Thursday, June 4, 2020

What I Did This School Year

Yesterday was officially the last day of school. But, as you know, in person school (and with it, what I do) ended much earlier. March 13th. 

I didn't know that at the time. I mean, I suspected it might be true. And, if I had been thinking, I would have done this post back in March. By the time I realized the school year was over for me, I figured I might as well wait until June for this post. So here it is, my days worked for the year. 

Normally there are 180 school days in the year. But since the last quarter doesn't count for me, I technically had a school year of 129 days. Of those 129 days, I worked 122 of them. That's seven non-worked school days total. Definitely a record.

Of those 122 days, 8 of them were for teachers who did not have a conference period, and 39 of them I was called to cover a different class during the prep. This is pretty low, compared to previous years. This is a good thing, staffing-wise. It means that there were enough subs to go around more of the time. This makes for a less stressful day for staff and students. 

49 of those days I covered high school classes, 48 I covered middle school classes, and 25 I was at the continuation high school. Usually I cover more high school classes, but this year I covered the first 16 days of school for a middle school English class, so that skewed those results a bit. 

I worked the first day of school and (for me) the last day of school. Although, I did not know that last day of the third quarter was going to be the last day of in-person school. Obviously, I did not work the actual last day of school. 

Next up, the breakdown of what classes I covered. My general rule for "full day" versus "period": if the teacher had at least two periods of the subject, it's a "full day"; if the teacher only taught one period, it's designated as a "period" sub. So, final numbers may not exactly match my full totals. 

  • English: 38 days with 6 individual periods
    • Back on top after last year's inexplicable 3rd place finish, this is probably mostly due to that English class I opened.
    • And to prove that point, 7th grade is the big winner with 20 days with 8th grade just behind with 19 days (and 3 extra periods). The English class I opened was 7th and 8th grade, so 16 of those days are for that specific class (3 periods of 7th grade and 2 periods of 8th grade). 
    • Then it's 11th grade with 8 days and 2 extra periods, 12th grade with 6 days and 1 extra period, 10th grade with 5 days and 1 extra period, and 9th grade with 3 days and 2 extra periods. 
    • Also, I covered the yearbook 5 times, the school newspaper once, and ELD 6 times (once for a full day, the rest for just the one period). Since these classes are generally taught by English teachers, they only counted for one period on those days. 
  • Social Studies: 23 days with 5 individual periods
    • U.S. history (11th grade) wins this subject with 8 days and 4 individual periods. Followed (very) closely by government (12th grade) with 8 days and no extra periods. Not surprising, as a lot of the social studies teachers teach both U.S. history and government.
    • Then comes world history (10th grade) with 6 days and 6 extra periods. And geography (9th grade) with 5 days, 4 of which ended up being the penultimate week of school.
    • Rounding out the rest: world history (7th grade) with 2 days and 5 extra periods, economics (12th grade) with 1 day, psychology (elective, but taught by social studies teacher) with 1 day, and U.S. history (8th grade) with 5 extra periods.
  • Science: 19 days with 5 individual periods
    • 8th grade science (mostly physical science, but not entirely) wins with 9 days and 1 extra period. If I had to rank the most dreaded class I cover, it would be 8th grade science. For some reason, they're extra crazy here. 
    • Biology (9th grade) comes in 2nd place with 7 days and 3 extra periods. 
    • 7th grade science (mostly life science, but with measurement and some of the basics and the basics of engineering) had 5 days with 3 extra periods. 
    • The leftovers include environmental science (an elective science for 11th & 12th grades) with 2 days and 2 extra periods, earth science (used to be for 9th grade, but is being phased out) with 4 extra periods (a couple of those were with the biology days as the teacher has the one period of earth science and four periods of biology), health with 1 extra period, oceanography with 1 extra period, and forensics with 1 extra period.
  • Math: 17 days with 5 individual periods
    • Rounding out the core subjects, integrated math 1 (previously algebra 1) with 10 days and 2 extra periods. 
    • Next is 8th grade math (previously pre-algebra) with 7 days and 1 extra period. 
    • Then is integrated math 2 with 6 days and 2 extra periods.
    • The rest are 7th grade math with 4 days and 2 extra periods, business math with 2 days and 1 extra period, and integrated math 3 with 1 extra period.
  • Special ed: 15 days with 6 individual periods
    • Most of these days are already accounted for above. If I was covering the co-teacher in an English or math class, I counted it as special ed.
    • There were 6 "severe" classes and 5 "special day classes" with 1 extra period.
    • And 1 period in an opportunity class. 
  • Finally, the electives
    • 12 days and 2 extra periods in computer classes. 5 of those days were graphic arts classes, 3 of those days (and 1 extra period) was in business (read: typing and Word and such), and 2 day were in CAD (computer aided drafting).
    • 5 days in woodshop.
    • 4 days in Spanish.
    • 2 days and 1 extra period in art.
    • 2 days and 2 extra periods in music classes (band and choir).
    • 2 days and 2 extra periods in leadership. Some of that was ASB, some was link crew, and some was middle school. They get a bit mixed together as well as mixed in with teachers who teach other subjects the rest of the day.
    • And 4 days were roving (where I didn't have a set assignment).
It may have been a short year, but I did manage to cover most of the usual suspects. Hopefully they'll open the schools sooner rather than later, or I'm going to have to find a new line of work.

