Here's the precautions that substitute teachers should put in place to maximize their work days.
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Look at you, you're walking down the hallway, you're substitute teaching between classes, another full time teacher comes up to you and says, Can you teach my class on Friday? And you have no reason to say no, but yet you say, I will. But only under these conditions. What do you think would happen? Let's talk about it all right, Greg Colin substitute teachers lounge. This is the episode for December 18 2022.The next episode will be released on Christmas, I'll tell you then the show something I'm thinking about doing seems like every week now, it's something that's happened during the week that makes me think about Boy,this would be a great idea for a podcast, I'll tell you what that's going to be if I don't forget. And I've done that before, too. I will tell you this, guys. I predicted you folks pretty well. And some of you even more. So that hadn't been listening to the podcast every week. I knew that when we went back to student interviews as we did way back in year one,I hadn't done it for a while, at least out in the open. I had done it in the classroom. But this was at a volleyball match.And sure enough, in the first seven days of the podcast, it received more downloads than any other episode for 2022. So it's going to be our number one probably I don't have any student interviews today. So hopefully this episode is popular, but I doubt it will pull down the downloads that last week's did. So if you missed it, we had student interviews about how to create the perfect substitute teacher.So go back and listen to that. I had a crazy second half of the week, I only got to do a half a day. I woke up and hear me out on this because it's actually leading to where we're going today. I woke up on Wednesday,got out of the bed and almost failed to the floor, extreme dizziness, little upset stomach,but I think those in effect go together. And I was kind of glad I hadn't scheduled a substitute teacher day that day. I did have volleyball that night. I'll tell you what happened there. But you know, I start you know,researching and I'm thinking well, you know, I saw the word vertigo. I remember the old movie that had Jimmy Stewart in it. Can't remember if that was a Hitchcock movie or not. I know he was in rear window. That's definitely Hitchcock. But I thought about that it said low Brett blood pressure, which I don't have, in fact, I need to work on getting it down some other things. And then I kind of honed in concussion, that kind of thing. So I honed in on dehydration. And I was just convinced that since I bought my cappuccino maker that I was drinking too much coffee and not enough water. And that can make you dehydrated because of the caffeine obviously. And I don't like decaffeinated coffee, I think the flavor just changes.So I started I went I went on Thursday and decided not to drink coffee all day, and just drink water. But you know,Wednesday night that night, and throughout the day, you know, it was hard for me to walk straight, and I was just hoping I'm going to rest. And we'll see how volleyball goes. And it was going fine. I was doing my pregame stuff, measuring nets,inflating the balls, that kind of thing. And all of a sudden,here it comes again, and I have to lean against the stage. It was so bad that I went ahead and told the coaches and I call my boss, it was really too late to find somebody else but we put some things in place in case something happened. It ended up you know, it was really easier to go up do my responsibilities on the referee stand and lean up on the the bars up there then it would have been to stand down below but it worked out okay. I wasn't as Dizzy by the game by the time the game started. And it was fine. I've only had a couple of episodes since then.But you know, I think I've figured it out. And I just kind of read over the concussion part. And then I'm thinking you know what, almost two weeks ago now, I was hit in the side of the head very hard with a volleyball. When you're the down ref. Your responsibility at the time of the serve is to look at the team that's not serving. You make sure they're in the right places. You make sure that they don't do something they're not supposed to do while the up referee is watching the serving team to make sure of this Same thing. So in other words, the down referee doesn't look at the serving team. While they're serving. Well, sure enough, it was in a middle school small gym. But they served it into the side of my head so hard that the crowd, they gasp. And then complaint got completely silent so that anything I said that everybody would be able to hear.And it really didn't hurt that bad volleyballs or soft, didn't hurt me that bad. So I just said, don't worry about it,guys, it really didn't hurt. And we went on and it didn't hurt.In fact, it's never hurt. But I'm now starting to read up a little bit on concussions and some of the symptoms can start as late as two weeks after. So I think I had a concussion. And as I was researching, sure enough,sometimes symptoms could