Helpful Tips on How to Succeed as A Substitute Teacher
Substitute teachers are the most important part of our education system. They are the adults hired to take care of and help the students in the classroom. They differ from a traditional version of the teacher as they are employed to be a role model. One needs to hold high personal standards and earn professionalism to be a Professional Substitute Teacher. It is a challenging yet highly rewarding job. If you plan to be a substitute teacher as a side hustle, following strategies and details can help you succeed.
👉 Substitute Teacher Requirements 👈
To be a substitute teacher or sub, one must meet all the legal and non-negotiable requirements. Qualification is important, but an applicant needs to have a certain set of ‘must have’ unique skill sets to fulfill the instructional duties and classroom management they are entrusted with.
Legally, applicants wishing to be hired as substitute teachers should be highly qualified, certified, or licensed. Their criminal record or background should be clear to ensure the safety of the children. However, the academic requirement varies from institute to institute. Coming to the non-negotiable requirements, the applicant must be punctual, passionate, calm yet commanding, well-organized, discreet, confident, dependable, straightforward yet adaptable, kind, and empathetic. As sub and substitute teachers are also part of the school team, which requires dealing and interacting with everyone that’s why they must demonstrate proficiency in interpersonal skills such as communication (verbal, non-verbal, and listening), team-working, emotional intelligence, negotiation, persuasion, problem-solving, influencing, decision making, leadership, conflict resolution, and mediation skills. Moreover, having a sense of humor and a creative mind makes sub genuinely interested students.
Some places take quizzes or tests before hiring a substitute teacher to know if they fall the expected criteria or not. Don’t panic. It would be a basic skill test or worksheet.
👉 Effective Substitute Teacher Characteristics 👈
A substitute teacher or sub-steps in when a full-time teacher cannot be in their class. One cannot fill a void or replace a person if one doesn’t possess essential characteristics. Therefore, to be a successful substitute teacher, one must:
- Go above and beyond to anticipate the need of students
- Passionate about learning and teaching
- Organized and well-mannered ethics
- Effectively manage classroom
- Love and genuine care for students
- Develop friendly rapport with parents
- Enthusiastically collaborate with other teachers and staff
- Positively lift the mood of an entire class
- Teachable and adaptable
- Listen and respond to students carefully
- ‘Dress for success’ appearance
👉 Responsibilities of A Substitute Teacher 👈
Substitute teachers show up to create an encouraging learning environment and invoke memories of days in school. Other than building positive relationships with students, they have to fulfill certain tasks on a monthly and daily basis, such as:
- Take attendance daily
- Assign home tasks, assignments, and quizzes according to the teacher’s lesson
- Arrange a class activity before or after the lecture
- Create and maintain the discipline of the class
- Carry out lesson plans if the classroom teacher leaves early or takes an off
- Monitor the class during lecture
- Make reports (academic and disciplinary)
- Minimize distractions
- Take and arrange class tests or quizzes
- Help classroom teachers in developing lesson plans, assignments, and results
- Get to school earlier than required
- Arrange study tours, movie days, or other trips
- Keep a check on student’s tool
- Increase student retention and promote self-esteem
- Contact student’s parents in case of emergency
👉 Pros and Cons of Substitute Teaching 👈
If you want a rewarding career with a side hustle in the education system, substitute teaching is for you. It will make you part-time extra money and allow you to make a positive difference in students’ lives and help schools facing staff shortages. As everything has its set of pros and cons, substitute teaching also has. Want to know them all? Have a glance over here,
- No fixed schedule / flexible hours
- Earn steady paychecks
- Flexibility to pick the classroom (grade/years)
- Retirement benefits
- Easy recruitment process
- Learn and hone valuable transferable skills
- Expand knowledge and gain experience
- Weekends are off
- Summers are off
- Meet new people/personalities
- Get to know different learning styles
- Weekly hours are not guaranteed
- Unpaid leaves and vacation
- No routine
- Part-time work only
- Disciplinary challenges
- No employee benefits such as health
- Students sometimes disrespect substitutes
👉 Career Opportunities 👈
There is a lot of room for growth for substitute teachers. First, they get to do two jobs at once because substitute teaching is mostly part-time, which means they can gain experience in two fields simultaneously with double paychecks. Secondly, their resume improves, they can continue their education and serve the community, several professional organizations as full-time professional trainers of fresh substitute teachers. One can also earn a substitute teaching certificate from different institutes of Florida, such as the University of Central Florida.
With experience, qualifications, excellent interpersonal and other skills, substitute teacher can pursue their career in any of the following fields:
- Assistant teacher
- Personal trainer
- School and career counselor
- Childcare worker
- Substitute teachers’ trainer
- Daycare Assistant
- Human resource specialist
- Camp Counselor
- Students’ life coach
- Private or online tutor
- Full-time teacher
👉 Salary Package 👈
The salary package of a substitute teacher depends on the level of experience, geographical location, number of working days, qualification, and skills of the candidate. Roughly, they earn $100 to $140 per day. However, the hourly pay rates vary.
👉 Job Search Tips 👈
- Work on your skills
- Make an attractive resume (write summary or objective, list down training certificates and licenses, mention your degrees, skills, and experience)
- Keep your cover letter ready.
- Tailor your resume to match the school requirement and job description
- Look for substitute teacher jobs in institutes nearby.
- Attach a recommendation letter if required
- Reach out to national companies for the job such as Swing Education, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Teachers On Call, Fairfax County Public Schools, and any other of your choice.
- Never stop sub-teacher job hunting. Many places hire full-time sub teachers too; even in a pandemic, the demand for substitute teachers skyrockets as if a teacher is not well enough to make it to the classroom, the substitute teacher will monitor behavior and discipline of the classroom while the teacher will teach from home via webcam.
👉 Take Note 👈
Here to all the substitute teachers, you inspire students and make a positive difference in their lives and the community. My advice for the future and a current substitute teacher is to celebrate every day, learn as much as you can from students and other people around you, take care of little things, leave the classroom in better condition, take photos, share creative ideas, be all ears to students’ silly responses and take notes. Dress well, be teachable, flexible, and adaptable. Make the most of each day!
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