your work in a timely manner), you are conscientious (you aren't going to scam the district out of time), and you are not lazy (they notice if you're just sitting in your classroom killing time). This also gives you an opportunity to network, because you'll probably end up in a classroom grading for another teacher. That teacher will ask about you - how long you've been subbing, where you student taught, etc. Before you know it, it will be time to leave, and you can hand them your card. Most likely, they'll call you, because they remember talking to you.
- Leave the classroom better than it was. Set aside 2 minutes at the end of the day for all the kids to clean. You can play "Magic Piece of Garbage." The goal is for the teacher to walk in the next morning and be impressed at how the classroom looks.
More to come at a later date!