Dear Barbara ...
I've created the Dear Barbara column as a way for subs to get answers to questions about any subbing topic or suggestions that may help you solve a specific problem in substitute teaching.

If you'd like to submit a question, please click here and be sure to include your name and home town. Answers to the best questions will be published here.

How Can I Avoid Feeling Invisible?

Dear Barbara,

I'm fairly new to subbing, and I must say that I've found that I am actually a pretty good teacher! The students seem to like me. When I return to a class for a second or third time, they signal that they're glad to see me. I feel confident that I'm making a good impression on the students. But what about the other teachers and the principals?
My goal is to get a full time teaching job in one of my schools. Quite frankly, I feel invisible to the staff. How can I change that? I want to get their attention and I don't know how.

Daniel, from Oakland, CA

Dear Daniel,

If you sense that you're doing a good job, chances are that you really are! We teachers have good instincts, and we need to trust them. Your students have communicated their approval. Word gets around in school buildings. Other teachers and administrators have probably heard good things about you too.

But ... don't assume that a good reputation is enough. Good things happen to those who speak up. Sometimes quiet people get overlooked. Here are a few suggestions to help you get noticed:

1. Begin a conversation with the office staff and the Principal. Be clear that you like the school and would love to teach there some day on a regular basis.

2. If you do a special project with students, or something noteworthy occurred in your room, tell the principal about it. They love to hear good news.

3. Always dress one step above your position. Wear a shirt and tie each day.

If you follow my suggestions, you will never be invisible again!


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