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Slow Getting Sub Assignments


New Member
I was just wondering, when you all started subbing were assignments hard to come by in the beginning? I have had 3 assignments and unfortunately had to cancel one because my son was sick. I have not been called at all since then. I am checking the system everyday and no jobs are available at this time. I was hoping to sub at least 2-3 times a week. I am only available M, R & F all day. I was told once more schools find out about me it would pick up. I called all the schools I selected to let them know who I was and when I am available ( 5 schools in my immediate area). Patience is a virtue.....Lets hope it picks up soon.



New Member
I do have a call in system. I can also check for jobs online. One thing I am not clear on with my system is there are times when I go online to check for jobs, the 3 I recieved, which were available, but the system never called to offer the jobs. I was told during orientation that the system would call when jobs are available so I need to figure out when to check online and when to call. I am sure I will just have to wait and see how it goes.


mme NPB

Full Member
Patience, yes and strategy!

Being called depends on a number of things, some of which may be beyond your control, and some which you can influence. When I first started and hadn't yet been called, I printed up business cards (off the computer) and together with some homebaked cookies (individually wrapped) I put one in every teacher's mailbox at the school. It was a gimmick but a popular one and had the teachers smiling and getting to know who I was quickly (by their reactions you would have thought they never got homebaked cookies!). I also volunteered at the school whenever I could prior to subbing in order to get myself known and to show I was competent. If there is any way you could go into some of those schools (during your free days) and offer to help out so they can get to know you, you will find that you will probably be called.


Senior Member
My district uses AESOP, so I can either call in or check online. I choose to check online. It's easier for me and faster.

Jobs pop up anytime really. I've noticed that a lot of jobs pop up around 3:30-4:30 as that is when teachers are still at school but without children to supervise. Many will post a job before going home. I've picked up a lot of jobs this way.

Since this is our first year with AESOP its really a feeding frenzy. Jobs are taken within moments of the teacher posting them because some of us are desperate to work as much as possible.

Your availability might be a factor in your getting called too. Most of the jobs may just be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You just never know. It could be that your district is just having a year of extremely low absences (like my district). There are just so many factors.

Make sure you leave your name, number and or email when you sub for someone. I've had many teachers keep my business card on their bulletin board so they can remember to ask for me.

Good luck! I hope it starts picking up for you!



Have you also considered calling the schools asking if they have work on days you can sub and don't have a job? I routinely show up early and often hear the secretaries speaking with subs looking for work on the phone.



I also have AESOP

I was not getting called at all when I first started, in January. I got all my jobs online, but got most of them at 5:00 in the morning. I decided I would just choose the option not to be called, because it was pointless to sit waiting by the phone on the very off-chance they ever called. It's much easier for me to just check online, since I have dial-up internet service anyway, and am usually logged onto the internet if I am home.

The times when I have found jobs are at 5:00 a.m. (used as a "last resort" if I have nothing lined up for that day!); around 10:00-10:30 during morning recess time;12:00-1:00, lunch/recess; right after school lets out; and evenings between 8:00-10:00 p.m. Occasionally, I've picked up a job even later. With AESOP, apparently, the more jobs you accept, the more they offer you in the future...other systems may work in a similar way.

It does take a while for teachers to get to know you, too. When you do sub in a class you like, make sure to leave your phone number and e-mail address. If your system is like ours, the teacher can put your name on a "preferred" list, and then you'll be among those who get first crack at the job. (Or she/he can just call you directly.)


Senior Member
slow getting started

When I first started subbing last fall, it seemed like I was getting a lot of calls. Then, I had to cancel a job the same morning due to illness. After that, the jobs were few and far between for a while. Even though people say these systems don't penalize you, I wonder if mine did?

Although, that was a few months ago and I've talked to other subs in the district who report that there WAS a slow time.

Now things are really picking up, it seems. So much so that at the high school and middle school where I do most of my work, the secretaries are tearing their hair out some days because they simply cannot get enough subs to fill all the teacher's absences. I've been working plenty, actually a little more than I want, but I want the system to like me again!

I too have been proactive, calling the system during times it doesn't call out, and have gotten a number of jobs this way. It also helps that I am now getting requests from teachers who want me back, and other teachers who have "heard about me" and want me in their classroom.

At any rate, I suspect that there are a number of teachers who have been saving their days off and will be using them closer to the end of the school year. Hang in there, bell5!


leave an impression

I have left business cards in teacher mailboxes. I have left business cards with my sub notes when I do work. I have handed out cards after PTA meetings. I volunteer at after school events, such as the Book Fair, Fall Fest, Story Night, etc. I volunteer many days that I don't have a sub job. If the volunteer coordinator at your school (home and school advisor at our school), doesn't have anything for you to do, ask if you are allowed to visit teachers on their planning periods. If so, pop in and introduce yourself. Let the teachers know you are a volunteer and ask if there is anything you can do for them. That may be copywork, helping with tasks in the classroom, working with students, etc. If the teacher doesn't know you, work it in that you are a sub, but since you don't have a job for the day, you thought you'd do some volunteer work. You don't want to eat up their planning period, so be brief. If they use you, there will be time for talking later.

You really want to get the teachers to request you so you won't be as dependent on the system to get you a job. If the teacher sees you in the building a lot, that teacher may just give you a try. At the least, that teacher may ask others about you. If you wish to sub at your child's school, it helps to be an involved parent.

Personally, I work at a small school approximately 3-5 days per week. There are slow times and I could probably work more during those times, but I am not willing to work at other schools. Last week, I only subbed 1 1/2 days because it was a testing week and teachers weren't allowed to plan absences. This week, the flu is evident, so I worked every day so far. I have Thurs. and Fri. pre-scheduled, so if God is willing, I will work.


New Member
more work

I work about five days a week most weeks and I just started subbing in January of 2006. The sub service that hired me said that they use a random calling system. I usually accept most calls I get, maybe that puts me further up on the list, since they know they can depend on me. I know that they have a rule if you cancel a job, after having accepted it, more than three different times, then they move you to the very bottom of the list. Make sure you don't accept it and then cancel, if you can help it. Obviously, if you are sick you shouldn't go in. Working in schools that have a lot of germs causes subs to get sick a lot. Also, some schools have their own system instead of using an outside company to hire subs. Usually, it just requires paperwork and an interview. Hope this helps!


Call the schools!!!

I'm not sure how your system works, but mine does not use a calling service. The teachers call for their subs and they also use Stellar Subs to get subs for teachers. I was very proactive at the beginning of the school year. I called and went to the schools I wanted to sub at to have them put me on their school sub call list. Our county puts out a county wide call list, but it will take a while to get jobs from that list. I was called right away once the schools had my name on their call lists. They give each teacher the sub list. I work 3-5 days a week and usually book sub jobs way in advance.

But, the fact that you are limited to working only certain days could be slowing down the calls. I have found that you have to be very flexibile and available everyday to get the calls. You will be first in line to be called if you can sub anyday for any grade. And if you turn down lots of jobs, you will be put at the bottom of the list. You need to show that you are dependable before you turn down any jobs. I have turned down a few for various reasons, including sickness myself. But, I worked hard for about 2 months every time they called me before I turned down any jobs. Once you "prove" yourself, you will get lots of calls. This was my experience, anyway! Hope this helps!