Substitute teachers come from all walks of life and are often in various stages of their careers, including retirement. As a substitute, you play an essential role in the school system by helping shape children’s minds while allowing teachers more flexibility. Besides the tangible benefits, substituting can be very rewarding for those who love working with kids.
If you’re considering becoming a substitute teacher, keep reading to discover five great benefits of being a substitute teacher.
Choose your schedule
The school district hires substitute teachers to cover teacher absences in their jurisdiction. You can be a full-time employee or work as an independent contractor. This means you get to choose when and where you want to work based on how it fits into your lifestyle.
Some substitute teachers work in one classroom for an entire day or work in several different classrooms. You also have the choice of working a few short hours and having the rest of the day off.
Check out our post on preparing to be a substitute teacher for questions to ask yourself to decide when and where to work as a sub. Bonus tip: keep a detailed list of schools you enjoy the most and add them to your regular rotation.
Enjoy employee benefits
The national average for substitute teachers is $28K/year. Depending on your area and hours worked, you may earn anywhere from a part-time to full-time wage. Some school districts offer incentives to regular subs that have reached an hourly requirement. Incentives like these may include pay increases, sick days, health care benefits, skill development, etc.
Check with your local teacher’s or substitute teacher’s union to determine what benefits are available for you.
No lesson planning and grading
Typically teachers spend time grading papers and creating lesson plans for the upcoming weeks. Unless you are on a long-term assignment, substitutes generally are not required to do this kind of work. So once you’re off work, you’re truly off. There are rare occasions when a teacher may ask you to correct student papers. In these cases, they also provide instructions on how to do so.
As a substitute, your primary role is to support the regular teacher and help prevent a gap in student education. You may find it helpful to have backup plans ready if you arrive in a classroom with no lesson scheduled. Worksheets and activities that keep student minds busy and engaged are great options.
Regularly interact with new students
Subbing is the perfect alternative if you love interacting with kids but don’t necessarily want to run your own classroom. You get to meet new kids from all backgrounds with different personalities regularly.
As a substitute, your creativity will be as valuable as your education. You’ll learn to adapt to various new situations and handle challenges as they arise. Because your time to develop relationships is shorter, you’ll discover what it takes to build trust sooner.
In addition to creativity, working with new students every day helps you to learn an array of transferable skills such as:
- Public speaking
Gain Classroom Experience
Substitutes come from all walks of life. Often, they are teachers studying for advanced degrees, retired teachers, or new teachers looking to get their feet wet. When searching job boards for your next teaching position, substitute teaching offers a snapshot of how some schools function vs. others. You also have the unique opportunity to build relationships with faculty and staff, increasing your chances of being hired.
At Teaching Nomad, we help teachers and teaching hopefuls find jobs all over the globe. So if you’re looking to work abroad but have no classroom experience, becoming a substitute teacher can help you prepare. This experience helps drastically reduce the learning curve of teaching outside of your home country. Check out our job board for available substitute teaching positions and how to prepare for them.