take several weeks to occur,actually. And I'm convinced now that that's probably what happened because I did take a pretty good shot to the side of the head. And I'm talking better now. But you guys have really been through with me because I had the one week where I couldn't really talk because of a root canal, all that kind of stuff. So that's why I only did a half a day, the next day, the half a day that I did. I had volleyball that night, and it was almost completely gone. I have moments. But it's almost completely gone. But while I was there, the teacher, one of the teachers said to me, can you serve for me on Monday? And of course, I said yes. And then I'm going to tell you I didn't just say yes, though. And I'm going to tell you why. There are ways that substitute teachers need to hedge their bets so that they don't miss out on a job a couple of weeks ago, teacher text me and said he didn't he didn't even say this was a confirmation. He said, Are you subbing for me Friday, and I'm thinking, you know, he probably said something in a hallway weeks ago. And if I don't see it on frontline, you know, to me,it's just like, it never happened. Here's what I'm going to encourage you to get in the mode to do, by all means, if someone asked you to sub for them, even if it's not your favorite thing, it's maybe subject or group to teach. Take it take that job. All right, but here's how I would advise you take it, take it for the experience, take it to prove to yourself that you don't like it or prove to yourself that you shouldn't have felt so bad about it. Here's what I'm in the habit of doing. Now here's how I'm hedging my bets to make sure that the reason I'm doing this,I guess I should give you the reason first, you don't want to get into a habit of accepting a substitute job on the spur of the moment a passing in the hallway. And then that teacher gets involved with different things. It's just like, and it's worse now at my age. I joke around that, as I got older into my 50s, and so on, I would walk out my office door, walked down the hallway. And by the time I got to the end of the hallway, I would forget what I was going to do. When now I don't even have to get out of the doorway of whatever room I'm in. I'll forget immediately that we talk and teachers can be like that too, because they are very busy,too busy for the money that they make. But they do it for the love of the of the teaching profession and the love of those kids. Though, they might forget to post it in front line or what ever software you might be using in your area.So here's what I would recommend that you say now. So that you don't take that teacher's job,they forget about it, cover that day with somebody else when you think they're going to give it to you. That's why I do this. So you don't know you don't want to say it the way I opened the show. You don't want to go up.You know, when the teacher asked you you don't want to say, Yeah,I teach your class under these conditions, nothing to do. It was kind of a cute opening but not the thing to do. Here's what I've gotten into a habit of doing. And I've got two teachers right now one of them a very good friend of mine. And here's what I tell them when my asked me that I love to teach your class. Make sure you post it on frontline. I'm listed as Gregory Collins in there make sure you find me and post it or I'll forget about it. Now you kind of taken them off the hook. And I guess the better way said is you took yourself off the hook because now the ball is in there. Kord if they don't post it, you're free to take something else. Don't just write it. I had one teacher tell me write it on your calendar. And I said, well, better than that. I still might take another job,even if it's on my calendar,because I don't think I have something. And frontline post calendar notes right away. And you know how frontline works.Once you accept a job, you don't see other jobs for that day. If a teacher comes up to me, and I do check my calendar, if they call me ask me if I have a job for that day already. And then when they tell me that, no, I don't have a job yet, make sure you post it in frontline are all forget. And then you're free.You told them you're an issue policy. Now you're free to take another job on that day. Because the other teacher never got back to you. In fact, what that does is keep you from having a day off. I mean, if you're supposed to teach the first week of January, but that teacher forgets and never post the job or accidentally gives it to somebody else, well, then you're left out in the cold, possibly,and maybe you don't find another job. So be diplomatic, when they asked you give them a definite yes, don't lie to them. If you don't want to teach that class,for whatever reason, don't lie.Don't say, I've already got another teaching job. You might say for now, that's a family day for now, that's a personal day,and you wouldn't be lying. That is true. You don't have to tell them I don't like teaching your class. So do that. And then here's what's going to happen.And in fact, I, you know, I can almost predict the teachers that don't get it in front line as quickly. Now