Substitute teaching offers caring professionals a chance to work with children on a regular basis, while also enjoying some flexibility regarding one's scheduling and work hours.
Benefits of Substitute Teaching
- Regardless of the employment trends of teachers, substitute teachers will always be in demand.
- You can develop your own schedule, working five days a week, or just Monday through Thursday, or even every other Friday.
- Substitute teaching can also provide new teachers the opportunity to develop a professional reputation within a school or district.
- Short-term subbing can lead to additional long-term assignments, which may pay more, and may eventually lead to full-time teaching assignments.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher
- Contact your local school district to inquire about the process of becoming a substitute teacher.
- You may have to interview separately at various schools in the district.
- Securing a position as a substitute teacher will also require a thorough background check.
- It can take several weeks to go through the entire application and hiring process.
Make a Good Impression as a Substitute Teacher
- Arrive at work on time. Coming in late is a sure way to make a bad impression on administrators, which could affect whether you are invited to substitute teach there again.
- Dress appropriately. Remember that you are a professional.
Wear comfortable shoes. Depending on what subject matter and/or grade you are teaching, you may end up standing for most of the day. Plan ahead by wearing comfortable shoes that can withstand the rigors of teaching at a large school.
Make a point of introducing yourself to the building principal. Again, this shows your professionalism and is sure to leave a good impression on school administrators.
- Make every effort to follow the instructions left for you by the teacher.
- Don't allow students to talk you out of something the teacher has asked you to do.
- Walk in the door with a plan for how you're going to handle disciplinary issues. The more quickly you respond to an issue, the less disruptive it is likely to become.
- Make sure that you treat each and every child with respect, at all times.
- Bring along some extra activities to use as needed, such as critical thinking puzzles, games, and cooperative learning activities that can be incorporated into any subject matter.
- Engage your students. Make every effort to get to know each child and remember his or her name.
- If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask another teacher for help.
- Leave the teacher a note at the end of day to let him or her know how everything went and whether you were able to complete all of the plans that were left for you.
Substitute teachers have a unique opportunity to support education and engage learners. By planning ahead and being intentional about building a positive reputation as a substitute teacher, the hours you spend in the classroom filling in for another professional can pay off in the form of new opportunities for yourself, too.
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