We need to redo the substitute teacher system!

My “lesson plans” are quite literally 3-4 bullet points. Writing out what I plan to do would take forever, especially because it would build on lessons and activities my kids already know, having done them, but that someone else would not know about. Furthermore, each needs materials prepared/updated from last year. Even past that, many of the lessons I now do would not be something someone else could step in and do because they require knowledge of the subject, my kids, etc: I’d have to write a new lesson that accomplished the same goals but in a way that a stranger could implement it.

Pay has nothing to do with deserve. The question isn’t “Would a full time sub in this sort of position deserve to be paid like a full time teacher?”. The question is “If we offered x% of what we pay a full time teacher, could we get someone with the skill set we want”?

In terms of full-time subs assigned to buildings, IME they run the sub system for the building–recruiting and calling subs, making sure they have lesson plans, trouble-shooting in general, and then filling in as needed. It’s a pretty skilled position and one you want a skilled person to do.

Theoretically, they will be doing most of those things and some of the teachers with their own classrooms aren’t doing all of them. Sure, if a sub happens to have a long run of substituting one day for this teacher, one day for that teacher he or she won’t be spending time grading papers/writing lesson plans/calling parents. No so much when he or she is taking over a class for a month or two while a teacher recovers from a broken leg or surgery or decides to quit in January.

Not to mention some full-time teachers assigned to a particular classroom haven’t written a completely new lesson plan in years, some just feed tests into a machine that grades them and some never call parents- but they don’t get paid less than their counterparts who do all those things.
Why would you assume a sub wouldn’t be required to attend meetings or trainings?

I subbed and i have a special ed endorsement on my license. I was definitely in demand.

I did not turn the kids loose to play and kill time. I used to start each day with a little speech about how they could act up and be the fool if they wanted. And, no i probably wouldn’t be there the next day. But the note I would leave their teacher would be there. And I could sleep late tomorrow and have M&Ms for breakfast while they had a miserable time with their teacher and get a note sent home to their parents. Or we could get stuff done, I would leave a note full of praise behind, and they wouldn’t be in trouble the next day. Totally up to them. I had a few truly awful days. Subbing in classes for emotionally disturbed students who don’t take well to change is a helluva way to make a living. Mostly, I had good classes. I think about going back to subbing after retirement.

I once held a PA Teachers cert which I let expire and can tell you in between jobs about 17 years ago being able to sub was money greatly appreciated. It was only for about a 2-3 week period but I’d say 4 out of 5 days I got gigs that paid anywhere from $60-100. If you build up enough of a good rep with a few school districts you can even choose between gigs as the calls come in at 6am.

IIRC I was given some sort of guidance from the teacher, usually something easy like showing a video or a reading assignment and the students were usually cool, the only bad one was, sad to say and inner city school of sixth graders who were unbearable smart asses. On the other end of the scale, I had a Senior that assured me to not be nervous about handling the class because I was going a good job LOL

I even got to co-teach a gym class which was a lot of fun

Things that would make a subs life a little easier and other random thoughts:

-Having a nearby teacher on call in case one of the students is being impossible. On the flip side, perhaps some sort of reward for younger grades for students that are reported by the sub as being cooperative or helpful. Not sure what that is.

-Since day to day subs don’t get benefits, maybe a tax break since they are performing a community service?

-I’m pro teacher, but I do agree some take advantage of the sub system (as a long term sub that was still in his college partying days, I’m guilty!) I mean, maybe the lady was with child or something. But otherwise is it that hard to push off your wedding until the summer?

I hear ya with subs who fill in with a District over and over again should get consideration for a full time job, but remember demands on the school district by parents are tough; why give up Reliable Joe who shows up every morning when we call him to sub when we can hire away Amazing Amy, with her Masters who has been teaching match at a nearby school district with great reviews, even if she costs $10,000 more a year?

Might actually behoove some subs to turn down a gig now and then . . . .
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Injured? I’m ok with as well as taking time off for being sick. But getting married and taking 2 weeks off? That is what summers are for.

In my experience some teachers also always take time off whenever their kid is sick or needs to go to the dentists or one time my sons teacher would get a sub so the teacher could go to their kids event. Now some people might say “dont you care about this teachers kids?”. Yes I do. BUT, I also care for the 25 students in her class who also need teaching and for whom she is being PAID for.

Sorry, I dont think most companies would allow such generous time off.

That is why I mentioned I am against the idea in our district and soon to many others, they have outsourced the job of managing the subs to a temp service.

Incidentally Kelly services also tries to get the people who are subs to take other temp jobs.

I love your last point. But many subs are subbing in a district particularly so they can get their foot in the door on full time jobs. To have that door slammed shut is pretty hard on them.