the one I told you that sent me the text are you subbing for me Friday, it probably just that moment occurred to him, and it was Wednesday already. And guess what, I had accepted another job on Friday already. Now, if it is something I had just pulled out of frontline, I probably would have gone back in and cancelled it and sub for that guy. But it wasn't, it was probably as teachers go, it was one of my best friends as a teacher, best teacher, friend, I guess. I've sub their their children in class, she teaches a math class,I was glad I was in her class. I told him I always like teaching his class. And I'm disappointed I don't get to. But I already had class that day. He didn't get back to me. I've seen him since then. And talk to he's probably completely forgotten about it. But I would encourage you make sure that you hedge your bets on accepting substitute teaching jobs, don't just leave, don't just say yes,I'll teach. And this leave it there. Because both of you may forget, even if you write it down, I mean, I don't know what's going on with my calendar, I have a lot of popup notifications. But sometimes things that I thought were gonna pop up didn't pop up. Well, that gets you off the hook that gets them off the hook, say, make sure that you post it to frontline, I'll accept it right away, and then no other jobs will pop up. It'll be on my calendar, and I'll make sure that I don't accept anybody else's. That's how you hedge your bed and make sure you don't lose a day's worth of substitute teaching. I will also say the other way I hedge my bets is people for the most part. Know that I like math. They used to just call it text me Call me whatever and say, Can you sub today? They don't really tell me that anymore. They know I have my favorites. They know that there are schools all over this county that text me all the time. So they now try it since since they know I'm like that.They now try to be as specific as possible. When they asked me if I'll teach they'll they'll text me and say, Mr. Collins, we have a math teacher that's going to be out. Would you like to teach that? Sometimes they will say, Mr. Collins, could you come in? We're very short handed. I know this might not be your favorite subject or age group.But could you help us out? And of course I would. But most of them are like that. One of my favorite schools could go to that I did a whole bunch of long term at the secretary there calls me now or at the extra keep saying calls but it's always text. She texts me now and says would you be willing to sub tomorrow for this teacher this subject? So she just gets all of it out in the beginning.She knows that makes me more comfortable. I'm always going to say yes. If I don't have a job and she needs me I'm always going to say yes, even if it's not my favorite, but I appreciate the fact that she recognizes for lack have a better phrase, my policy that I really would prefer having this information before I make up my mind, whether I'm going to teach or not. So I appreciate that.And most of the schools do that for me now. So that's how you do it, substitute teachers, I would even say, need to hedge their bed so that they don't lose out on a job. And you wait while you do that. It's just be very nice and diplomatic, and say to that teacher that asked you to teach in a few days, or maybe in a few weeks, say, I would love to, but I might forget, make sure you load that in front line so that I can accept it, have it on my calendar. Have it so that no other jobs pop up. And I'll make sure that I do that for you. And you know, make sure they know what your favorites are just in case there's a choice. You know,maybe there's more than one substitute teacher opening when they call it all you know, when I say, yeah, we'd love to substitute teacher that you got anything in sixth grade math, or you get anything in freshman math, that's my favorite. But if you don't, that's okay, too. All right. So there you go. I told you I would tell you about next week subject and again, it's something that came up about came up on our substitute teachers lounge Facebook group,by the way, where they were having a little discussion about remembering names. So next week,we've talked about names in the past, but not to the degree I'm going to talk about them next week. There's nothing that makes a student feel better than you remembering their name. I get students and I still don't do it perfectly. I get students walk up to me all the time and say,you remember who I am, right?And it's, it's embarrassing to me if I have to say, No, I do.I'm not gonna lie to them and say I've forgotten your name.I'm Oh, like, I got the excuse of being out now. Right? I'm out and I forgot your name. Next week, we're going to talk about memory tools. And they're actually pretty, I would describe them as easy. I learn them in a book that was written by a guy that has pi memorized to 500 decimal places, and you can even ask him, tell me,numbers 100 through 102, and he can do it, and it's not as hard as you may think. So we'll talk about memory memorizing names and teachers names for that matter. Next week on our Christmas Day episode.