3 Summer Tips to Ease Substitute Teacher Management
Congratulations — you’ve made it to the end of the school year! Don’t head out to the beach (or pool, or picnic) just yet, though. Before you hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach, make sure that you and your substitute management program are set for summer with these three tips. Then, you’re ready to relax, recharge and enjoy the warm weather and sunny skies.
Review the Past School Year
You’re looking forward to summer, but first take a moment to look back and use insights from the past year to reflect, plan and make next year even more successful. Explore your employee absence data and ask yourself the following questions:
- How often were teachers out of the classroom, and for what reasons?
- How does your school district’s data compare to national norms?
- What can you do to promote fewer of these absences next year?
- Which employees had perfect attendance? How can you acknowledge and thank these staff members for their commitment?
Don’t forget to look at the other side of the employee absence coin, too — your substitute pool. Which substitutes never accept jobs, despite being called? Should any substitutes be removed from your list? Have this data in mind for step two: preparing your substitute program for the upcoming year.
Prepare Your Substitute Teacher Pool
With insights from your absence management software in hand, prepare your substitutes for next year. Planning this out and starting the process early on will save you time over the next few months, so you can enjoy your summer to its fullest.
First, communicate with your substitutes. Start by sending letters of reasonable assurance and other necessary documents to discuss the upcoming year, if these haven’t already been distributed.
Then, look for ways to cultivate a healthy substitute pool. With substitute shortages plaguing schools from California to Connecticut, it’s more important than ever to have engaged, active substitutes ready to work in your district. So, if your list of substitutes is sparser than you’d like, plan to recruit and hire more before the school year starts.
In addition, remember the substitutes already working in your schools — here’s your opportunity to wrap up the school year on a positive note and retain these substitutes for next year. Get in touch with the wonderful substitutes who have worked a lot over the past year and received glowing feedback from your full-time staff, and recognize them for their hard work.
And don’t forget to reach out to substitutes who haven’t been taking jobs — maybe you can find ways to encourage them to work more next year. For example, offering training on how they can be more effective in the classroom can help prevent substitutes from feeling overwhelmed or underconfident. These trainings don’t have to get in the way of your summer plans, either — high-quality online training courses are available so substitutes can learn on their own time.
Get Your Systems Ready for Summer
Technology should make your work easier Set up your district’s systems now, so you don’t have to worry about making changes throughout the summer. For example, in Frontline Absence & Time (formerly Aesop and VeriTime), you may want to do the following:
- Adjust your system to reflect 4-day workweeks and allow your employees to create absences for modified work schedules.
- Add a summer school location and set it up with the necessary staff
- Roll over your employees’ absence reason balances
- Inactivate substitutes (or those not involved in summer school)
- Set an end date (and “Return to Previous Assignment” date, if needed) for users who don’t work a full year
The more you can automate your work with solutions like ours, the more time you can reclaim for yourself — meaning you can head out for those long weekends knowing that everything that needs to be done is moving along smoothly.