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How do snow days affect a substitute teacher?

With winter in full force, it is certain that some areas of the country are bound to experience snow days sometime before spring. Snow days are determined by the superintendent or other school official when inclement weather makes it hazardous for students to attend school. There are a number of factors that contribute to this decision including road conditions, amount of precipitation, temperature and whether the majority of students walk to school or utilize buses. Regardless of the cause, the result is always the same – no school! While the snow day is highly revered among students, they can be quite the obstacle for teachers. This is even more so the case with substitute teachers.

What happens if you accept a subbing job only to learn the morning of that the school has closed for the day? Some schools still require staff to report during a snow day so it can be counted on the district calendar as a professional development day. If this is the case, the school may be interested in having you available to assist teachers throughout the day. You won't be working with students, but you may be asked to help teachers prepare materials or complete clerical work. You probably chose the teaching profession to work with students so this day may seem useless, but that is not the case. Any opportunity to show that you are a team player who is willing to be flexible helps build a positive relationship between you and the school!

Depending on the reason for the teacher's absence, it is possible that the job will be reposted for the next day the school is open. For example, if the teacher you were filling in for was to attend an in-district workshop or department meeting, it is possible the event will simply be moved to the next day. Keep an eye out for the job so you will be able to accept it as soon as it is posted. 

Finally, if you accept a job following a snow day, recognize that you are walking into a classroom where students will still be coming down from the unexpected day off from school, and it is possible that substitute lesson plans will be incomplete or missing completely. The best approach is to prepare for anything by bringing in backup lesson plans just in case.

Managing substitute teacher jobs, especially during winter months, can be difficult. Fortunately, electronic systems such as SubFinder and Aesop Online make communication between you and the school easier. If this is the case, we can help! Contact us to find out how SubAssistant can help you find substitute teaching jobs in your area!

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