When it comes to substitute teaching, some people think they need to be willing to teach in any and all classrooms. While this method works for some people, other people have found that limiting where they substitute can actually help them to get the most out of the experience. While there are many reasons people choose to only substitute in specific schools or classrooms, there are at least four reasons you may want to consider limiting where you substitute.
If you are substituting in several school districts or in a more rural district, there might be a considerable difference in how far you have to travel to substitute in one school versus another. For some people, traveling the extra distance is not worth it, especially if the pay is the same for a school that is a five-minute walk versus one that is a forty-minute drive.
If you are substituting in several school districts, each district may pay slightly differently. Additionally, some districts also pay less if you are subbing as a paraprofessional or pay more if you are working in a more specialized classroom. If there are enough substitute teaching opportunities in your area, you may want to only substitute in the higher paying positions.
If you have a teaching degree, you may want to only substitute in classrooms that allow you to use your degree. Even those without teaching degrees sometimes only want to substitute in specific areas. Some people are most comfortable with elementary school children. Others enjoy working in middle schools and high schools. For some people, while they will substitute teach in any grade level, they are not comfortable teaching specific subjects.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to limit where you substitute teach is that you can form better relationships if you are only substituting in a limited number of places. You can come to know the students as well as the teachers and staff better at a specific school or at specific schools. This can be especially beneficial if you hope to get a full-time job in education.
Of course, it is a good idea to figure out how many substitute teaching opportunities you will get before you limit yourself too much. If you are just starting out, you may want to be willing to substitute in at least most of the classrooms. As you build your reputation, you can likely better pinpoint where you do and do not want to continue subbing.