The panic that hits when a teacher calls in sick is something that no administration looks forward to. As a substitute teacher, you are the person that can end that panic. However, substitute fill rates†seem to be lower than ever and that has administrations worried. It's understandable, classrooms are harder to work in than ever before and coming in as a sub can be scary. Here are a few ways that you can be prepared for that panicked call and thereby help increase substitute fill rates in your school system.†
The Sub Binder
Everyone thinks of the "sub binder" as something that a home room teacher should have cooked up for their classroom, but has it ever occurred to you to make one of your own? Collect resources from classrooms you sub in and make your own resource binder. That way when administration calls you have your own resources and the panic can stop with you.†
Know your schedule
This seems obvious, but sometimes life gets in the way. Make sure you keep your personal schedule up to date so that you are ready when that call comes in.
If substitute teaching is going to require you to be away from your day job, make sure that your day job knows that. Make sure your employers are aware of the good you are doing in your school district, that way they will be more understanding if you have to call in. Of course, the more advanced notice you can give the better, but at least make sure you and your daily employer have had the conversation before the first call.
Understanding and Care
Being a substitute teacher is hard. Make sure that the administrations in your area are understanding of the toll it can take. Make sure your community is informed. Most importantly, make sure you are taking care of yourself so that if that call comes in you are prepared and mentally ready for the day ahead.
Administrations are the ones who have to fill their classrooms, but following some of the advice above can help you be the reason that their fill rates improve. Comment below on how you care for yourself, prepare, and take action when that panicked call comes in. And follow our blog for more useful tips to help you be the best substitute teacher you can be!