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how to retain subs over the summer

How to retain (and best utilize) substitutes over the summer

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As we look ahead to the summer, it’s essential to maintain the momentum we’ve built in nurturing your sub pool. While the demand for substitute teachers typically decreases over the summer break, ensuring a reliable pool of subs is crucial for when classes resume.

Luckily, Swing isn’t on summer vacation — we’re here to help you with classroom needs all year ’round.

Get creative with sub jobs

When school breaks for summer vacation, substitute teachers can be left without work, even when they’d prefer to continue working in a school setting. Luckily Swing can be used for more than just filling classroom vacancies. Check out some creative ways to work with Swing Subs over the summer while school is out of session. 

Summer school programs

  • Teaching: Substitutes can be hired to teach summer school classes, which often include remedial courses, enrichment programs, and advanced placement preparation.
  • Tutoring: They can provide one-on-one or small group tutoring for students who need extra help or want to get ahead.

Curriculum development

  • Planning and development: Substitutes with a knack for curriculum design can assist in developing new lesson plans, updating existing curricula, and creating new instructional materials.
  • Workshops: They can participate in or even lead professional development workshops for regular staff, sharing new teaching strategies and technologies.

Administrative support

  • Office support: Substitutes can assist with administrative tasks, such as organizing student records, preparing materials for the upcoming school year, and managing summer school enrollments.
  • Technology integration: Those skilled in IT can help update and maintain school technology systems, set up new devices, or assist in training staff on new software and tools.

Extracurricular activities:

  • Camps and clubs: Substitutes can run or assist with summer camps, sports programs, arts and crafts clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
  • Field trips: They can supervise and manage student groups on educational trips, ensuring safety and educational value.

Facility maintenance and improvement

  • Classroom preparation: Substitutes can help prepare classrooms for the new school year, including setting up furniture, organizing supplies, and decorating bulletin boards.
  • Library and resource center: They can assist in reorganizing the library, updating book inventories, and preparing resource centers for student use.

Student and family engagement

  • Orientation programs: Substitutes can help organize and run orientation sessions for new students and families, helping them get acclimated to the school environment.
  • Community outreach: They can participate in community engagement activities, such as literacy programs, community service projects, and family workshops.

Professional development:

  • Training sessions: Invest in your subs by organizing professional development workshops or training sessions specifically designed for substitute teachers. With topics focused around classroom management techniques, skill development, or even on how to find their place in a school community, these opportunities can help create a sense of belonging and professional fulfillment among substitute teachers
  • Networking opportunities: Facilitate networking events where substitutes can connect with full-time teachers, administrators, and each other to share experiences and best practices.

Start recruiting… now

It’s never too early to start preparing for the upcoming school year. Aspiring substitute teachers are already looking ahead to the fall to understand requirements and the recruitment process. 

Starting back-to-school recruiting early, including during the summer, can help schools secure high-quality candidates and ensure a smooth start to the academic year. Here are several strategies schools can take advantage of:

Effective communication

  • Clear job descriptions: Ensure job descriptions are clear, detailed, and highlight the benefits and support provided by the school.
  • Responsive follow-up: Quickly follow up with candidates who express interest or apply, maintaining a personal and engaging communication style.

Flexible hiring practices

  • Early contracts: Offer early signing bonuses or contracts to secure commitments from high-quality candidates.
  • Virtual interviews: Conduct virtual interviews to expedite the hiring process and accommodate candidates’ schedules.

Retention and professional development

  • Highlight professional growth: Emphasize opportunities for professional development and career advancement within the school.
  • Supportive environment: Showcase the supportive and collaborative environment of the school to attract candidates who value a positive workplace culture.

Be online

  • Share job listings online: Regularly update job postings on the school’s website, district websites, and major job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
  • Social media: If your school has social media profiles, post regularly about job openings, highlight school achievements, and share testimonials from current staff to attract subs to your campus.

Local and regional outreach

  • Job fairs: Participate in or host virtual and in-person job fairs. Partner with local colleges and universities to attend their career fairs.
  • Education departments: Collaborate with local universities’ education departments to recruit graduating students and alumni.
  • Student teaching opportunities: Offer student teaching positions that can lead to full-time employment.

Referral programs

  • Incentives: Implement a referral bonus program for current staff to recommend qualified candidates.
  • Alumni networks: Reach out to alumni who might be interested in returning as educators or staff members.

School events and open houses

  • Recruitment events: Host open houses and informational sessions where prospective candidates can learn about the school culture, meet current staff, and tour the facilities.
  • Summer programs: Use summer school programs as a recruitment tool by inviting potential candidates to observe or participate.

If you already have too much on your plate, Swing can help offload some of the stress. With a marketplace like Swing, schools get access to all the in-house tools, experience, and resources, while being able to outsource the finding, screening, and onboarding of subs to the professionals. 

At Swing, we have a team of digital marketing experts that know how to use marketing best practices, cutting-edge advertising channels, and an intuitive substitute teacher onboarding platform to connect with and attract a new audience of substitute teachers, ensuring that when the new school year rolls around, you’ll be fully prepared.

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A proactive approach to your sub-pool can help your district better prepare for planned and unexpected teacher vacancies.