Previous years' stats:


  1. Oh, I sure hope you don't lose your employment, though I bet you'd rock a different career just as well. :) Be well!

  2. Drew is also a permanent sub, he is assigned exclusively to the district high school. He is also concerned about the new school year. The schools have no idea Bihar they’re going to do in the fall.

    1. Yeah. I mean, there are ways they can utilize subs, especially if they want to decrease class sizes. That's totally our wheelhouse. But, who knows?

  3. Are you on unemployment now? It sounds like most schools will open in the fall.

  4. It makes me wonder what would have happened if things hadn't shut down. Would you have had any more non-working days? Not really an important question. I just always wonder about what could've been.

  5. Well, I am exhausted!

    What happens next is a huge big question. I will be watching that. My 8th gr. gr-daughter is graduating today. It will be a drive-by graduation where parents wave and stuff. Sigh.

    1. My nephew's in the same boat. At least she'll have a good story for her kids :)

  6. We are supposed to open first week of August like usual. I figured there may be some jobs opened for lay people with sanitizing desks etc.

    Impressive stats as usual! Lots to think about career wise for you! Know you don't want to regular teach in a classroom or move but Arizona has a teacher shortage.


  7. Wow! You cover a lot of classes and so many different ones. Subs are amazing. Sorry you've been out of work for so long. Hope you're back in the fall.

    1. Me too. I enjoy the variety, so I like to have a long list of many different classes covered.

  8. The Barbarians are back at school now (10 week shutdown) so with luck by autumn you will be back to work as usual. Mind you, my eldest Barbarians only has 2 more weeks of school and then he is on winter holidays, lol. I'm hoping next semester will be normal as this one has been anything but.

  9. I hope things is better for all of us in near future

  10. What a short yr for you and the kids. How will kids even begin to make all that time up? Are they just being counted as doing the whole yr? As a contract worker for the state of TN that is basically my limit for days to work, 120 in a yr. Since I only work four hours for four days a week (or did) I never get close. Although my contract was renewed at the end of March. I have been in three times since.

    1. They did distance learning after the first two weeks of nothing. (The shut down happened suddenly, so the superintendent didn't require the teachers to start instruction until they had time to regroup.)

  11. I hope you have a better year next time around.

  12. That looks like a well-rounded year, if short.
    I hope they open early enough for you!

    1. The state is talking reopening schools, so we might get a normal start to the year. It's wait and see at this point.

  13. It could be all those hormones going crazy in 8th grade science. Cheers to another year of substituting, Liz! The Who's Substitute is going through my head now. :-)

  14. As always that is quite a detailed breakup of your teaching assignments.

    It's been quite a bad time during the last few months. In February-March we didn't how the world would change in the next couple of months. I just hope things turn out to be better in the coming months.

    Wish you good luck, Liz.


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