What is your experience? Do you actually know what the school district policies are for time off ? Because I know several teachers well, and their time off (during regular school days) is much less than any corporate policies I’ve ever experienced – their spouses are always the ones needing to take off from work to deal with kids. You might also think about how many hours a week the teachers actually spend at their job (hint: more than forty).

Oh? She didn’t take all of that as vacation / paid time off. She took two weeks for her honeymoon, she took a medical leave, and then she took maternity leave.

I’ve worked for five different companies in my career, including three Fortune 500 companies, and at every single one of them, even a new employee would have the right to all of that time. At most of those places, she would have burned her entire vacation time for the year for her honeymoon, but sick leave and maternity leave are different things from vacation time.

I only remember having a long-term sub once. I think it was when a teacher had baby. The long-term sub was a retired teacher.

Not in mine. I have to agree with Quercus - teachers when I was growing up (don’t have kids) took far fewer days off than I do now or really anyone I can think of with a job that offers paid time off.

In my district, tou get ten days/year, paid. They do nit help cover the cost of disability coverage and they do not offer any sort of maternity coverage. When you exhaust your days, each day you miss costs you 1/187 of your annual salary, not the 1/255 you get at a “normal” job, because summers are unpaid. Most everyone hordes days so that they have six weeks or more for emergencies or babies.

In 16 years, I have known exactly one teacher who routinely used this time for “vacations”. Most people occasionally use a day to make a three day weekend if, for example, they are attending an out of town wedding. I take probably 5 days a year: one or two for conferences, one or two (usually as half days) to take myself or my son to the dpctor, one or two mental health days. I think that’s pretty typical. Of all the rhings adversely impacting student’s edication, I think this is pretty low on the totem pole.

I had neglected to note, when I posted this earlier, that not all of this time off would be fully paid. (Manda JO’s post reminded me of this.)

Vacation time is, obviously, paid time off, and sick days are also paid. Once someone at my companies burned through all of their sick days for the year (and none of them would have given a full month as paid sick days), they’d be on disability / medical leave, at a reduced pay rate, through short-term disability coverage.

Similarly, I don’t think that maternity leave was fully paid at any of my employers, either (having never had to deal with it directly, I don’t know if it was completely unpaid, or if there was some reduced pay rate during the leave).

in my experience, most teachers that I’ve seen get married did get married during the summer (heck, it’s one of the reasons why my wife and I got married in early August). And, yes, that’s undoubtedly preferable.

We don’t know anything about that teacher’s circumstances, beyond what you posted (and, I suspect that you don’t know, either). It may well be that having her wedding and honeymoon during the summer was impractical or impossible, for any of a number of reasons.

Yes, obviously, having to bring in a substitute teacher is going to bring some level of disruption to the routine for students. Having an employee off is disruptive at pretty much any place of work, however; schools aren’t magically, radically different in this regard. You clearly have a bug up your butt about this topic, and feel that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to take voluntary time off during the school year, period.

I teach math. Imagine leaving a full math lesson for a person with little math knowledge to teach it.

And that’s the rub. The skill set the district wants is: be the credentialed person in the classroom with matches perfectly with the teaching skill set many subs have i.e. having a credential. If a sub has anything beyond that skill set they are a rarity to be treasured above emeralds and rubies.

I was once called in to sub for a teacher whose car was blocked in the garage by a different car in her driveway. Turns out that car had been stolen by someone who then parked it in her driveway for some reason.

But they don’t really want those skills. If they did, they would pay for it. But it’s not really worth it, honestly: what would be worth cutting to raise sub pay to the point that you got highly qualified, enthusiastic people to do it ?

She could’ve gotten married on any weekend during the school year, maybe taken a Friday off, and delayed the honeymoon until the summer. It’s very common to do that in the business world. Even Prince William had to delay his honeymoon for work.

If her now-husband is a landscaper, owner of a summer camp, community pool manager, owner of a shore business, etc. it is.

It’s entirely possible that she’s a crappy teacher, that she really doesn’t like teaching, that she’s a selfish brat, and she said, “you know, I want to get married and have my wedding and honeymoon in September, the school district will give me the time off, and I don’t give a damn if my class gets a terrible sub for two weeks.”

It’s also entirely possible that that time was the only time that her fiance could get time off of work, for either the wedding or the honeymoon (see Spiderman’s post for a few examples of why that might be). It may also be that they wanted to get married as soon as possible, due to a sick relative (I’ve been to several weddings that were moved up in schedule due to a parent or grandparent who was terminally ill).

We just don’t know. It’s really easy to be a Monday morning quarterback about it, when we have no idea of what the details are.