How to get more work... It seems simple, right? Well, let's clarify something, here. This post is NOT for people who substitute teach because it's "an easy paycheck," or because it's "paid babysitting." If that's you, stop reading. Close this tab. Go read something else.
But let's say that you are a new substitute teacher with hopes of a permanent position. Or, maybe you enjoy the flexibility of subbing and want to build a stronger network of the best schools to work at. Here are a few simple tips/reminders to (at the very least) keep you consistently employed.
1. Impress the Principal's Secretary
This might mean different things to different people. Keep in mind that I'm not suggesting bribery, brown-nosing, nor working for free in order to accomplish this feat. You can, however, show up to work early. With a smile. Has there been a change in your assignment? Be flexible. Take a personal interest in the office staff. This might take you out of your comfort zone, but it leaves an impression. Ask members of the staff how they are doing. Go out of your way to remember their names. This goes a long way in showing the gatekeeper of the school that you are the first person to call for that next assignment.
2. Talk to Your Team
If your assignment is at least two days, communicating with colleagues in your grade-level can also leave a lasting impression. If given the opportunity, ask questions. Are your sub plans, vague? Is a teacher's edition missing? ASK YOUR COLLEAGUES! This is especially important if an assembly, field trip, or another grade-level activity is scheduled during your assignment. If you have the opportunity, pick their brain at lunch. The more staff you engage, the likelihood of subbing for different grade levels at that school increases.
3. Teach Like You Mean It
File this one under "DUH", but sadly, many subs just show up for work. View each sub assignment as an opportunity to hone your skills and to make the student's experience a memorable one. Does your assignment give you room to be creative? Do it! Is technology available in the classroom? Use it! Was a detailed sub plan left for you to use? Follow it! Seize these opportunities, and you can guarantee that your students will relay a favorable critique to their teacher.
So there you have it. Simple and effective. But first, you need substitute opportunities in order to put these reminders into practice. Whether you're having trouble booking assignments, don't have time to constantly check your computer for available jobs, or if you'd like to have first choice of the latest assignments posted, start here.