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Choosing The Right Substitute Management System for Your District: A Four-Step Guide

Substitute Management Software

You teach third grade and the students are presenting the results of their science projects tomorrow. You have spent Sunday afternoon sick in bed and by the evening, the worst is confirmed: You need to take a sick day. While people with other types of jobs can shoot off an email, take some medicine, and head for bed, you’re only getting started. You need to find a sub. In some districts, an administrator can help you do this and there’s a phone tree in place. In others, teachers find their own subs. You are already feeling ill, worried about how your students will fare, and now you need to track someone down in the evening after-hours or at dawn tomorrow to take your place. You deserve a break. You need automation.

For decades, taxi cabs were hailed from the street-side. If you had to stand on the sidewalk in the rain to get a taxi, so be it. Over time, the industry automated and now we use an app on our phone to catch a ride faster and more seamlessly. What if securing a substitute was that easy?

Benefits of a Substitute Management System for District & School Staff

A substitute management system allows substitute teachers to set their availability ahead of time in an interface that is visible to district employees and teachers. Using this system, you can book substitute teachers online without having to a make a phone call at all. The software can be accessed 24/7 by any staff member with access, making scheduling a breeze whether it’s at 10PM when Mrs. Collins falls ill, or at 5:30 AM when Mr. Jackson has a family emergency.

Further, the application allows districts and schools to track teacher absences and substitute work time to analyze patterns and stay on top of immediate needs. This online solution takes the headache, the time spend, and the uncertainty out of sourcing and managing subs.

Benefits of a Substitute Management System for Substitute Teachers

Being a substitute teacher is a flexible and sometimes unreliable art form. Wondering until 7 AM every day whether or not you’ll be working to make money, whether or not you have the availability to run errands or do other things, not being able to plan your day until after dawn… these things are just #sublife.

When you work with districts that automate their process in the Cloud, there’s no more uncertainty. You choose which days you want to be on call and which days or times you need to be unavailable. The system makes it easier for you to be booked the night before rather than morning-of and there’s less back-and-forth with the district or school. Further, your time and your schedule are tracked for you on the platform so you always know where you need to be and when.

How to Choose the Best Substitute Management Software

Not all substitute management options have your back. Follow these steps to ensure that you make the right investment into a system that will provide all the best benefits of finding an online solution:

  1. Research Your Options
    If your district, school, or daycare is ready to make the switch to an online solution, you will need to look at what options are available and cross reference your process with what each system offers.
  2. Request a Demo
    You wouldn’t feel right buying a car without a test drive. Test drive the apps or software options you’re considering. If the company doesn’t offer a free demo, that could be a red flag. You should see for yourself how simple (or confusing) the interface is, and how your teachers will use the system before you purchase.
  3. Call and Ask Questions
    How do I onboard my usual substitutes to the platform? Can I see the availability of subs I haven’t worked with before? Is there a set number of teachers who can use the system at one time? Does the system track teacher absences? What happens if the system isn’t working? There are probably a million questions you’ll have before you implement an entirely new solution across your entire organization. Make sure you work with a company that is receptive to your concerns.
  4. Compare MORE Than Just Pricing
    If you’re going to invest district dollars into a new system, you want to know that it has ALL of the features you need and that you’re going to have top-notch customer service, too. The most inexpensive option is not always the highest quality option.

If you are tired of the runaround with filling absences at the last minute and you would like to learn more about Subzz, request a demo today. We are excited and ready to answer your questions and help you make an informed, confident purchase.

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Why You Should Invest in Training of Substitute Teachers

While there’s a heavy focus on hiring permanent school staff, it’s equally important to screen substitute teachers and ensure you’re hiring the best possible candidates. Substitute teachers can greatly affect student (and parent) behavior. They can spend days, weeks or even months teaching and interacting with students. They can mean the difference between education stalling or continuing uninterrupted in a teacher’s absence. However attracting and retaining substitute teacher is a challenge that perhaps almost all schools and educational institutions will agree on. A very effective way to attract and retain substitute teachers is to invest in substitute teacher training.

Training substitute teachers attracts more substitutes and keeps them active for longer because it relieves substitute teachers from anxiety over lack of basic teaching competencies and meets the majority of their primary expectations of being a substitute teacher. Also, training improves substitute teacher quality, which increases confidence and success in the classroom. This success and confidence encourages individuals to continue doing a job that they enjoy. The most significant concern of substitute teachers is classroom management. Training can quickly give substitute teachers the tools and know-how to avoid or eliminate 94% of inappropriate classroom behaviors. Moreover, training allows substitute teachers to develop competence in various teaching strategies as well as provide them with supplementary materials such as fill-in activities to make classrooms run smoothly and effectively. Competencies in classroom management and teaching strategies as well as an ample store of fill-in activities can drastically reduce the anxiety of substitute teachers and create a more satisfying experience

Several institutions are already investing in substitute teacher training. For example, check out the substitute teacher training program of Utah State University.

Training, therefore, is the most effective method of managing a quality substitute teaching pool that sufficiently meets the demands created by teacher absenteeism. Training alleviates substitute teacher concerns over inadequacies in the classroom and meets their primary expectations of substitute teaching. It also improves substitute teacher quality, which leads to higher job satisfaction.

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