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Conflict of Interest and Turning Down a Call



I can't go into any details, but there is a school in a
nearby district in which I am unable to sub because of a
conflict of interest with a person inside of that school.
Basically, I am unable to be in a location where I might run
into this person.

That being said, there are three other elementary schools in
this district that I am happy to sub in. I told the
dispatchers that I was available to sub in any of those
three schools.

So today I receive my first call... and sure enough, it's
for the school that I am unable to sub in. So I had to turn
down the assignment. I realize that this doesn't make me
look good. However, I had originally made it very clear
that my subbing preferences only included the other three

Has anybody ever had to deal with turning down an assignment
that the dispatchers were already supposed to know that you
couldn't do? If so, then how do you handle it? As much as
I hate turning anybody down, part of me feels like it's
their fault... because if they would have read the
documentation in my file, they would have known what I can
and can't do ahead of time.


Senior Member
When we had someone that would call us, I stated I would sub for any elementary grade and art and music. I was not interested in PE.

One day she was in a bind, so she called and asked if I would do PE. I agreed and it became a regular "gig" for me that year. Now we use an automated system and I don't see the jobs for schools/teachers I don't want to work for.

First, consider how many people your "dispatcher" calls of a morning. They can't be expected to remember every preference of every person. Trust me, they don't sit there with the files in front of them and check before calling. They generally have just a list of names and numbers.

I wouldn't worry about it. Eventually when you work more consistently, they will know you can't work at that school and thus not call you. Give them a little time to get to know you.

Good luck.


turning down calls

I agree with 1dayatatime - don't worry about it. Even IF you get sent to the bottom of the list for that one "no", they will come back around to you and you can say yes.

They call so many people, and with you being new, they probably didn't even check to see if you had limitations. Hopefully they made a note of it and will call you for the other schools the next time.

Good luck, hope you get another call soon!


Senior Member
Can't sub at my kids' school...

I was very rudely told by the secretary of my kids' school last time I subbed there that the new policy is that parents may not sub at all at that school (I was infuriated...long history of rules and regulations). So when the sub desk lady says there's a job at that school, I have to turn it down, but she knows why. I also turn down jobs at one specific high school which I went to once and will not return. She says other people won't go there either. I agree that once they get to know who you are they will understand your reasons, or just the fact that you are unable to go to that one school. It is very hard to say no when you're talking to a real person, instead of using a computerized system!

Incidentally, in this district we can specify which grades we want to go to, which schools we won't go to, etc., as long as we're not too picky. Obviously, this narrows one's availability and frequency of calls. This info is noted in our files and we are called accordingly.
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select subbing

I have my list on several schools in the area. Last year, the sub coordinator made three mistakes. First, she booked a date with me a month in advance. I turned down other jobs to work for that school. When I arrived that morning, the teacher came in a few minutes later. It seems the coordinator had booked the incorrect date. She admitted her mistake but I was not compensated for the time lost. A few months, later while subbing, she asked me to come to the office. She wrote down a date for subbing. Since it was half days for each teacher, she wrote down the names and times for each. When I showed up that day, I signed in at the office (she didn't say anything at that time) and proceeded to the classroom. A few moments later another sub came in. When I called the coordinator, she told me I was scheduled for the L.D. room. I have made it clear that my training is not in special ed and neithr the students nor I would benefit from me teaching in special ed rooms. I complained but took the assignment. I even showed her the note that she wrote a few weeks earlier. She had nothing to say except that she was under stress from the holidays. I contacted the principal. She didn't have time to discuss the matter. I declined many jobs for the school because of the coordinator. Finally, I accepted one job at the end of last school year. While walking some students down to the office to say the pledge, she started yelling at my kindergarteners. I mean yelling at them. When I defended them, she became quiet. Now she is the coordinator for the whole district and I noticed that I'm not getting called as often. Yes, the loss of income hurts but the stress of dealing with her is lifted.


unplug phones...

If I am not feeling up to par I just unplug my phones (they call at 6 AM).... I try to do 2 days out of the week but that is enough for me, I only make $50 a day so no big deal.... I don't do the middle school, only the high school (had the Gym today)... Bob


Refusing work at a particular school

In the districts where I sub, turning down a particular school isn't a big deal. Understand that sub callers are in a huge hurry to go down a (usually) huge list, so don't have time to review your "documentation". I doubt that you will be seen as "unwilling" is you simply say you are unavailable for them for that school. Most subs end up having a school or few they refuse. I weed out the schools where the subs are not treated with respect by the staff and/or administration; where the kids are too wild (usually because the admin. is unwilling to back you) etc. You aren't asked for a reason--at least not where I sub.


Full Member
Also have one on my "black list"

I work in a large district with an automated subsystem. Eventhough I put down which schools I wanted to work in before I even subbed, I never went back to update it. There is one school that I get called for quite frequently where I had a run-in with the principal and got chewed out for no reason. I decided I would never return to that school EVER...no matter how much I needed the work! When I get called for that school by the computer, I just decline the job and it doesn't count against me (thank goodness!!!). After a few months of subbing, I found out that I wasn't the only person "chewed out" at this particular school. What is so funny though, the computer keeps going through the call list for this school so I get called for the same job at that school at least a few times during the call out time. This tells me that everyone else is also turning them down! Call me vengeful, but they got what they deserved!!!


Automated Systems

Luckily our district has an automated system, and not a live person, that calls us. Much easier to rejected an automated voice than a live one, LOL. I am grateful that the system has yet to call me for a job outside of my requested geographic area. Whenever I get the automated call for a job I don't want (for any reason), I simply hang up instead of rejecting it. I hope that doesn't count against me!
BTW the earliest I've received a call is 615AM, though the system begins calling at 530AM.