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Tips and FAQs

ID Badge Requirement

All substitute teachers are required to present their Substitute Teacher Identification Badge to the principal or his/her designee when working at a school.  Only those substitute teachers who are hired and approved by the Division of Human Resources will be issued a substitute teacher photo identification badge.

Approved substitutes who do not have a substitute teacher photo identification badge or have lost their badge, must contact the Employee Services Center at 301-780-2191.       

Only those issued a substitute teacher photo identification badge with a valid expiration date are eligible to enter a Prince George's County Public School building or office.  

Tips for Substitute Teaching

Have you taken time to think about what it means to be great as a substitute? It is an engaging commitment that allows professionals the opportunity to go into our classrooms and make positive impacts on the lives of the children whom we support and care for every single day. Being great by choice as a substitute means that you take your work seriously, act and dress professionally and you are work ready. PGCPS values professionals that can bring these qualities to the district. 

Flexibility and adaptability are probably the two most important characteristics that a substitute teacher must possess in our county. You must be flexible and adaptable because you could be subbing in a 2nd grade classroom one day and a high school English class the next. In order to be great you must have your own methods to assure excellent classroom management.  

Below are a few tips to help you be successful within Prince George’s County Public Schools: 

Arrive early!

If you arrive early you will have enough time to be familiar with the school and the classroom you will manage. Some of the key things you need to find quickly are your lesson plans and the
emergency exit plans for the building. You want to familiarize yourself with any classroom rules and identify where the bathrooms closest to you room are located.

Meet neighboring teachers in case you need help.

Getting to know the teachers in the rooms around you can provide you with a lot of assistance. They will likely be able to help you with questions specific to the schedule and the content. They may also be able to give you additional tips specific to your students that could benefit you. Finally, it can be beneficial to build a relationship with these teachers because you may have the opportunity to sub for them at some point. 

Quickly identify student helpers.

It is not unlikely that you will have students that want to help and then those that will want to have fun. Give the students that want to have fun and could likely cause you challenges throughout the day an opportunity to be your helper. By working closely with them and quickly building a rapport with them you may be able to eliminate disruptions. 

Be creative.

As a substitute teacher, your main goal is to get the attention of the students and to keep them focused and on track for the day. Even if they are not actively causing any trouble, students are unlikely to focus or to retain any of the lesson if you are simply reading facts from a sheet that the teacher left you. Regular teachers, through their personalities and presence in the classroom, establish a rapport with the students that is the basis for learning. You need to be creative to build that kind of relationship in a much shorter period. Rely on your positive character traits, interact in a friendly way with your class and develop fun or unconventional ways to impart the lesson.

Set expectations and goals.

This is the single most crucial component of being an effective substitute teacher. Students of all ages are going to push a substitute to see what they can get away with. Start the day off by setting your own expectations and rules. Don’t let them get away with anything. Hold them accountable for their actions and don’t be afraid to assign them consequences. If this doesn’t get their attention, then go ahead and refer them to the principal. Word will spread that you’re a no nonsense substitute and students will begin to challenge you less and less making your job much easier in the long run. Substitute educators face one of the most challenging jobs in education today. As a substitute, you are expected to step into an unknown class, often in an unknown building, at a moment's notice, and pick up ongoing lessons without the benefit of knowing exactly where a teacher left off or what material students already have covered. As an outsider to this particular class, you'll need savvy classroom management skills to successfully motivate students who may have a history of behavioral issues of which you are unaware.

We want you to be equipped for success within our county. Our goal is to increase training annually and to listen to the substitutes and provide them with timely and valuable feedback. If you are currently a substitute and need assistance with challenges related to an assignment or if you have questions that are not answered below, please contact the Employee Services Center at 301-780-2191.

Frequently asked questions

I received my paycheck but I didn't get paid for all the days worked. Who can I call?

If you are aware of which schools did not pay you please contact the schools directly. If you are not aware of schools that didn't pay you (i.e. if you worked at a large number of schools and can't identify which school did not pay you) contact the Payroll Department at 301-952-6200.  

I was scheduled to be at a school today but when I arrived the school no longer needed me because a) they filled the position with someone else or b) they said they notified me but I didn't see it. Why did this happen and how can I get paid for this?

It is not unusual for schools to cancel an assignment. They are required to cancel assignments 12 hours in advance of your scheduled assignment. We encourage you to look at your AESOP account the morning of your scheduled assignment and to also check your PGCPS email address to see if there are any updates. This will prevent you from driving to a school and not having an assignment for the day. If you arrive at a school and are turned away because the assignment was cancelled you can easily select a new assignment using your AESOP app. 

I would like to stop / turn on calls from FAM. How do I set that up?

- Login to your FAM Account
- Click on "Preferences"
- Click on "Call Times" 
- Click on "Edit" at the bottom of any of the days of the week to adjust your calls. 

I need to report an incident at a school. Who should I speak with to submit a formal complaint?

If it is a complaint regarding the teachers, policies or concerns within the school you must speak directly with the administration of the school.

If you want to make someone aware of a poor interaction with a student speak directly with the administration of the school and they will advise us if it is a larger issue.

If you have a fall or get injured on the job and need information on how to receive workers' compensation benefits, please contact Risk Management team at 301-952-6076.

I am not going to be able to work my 45 days this year. Will I still be able to work next year?

Contact the Employee Services Center

I can't remember how many days I have worked this year. How can I get this information?

View your epayslips in Oracle. You can look at each of your checks and calculate the number of days worked. We also encourage all substitutes to keep a log of days worked.

FAM does not reflect the actual days I have worked during the school year.

FAM may not display the days that you were contacted directly by a school or the automated system . Our team uses payroll records at the end of the year to determine the true number of days that you have worked.