Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Cost of Subbing

It just occurred to me that there is another relatively hidden cost of subbing: the time it takes to find and accept jobs and to inform other school districts that the sub may work for that s/he isn't available for that day.

I work for two different school districts and two charter schools.  The school districts both use Smart Find Express and the two charter schools use AESOP.  This means that, in order to check for jobs, I have to log in to three different computer sites, two different Smart Find Express sites and one AESOP site.  At least the two charter schools have combined their access points, so that I don't have to log in to each separately.

Jobs are typically posted any time during the day after around 11:00 a.m.  This means that, if I don't have a job for days that I might want one, I have to keep checking all three sites during the day.  The best jobs are taken quickly, so it helps to log on to each of the sites multiple times during the day.  I know one sub who stayed logged in to a particular school district site, where he preferred to sub, and he just kept hitting the search button every 13 seconds until he found a job he wanted. All of this costs the sub time.

And, even when a job is accepted, there is still more to do.  I have to log back in to the other two sites and make myself unavailable for the time period of the accepted job.  If I don't do this, I may still get phone calls from those districts.  Phone calls start at 5:00 a.m. and don't stop until 10:00 p.m.  In addition, if the school district calls and you don't answer the phone, they consider it a refusal.  Some districts place subs with three "refusals" at the bottom of their call lists.

Managing subbing systems takes time.  And I am not even counting the time that it takes me to keep track of subbing jobs in my calendar or to check up on payment information.  Checking payment information for subs is more difficult than for regular teachers, since the payments vary substantially from month to month and have to be cross-checked against personal records.  It has happened to me several times that I was paid incorrectly, so it is necessary to check.

All of which means that there is a significant amount of unpaid time that is really a cost of subbing. 

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