Sometimes the most challenging part of being a substitute teacher is finding the opportunities to do it! Sitting at home waiting for that phone call can be frustrating, even defeating. With a few simple tips, however, you can get yourself off the couch and into the classroom.
If you're new to your area, or particularly if you're new to substituting, it's important to know ahead of time what the requirements are in your state for certification. The first school that you apply for should be able to provide you with all of the necessary paperwork to complete and return to the state. Once that's done with the first school, you're set. Effective foreknowledge includes knowing the schools in your area, their demographics, and their strengths and weaknesses. A little research ahead of time can pay off in finding not only a job that simply provides a paycheck, but also one that you can enjoy and look forward to.
No doubt we've all heard the old saying, "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket", and all the variations of it. The principle holds true when looking for a substitute teaching job as well. Don't limit yourself to one school, or even one district. Apply to multiple schools, including private institutions. And utilize all the methods you normally would with any other type of job. Resumes and cover letters convey information in a way that an application alone can't. Expand your use of internet resources as well, utilizing social media as a way of self-advertising.
Networking can make a huge difference. Even if there are no spots right now, make yourself known to the staff teachers and principals, helping them to become more comfortable with you and keeping your name in their minds. A lunch spent in the teachers' lounge can work small miracles.
Above all, keep in mind that you're not alone. There are not only a number of resources to help you to learn how to get more jobs, there is also a lot of support. Utilize online resources like SubAssistant, network with other subs. You can meet this challenge, and meet it successfully.