Sub Tips

Earn Top Ratings!

Learn how to earn top ratings from schools on the Senya platform.
5 stars

Ratings Matter!

One of the best things about the Senya platform is the Tier Bonus Program, where you can earn bonus money for taking more jobs in a month and for taking last-minute jobs! Eligibility for the bonus program is dependent on maintaining a 4-star or higher overall rating on your profile.

Ratings are a simple way for you to build and market yourself to schools, who are looking for highly-rated substitutes to favorite and offer additional job postings. Ratings are also important to get feedback from schools so that you can better understand their expectations and develop your substitute teaching abilities.

How do ratings work?

After each job that you complete through the platform, the school is able to submit a rating. Ratings go from 1 star (lowest) to five stars (highest). Schools are also able to submit comments with their rating to give praise and feedback.

Ratings on the Senya platform are similar to most other well-known rating systems: Your overall rating is a constant average of every rating as they are added to your profile. If a school does not submit a rating, you receive a top rating by default; the only difference is that default ratings are weighted at 20%, or in other words, 5 default ratings are equivalent in weight to 1 rating submitted by a school.

You also have the opportunity to rate schools after each job that you complete on the platform, giving 1 (low) to 5 stars (high). You are also able to leave comments to give praise and feedback with your rating.

How do I see my rating?

You can view your rating at any time by going to your profile. To do this, click on your name at the top of the menu; in the Profile screen, under your name, you will see the Tier that you are on for the bonus program, and next to that, you will see a star icon with your rating number.

You can click on the star icon to see a history of the jobs that you have worked and the rating that you got from each one. If you do not see a rating on a given date, that means that no rating was submitted, and therefore, you received a top rating by default.

Can schools see my rating?

Schools that are within your job search radius can see you on their list of substitutes for the area. Schools can see your rating and how many jobs you have worked on the platform. Schools have reported that they especially review substitute ratings when they are looking to favorite a substitute that they like and when they are looking for a substitute to fill in a longer-term need, so there are other possible benefits to earning those high ratings!

Tips for earning top ratings?

Absolutely! Here is a list of top reasons that schools have shared for giving 5-star ratings:

  • Arrive early. This shows the school that you are prepared for the day and ready to learn your responsibilities. Substitutes who arrive just barely in time (or worse, late) put the school in a panic. Arrive early for a top rating!

  • Have positive, continual interaction with students. Staff and students notice substitutes that are engaged from bell to bell; they also notice when subs just sit at the teacher desk or have little interaction with students. For ideas, check out our resource page Boosting Interaction with Students.

  • Follow the sub plans. This seems simple, but make sure that you get through the lessons and activities for the day. Schools are very careful with schedules and curriculum, so adding in unplanned activities (e.g., giving students free time, playing class games, having off-topic discussions) or skipping over activities is not appreciated. Schools simply appreciate substitutes who are committed to following what the teacher planned.

  • Be where you are supposed to be. When substitutes are not where they are supposed to be, it is generally because they didn't read the schedule or plans carefully. A common example is whether you are supposed to be with students during recesses, lunch, or while they are at an arts or music class. Or, perhaps you are supposed to pick up a class from recesses, lunch, or another classroom. When you fit right in and follow the schedule, schools notice!

  • Leave notes for the teacher. One of the most common compliments that teachers give with a high rating is that the substitute left detailed notes. They also mention how much they appreciate knowing students who were extra helpful to go along with any notes about misbehavior. If you didn't get through any part of the lesson plans, teachers appreciate knowing where you stopped and why. At the conclusion of your note, it is okay to politely ask for a rating, such as, "If you think I did a good job, I would love a good rating on Senya!"

  • Offer support during prep time. Most teachers are given a prep period, usually a time when students are gone at another class, like art or music. If the teacher doesn't have work set aside for this time (e.g., grading, project prep), you can impress schools by offering support to the office. They may need help with a task or may have you help somewhere else in the school for a bit, such as being an extra pair of eyes on the playground. This will get you very noticed!

  • Have friendly interactions with staff. Although the bulk of your time is spent interacting with the students in the classroom, make sure that you are also having friendly conversations with other staff. When you arrive early, you can get to know nearby staff before school starts. If you have any staff helping during the day, or when you are around other staff, such as at recesses or lunch time, share your gratitude and keep conversations positive. School administrators will often ask staff about you before submitting a rating, so build friendships!

  • Ask what is appreciated at the school. When you arrive early, you can ask the office staff or teachers next door to your classroom, "Is there anything particular that this school appreciates from substitutes? Those are the things that can earn you a top rating at that school.

Should I solicit ratings from schools?

Office personnel have reported being turned off by substitutes who are verbally pushy about getting ratings. As mentioned in the tips above, it is okay to include a polite request at the bottom of the notes that you leave for the teacher. Anything beyond that may be off-putting for school staff.

What happens if I get a low rating?

Ratings on the Senya platform work similarly to most other well-known rating systems: Your overall rating is a constant average of every rating as they are added to your profile. If you get a low rating, it will drop your average, but the size of the drop depends on the ratings you have accumulated. If you have many high ratings, then one low rating doesn't have as big of an impact, but if you only have a few high ratings, or if you receive a number of low ratings, then the drop will be more significant.

How can I raise my overall rating?

Because your ratings are a constant average, you will need to continue taking jobs, and you will need to earn high ratings on those jobs to pull up the average.

It is important that you review any feedback from the school about why you received a low rating. Sometimes, substitutes are already aware because of something that happened or because a staff member already discussed concerns. If not, check to see if the school left a comment with their rating, and use it as feedback to help you succeed with future substitute jobs.

If a school does not give any feedback for submitting a low rating, it is recommended that you take opportunities at other schools since you are not made aware of how to improve at that school in the future.

What if I get a rating that I disagree with or think was a mistake?

Schools are able to rate substitutes on the Senya platform, and on the flip side, substitutes are able to rate schools. When schools or substitutes receive a low rating, there is often a disagreement about something that happened or an expectation that either side felt was unfair. Senya does not mediate rating disputes, and data shows that rarely (almost never) do schools or substitutes change a rating. Whatever the circumstances, substitutes may choose to not accept jobs at a particular school in the future, and schools are able to block substitutes who do not meet their expectations.

If you are taken completely by surprise by a low rating, it is possible that there was a mistake, especially if there were multiple substitutes at the school that day. One sign that it might have been a mistake is if the school comments reference another sub's name, a class that you did not cover, or things that you did not experience. For example, if the comments mention that you were an hour late, but you were on time, the school may have gotten their reviews mixed up.

If you think a low rating was given by mistake, you are encouraged to contact the school to politely ask about the rating.

Download the Senya App!
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Schools, Teachers, and Substitutes Love Senya

Join our community of educators today, and get your substitute teaching side hustle started!
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
A mockup of the Senya app's Log In page on an iPhone screen.