You may be desperately seeking a full time teaching position and will do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door. Or you may want to fill in time between jobs in your own career. Substitute teaching can help with both of those situations. But there are things you should consider if you are thinking about being a substitute teacher. Don’t worry; one thing about being a substitute teacher is that you are not committed to show up unless you agree to an assignment.
Here are some of the advantages of being a substitute teacher:
1. You get teaching experience. If you recently earned your teaching certificate you may have a hard time finding a permanent position. Being a substitute will give you valuable classroom experience.
2. It is generally a flexible schedule. If your job doesn’t have a fixed schedule and you can quickly move your commitments around, being a sub is a great way to fill in some time and money gaps.
3. You can begin to network. When you sub at several different schools you will meet a lot of different people. Establish relationships with as many people as you can. That goes for the faculty and the staff.
And now some of the disadvantages:
1. Short notice for jobs. It’s sometimes hard to plan your life when you don’t know if you will work that day until the phone rings early in the morning. Being flexible is the key. And remember, you don’t have to take the job. If you use the job for extra income, you can easily turn down an inconvenient call.
2. The phone’s not ringing. So maybe you want the phone to ring and it’s not. This can be a problem for many, especially at first. If you want to work a lot as a sub, try to make the most of every job you get. Make sure the classes are well managed. Maybe the regular teacher will ask for you the next time if her class made progress while she was gone.
3. You’ll be asked if you are a real teacher. Now, this may not bother some people, but those of you who are looking for a full time position may feel a little insulted by the question. Be warned, it can come from the students and the faculty. Just smile and nod. They don’t really mean to insult you.
A substitute teaching job is not for everyone. Even for those that desire a career as a teacher. But many people find the experience fulfilling and are happy they have the opportunity to teach, in whatever capacity they can.