Since 2008, I have been a stay at home mom, but last year my youngest started Kindergarten. It was really weird for me because all of a sudden there was nothing to do but clean the house all day. I thought a lot about going back to work full-time, but because of the costs of childcare it just wasn’t really worth it. Because my son has Autism, we also have therapy after school, so who was going to take him if I was working?
I looked at lots of options, but my hours were so restricted, most things just didn’t make sense. Then, I got a message from the school principal that they really needed substitutes. It took a little time for me to come around to that option, because I wasn’t sure if working with children was for me.
I needed to get out of the house and we really needed the money!
In the middle of the school year, I decided to make the leap, because we really needed the extra income. I signed up to sub only at my children’s school, because that was just what worked best for our family. When I first started, I didn’t have enough college credits yet to sub as a teacher, so I worked in a support role. This meant that I mostly would work with kids who had special needs or had an IEP and needed extra support in the classroom. This school year, I had enough college credits to sub as a teacher, (which pays more), so I switched into that role.
You decide when you work.
The great thing about substitute teaching is that you really make your own schedule. The great thing about subbing at your children’s school is that you are completely on their schedule. This means you plan your work schedule around appointments and field trips!
Here is an example of a day working as a substitute teacher:
We leave the house a little earlier than we normally would, so I can get signed in and to my classroom. My kids come with me into the class I am subbing in, and wait until the bell rings. They head to class and my daughter who is in middle school heads outside to catch the bus who takes all the staff kids to their school. The students come in and we get started with our day.
At some point during the day, there is an hour-long planning period while the class goes to specials. This is a great time to pay some bills or make some phone calls, and recharge for a few minutes. You take your lunch when you drop your class at the cafeteria for their lunch. Then, you finish up your day. (There is also a 30 minute recess period for the kids to get some energy out).
Some days you will help with the bus riders or car riders at the end of the school day, and my children always wait in the classroom that I was in that day for me to finish. Then, we all go home together.
It’s not too late to sign up!
Even though it is April, I would almost guarantee that most school districts are still in need of substitute teachers. So it is very likely that it is not too late to sign up, and it’s never too early to start planning for next year!
The process is going to be different everywhere, but I had to take an online class to work as a teacher substitute. This was very helpful for learning classroom management skills, and learning tips and tricks to teaching students.
Don’t worry though, your teacher will leave you all of the items you need with a very detailed sub plan. You will know exactly what to do all day long! They even leave extra work, just in case!
But you should still be prepared with your own bag of tricks just in case! Here are some items you should keep in a bag to take with you when you are subbing:
Assorted Holiday Stamps – These are great to keep for all year. If you are in a classroom in March, stamp their paper with a holiday stamp if they are working quietly. Kids love holiday theme stuff.
Create your own Business Cards to pass out to teachers. This will put you on the teachers radar and they can call you when they need you. (You can ask the office secretary to put them in the teachers box) If you are willing to work as a teacher assistant, occasionally the school systems will allow a teacher sub to work in those positions. So let administration know that they can call you if a spot like that comes up.
Art Buddy Pack – this pack has markers, crayons, mini stamps and sidewalk chalk.
I hope this has got you thinking!
Check in your area how you can become a substitute teacher!
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