So, you went through the certification process. You were interviewed, finger-printed, and background checked. Now the hard part, how do you get jobs as a substitute teacher? Substitute teaching can be difficult, but also incredibly rewarding. Most education programs recommend that aspiring teachers substitute to gain classroom experience. The flexible hours work well for those still in school, or those looking for flexible part-time work, and for many new teachers, long-term substitution can lead to a teaching contract. However, especially in large districts with a large volume of substitutes, it can be hard to find steady work. If you are a new substitute, try out the following tips:
1. Create a schedule: It is very helpful for teachers and substitute coordinators to know what days you are available. Fridays and Mondays are always popular days for teachers to take off.
2. Be flexible in your content area: While you may have a degree in Biology, do not be afraid to list other content areas if you are not looking for a long-term position. When teachers are only going to be out for a day or two, they will leave a detailed lesson plan for you to follow. Also, you may find that there are many vacancies for instructional assistants. While it may not pay as much, substituting for instructional assistants is a great way to introduce yourself to the school staff, and will open doors to future teaching assignments.
3. Make contacts: Once you have established your availability, print yourself some business cards with your contact information, your substitute employee ID (if applicable to the substitute system you use), and your schedule. Go to the schools in your jurisdiction and introduce yourself in the front office. Whenever completing an assignment, leave your card for the teacher, and ask if you can put some in the staff break room as well. While you can find jobs by simply searching through the online system, it is much less stressful if you are requested by a teacher to fill in a scheduled absence.
4. Leave a good impression: A trustworthy substitute teacher can be hard to come by. If you do a good job, the word will spread fast and you will start to get more and more requests. Always follow the lesson plan, and leave a detailed report for the teacher along with your contact information. Let the teacher know how the day went, what was accomplished, what was not accomplished, and any behavior concerns.
Following the above tips helps you create a substituting schedule that works for your hours, and that gets you the experience and income you desire. And, if tracking the online substitute system becomes a drain on your time and energy, check out subassistant.com. Their services will alert you whenever a new sub job becomes available.