Tips: When Assignment or Sub Role is Unclear

As a substitute, you have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of schools. You may have noticed that the degree of organization and the amount of support a school can offer may differ greatly depending on the school’s leadership style and its access to financial and human resources. Working with students can also be unpredictable, and sometimes emergencies arise that require the attention and focus of administrators, which can leave you with little support or direction.

Below are some real situations that have happened to subs that could leave you scratching your head on what to do:

  • You arrive at a school no one is in the office or answering the phone. (Tip: take a photo for proof that you arrived with a time stamp.)
  • You arrive at a school, and two subs show up for the same job. Your point of contact dismisses you from your assignment. It is too late for you to find another assignment.
  • An administrator asks you to wait for instructions and then they disappear because of an emergency, and no one in the office knows what you are supposed to do.
  • The teacher’s planning period is the last period of the day. You no longer have students, so you go to the office to see if you are dismissed, and no one is there or answering the phone.
  • A teacher comes into your class, and they tell you that they got the class and that you don’t need to be there anymore.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are unsure of what you are supposed to be doing please do the following to ensure that you are fulfilling your duties.

  • Do not leave campus until you are dismissed by your point of contact or an administrator. It is possible that the school may want to reassign your role or change your responsibilities during the day.
  • Always fully follow each school’s check-out procedure.
  • If you are attempting to follow the school’s check-in/check-out procedure but your point of contact or administrators are not available contact us, here.
  • Never leave students unattended, unless students are officially dismissed from class, or you are relieved by a qualified adult. If you do not know if the adult is qualified, do not leave.
  • If you have already arrived at a school and the school cancels the assignment, you will still get paid for the day. Note: As long as you faithfully tried to fulfill the duties of the assignment and do not leave until you are officially dismissed.


Note: If you have any questions about the request or want to know expectations, you can reach out to the point of contact for clarification.  There is a school contact listed on every request.  Swing is not responsible for the information listed on the request since it is the schools that create them.