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Ten Advantages of Being a Substitute Teacher

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Are you job hunting and thinking of becoming a substitute teacher? Or perhaps you have some experience as a sub and can’t decide whether teaching is your ideal career. Like all jobs, substitute teaching has its own unique rewards and challenges. Luckily, it doesn’t take much time to figure out whether it’s the right professional choice for you.

Here are ten reasons to start (or continue) substitute teaching.

  1. In an uncertain economy, it’s easier to get a job when you’re flexible, versus trying to find a particular position teaching a certain subject.
  2. There are fewer requirements to be hired as a sub. While it always helps to have some background knowledge, you don’t have to be an expert in any one subject. If you have a high school diploma and can pass a criminal background check, you’re likely to find jobs easily. (Though, some states require college credits or a bachelor's degree. The STEDI.org substitute site is a good resource for more information.)
  3. As a sub, you have a flexible schedule and can make short-term commitments. Your assignments can vary from one day up to one year or more. If an assignment doesn’t seem appropriate for you, you can turn it down.
  4. Teaching can be supplemented with additional employment, since you’ll probably be required to work only weekday mornings and afternoons.
  5. Substitute teaching can help you decide whether to pursue further education, and in which subject area. Trying out different opportunities can help you identify your strengths and decide on a professional focus.
  6. Subbing can be a stepping stone to a permanent position with greater job security and benefits.
  7. You can network with other teachers and administrators, who can provide valuable advice and professional connections.
  8. If you’re retired from full-time teaching or another career, substitute teaching allows you to keep busy, stay involved in a profession, and continue earning some income.
  9. Unlike many permanent teachers, you’re not required to be certified in a specific subject area. This can help you avoid investing time and money into advanced coursework.
  10. Substitute teaching provides you with practical experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have, such as dealing with behavior issues. You can learn and experiment with different types of teaching styles and classroom environments.
Make your career work for you, not the other way around. If you don’t want to be stuck in the daily rut of a typical job, explore the advantages of substitute teaching. What other advantages (or disadvantages) have you experienced as a substitute teacher? Let us know in the comments below, or share your experience on Facebook.
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