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Nov 03, 2022

The anatomy of a good substitute request

When your full-time teachers take leave, whether planned or unplanned, it’s crucial to fill their spots with qualified and knowledgeable substitute teachers. Swing makes it easy to find such subs, but in order to secure classroom coverage, there are steps schools can take to make their sub assignments as attractive as possible. 

Here are some ways you can attract the right substitute teachers and build up an arsenal of educators who want to keep returning to your campus.

Prepping for the request

Before a substitute teacher even steps foot in your school, they’ll need to know what they’re walking into. You can drastically increase your chances of securing a substitute teacher by:

  • Providing advance notice: last minute requests are so 2019 — in fact, according to our data, last minute requests have the lowest fill rate. Increase your fill rate 74% by proactively predicting teacher absences and reaching out for support as far in advance as you can. The substitutes (and students!) will thank you.
  • Filling in the details: whether you know if the substitute will be bouncing around from classroom to classroom or spending their time with just one class, they should know what they’re getting into. Even if you have no idea what the day entails, just say it! The more transparent you are, the more likely the right sub is to accept the assignment. Some subs prefer structure, while others are totally okay with the unknown. Either way,  providing all relevant assignment information you have on the assignment allows subs to opt in to their perfect match, ensuring they, the schools, and the students are fully satisfied.
  • Factoring in pay: pay rate isn’t everything but it must be taken in consideration. Avoid having your requests filtered out solely based on pay. As your partner, we can provide deep insights into what substitutes are looking for in regards to pay rate and beyond—ultimately increasing your fill rate.
  • Prepping your Swing profile: before requesting subs, spend some time filling in your Swing profile. Fleshing out your page with details (such as where to park, point of contact day-of, dress code, emergency protocols, etc) allows the substitute teacher a glimpse into what your school is really all about, ensuring a good fit that goes both ways.

Day of assignment

Once you’ve secured a substitute teacher, be sure to provide a thorough packet of day-of resources that will help them succeed in their assignment. The more information you can provide, the better off everyone will be. These details can include:

  • Where to park
  • Where to go when you arrive
  • Point of contact
  • Whether there will be sub plans
  • School hours
  • Upcoming Assemblies
  • Lunch details (length, buy or bring)

Assignment follow up

After a successful day of substitute teaching, we encourage you to submit feedback after a Swing sub assignment so that we can continue to improve the sub to school experience. Did a sub exceed expectations? Great! Add them to your ‘favorites’ so that you can request your preferred subs time and time again.

If you’re looking for substitutes that are raising their hands to be in the classroom, Swing is here to provide that. Swing subs are experienced educators and talented members of your community, who are eager to give back and make a difference in student lives.


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