My substitute teaching journey started back in September. The decision to become a substitute teacher had been one I was pondering for quite some time. As a matter of fact, I remember my Mother-in-Law suggesting that I should become a substitute teacher a few months after I met her. At that time I had a great job that I loved, so I hadn’t even considered it until my kiddos started school.
In the last two and a half years I spent many days volunteering in this room as a room mom, pondering the idea of subbing or beginning the process of becoming a teacher. Last week my journey becoming a substitute teacher came full circle. I was honored to be able to sub for a friend and supporter who told me I’d be great at this. Super excited about the day, I had a tough time falling to sleep.
It was a great day! The kids were eager to tell me how their day typically flows, helping me get the “Smart Board” up and running, passing out papers and more. I’ve learned a few things that I feel I should pass on to new subs:
- Start off firm – Each class has such different kids and dynamics, start off more strict. You can always go easier, however it is harder to set discipline if you’ve started off as the “cool teacher”.
- Take notes as you move through the day – I already know I have a horrible memory. I like to take notes through the day on the teacher’s lesson plans because I know I’ll forget the details or sometimes even the children’s names.
- Have a password cheat sheet – There are so many programs the teachers use now a days, keep a list of the websites and passwords for each District you sub for and bring it with you to every assignment. (Again, I have a horrible memory so I just keep it in my purse.)
- Create your own “SUB” business cards – I like to make it easier on the teachers by leaving a business card with my notes at the end of the day. My card has my photo and all contact information so they can contact me again if they have questions or would like me to pick up another assignment. It’s a way to market yourself.
Becoming a substitute teacher just worked perfectly for me and our family. I can set my own schedule, work full-time; work part-time; sometimes I don’t even need to work at all. I am highly involved at my children’s school, being on the PTA Board as the Historian, I manage the PTA Website and Facebook page; maintain the PTA School Calendar; publish the PTA monthly newsletter and next year I begin my role as the yearbook editor. Besides my blogging, I’m also highly involved with my kid’s after school activities too, so a flexible schedule works for us.
Are you in the same boat as I am? Thinking about becoming a substitute teacher, I’ve shared the process in these blog features: