The world of substitute teaching is, even in its better moments, often a frantic game of phone tag with plenty of last-minute demands and schedule changes. Keeping track of all that information while also ensuring your empty classroom will have a teacher in it can lead to a lot of confusion. This is why Frontline Technologies, developers of many software programs for K-12 organizations, created Aesop, an online absence and substitute manager. Teachers can report a needed absence, substitutes search for openings and administrators keep an eye and record of all that goes on.
Sounds great? Certainly. Yet between "sounds great" and "I love it" is a wide gap without some helpful tips on using the software, so here are a few:
1. Educate Yourself
Frontline doesn't leave users high and dry when it comes to help. Be sure to take advantage of the Aesop Learning Center for helpful topics on all aspects of the program. It also includes several tutorial videos.
2. Be Patient, Build Loyalty
Substitutes should not be surprised to learn that using the software does not automatically make teachers absent. However, patience and consistency (being understanding, flexible and not prone to last-minute cancellations) are rewarded. Teachers have the ability to create lists of their favorite subs, for example, which allows early access to their job postings.
3. Check Your Computer/Device Often
It's good the check in with your computer frequently, especially as a sub. Even if you have a job scheduled, school districts can alter schedules whenever they like, and you could end up with a different workload than expected. Cancellations are another thing to watch for; the job itself might be canceled or the substitute removed from the job. Teachers also get a small window to change their postings, so, as a teacher, checking right away that the listing is correct is important.
4. Peak Times
Lastly, be aware of the times of day when teachers are most likely to post absences. Typically this is at night around 10:00 and early morning around 5:30. While the software does send out some alerts, it certainly doesn't hurt to be proactive.
Aesop has achieved some amazing things in streamlining and organizing the process of substitute teaching. Hopefully these tips will help you take advantage of what it has to offer, whether you're a teacher, substitute or school administrator.