Britney Dearest: My Personal Experience as a Substitute Teacher - Pros and Cons

/ Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Personal Experience as a Substitute Teacher - Pros and Cons



I began substitute teaching this school year, in August, and the extra income for our household has been great. The flexibility of my job grants me the ability to take my kids to school and pick them up every day and take off on the days I have other plans, like appointments and important errands.There are many benefits of substitute teaching, but there are also a few disadvantages that honestly, are making me rethink my college major. I shared the pros and cons of substitute teaching below.


Pros
-If you enjoy working with children and have a passion for childhood education, it's a great opportunity.

-It's good experience if you want to become a teacher.

-It's very flexible. You can choose to work on the days you prefer.

-There's so much gratification in seeing smiles on your students faces when they accomplish an activity or task or tell you about exciting life changes, for example, their newborn sibling or gymnastics advancement.

-You don't have to write lesson plans.

-The staff is usually very friendly and helpful.

-If you thrive on and can adapt quickly to constant change, a new classroom daily or weekly, substitute teaching may be a good fit for you.


Cons
-Jobs aren't guaranteed. Luckily, I work in a large metro area for an educational staffing company that serves multiple districts and they always have multiple jobs available.

-You may not be offered any benefits.

-If you don't adapt well to change, substitute teaching may be a difficult adjustment for you. Each teacher is different and handles her class differently.

-The biggest con for me- it can be mentally draining and stressful. Most classes will test the substitute teacher and students can be very disrespectful. It takes a lot of patience on the substitute's behalf. Fortunately, many teachers leave instructions on how to deal with specific students who may cause issues and neighboring teachers are there to assist for what many schools I have taught at calling a "buddy room" or they remove those students from class for the day, sending them with a teacher the student is more familiar with. I have taught in numerous districts and some were easier than others, but every class has at least one challenging student you may have to give a little extra attention to.


In Conclusion

I will say that the positive outweighs the negative. There have been numerous times students asked if I was coming back and when I answered no, they expressed unhappiness. Students ask for hugs, it feels great to see students learning and enthusiastic about learning, they give such sweet compliments and can make you feel like the best substitute ever. On the contrast, I have been hit in the stomach and had my debit card stolen, both incidents were done by elementary aged kids, two different districts. I don't know if I'm willing to continue dealing with the negative aspects.


While deciding whether or not I should continue pursuing my degree in childhood education, I try to remind myself that permanent teachers are treated much differently- better- by their homeroom students than the substitutes, however, my experiences still lead me to question if it's something I can see myself doing for the rest of my working years. I absolutely adore children! My family knows I have a huge heart and soft spot for children, so maybe I'll consider combining my two passions- graphic design and teaching and teach high schoolers graphic design. We shall see!


I hope this list is insightful and helps you determine whether or not substitute teaching would be a good fit for you. If you have any other input, questions, or suggestions leave them in the comments below or message me.


Hiring process: At the minimum, you're required to have an Associate's degree or 60 college credit hours to become a certified substitute teacher. You will have to submit transcripts. Following the applcation I had to pay $50 and was fingerprinted in order to obtain a Criminal background check/clearance which also included the Family Care Safety Registry database.


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About Me

Hi! I'm Britney. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 children + 1 fur baby. Britney Dearest is a family lifestyle blog where I share my personal experiences as a wife, mother, homeowner, and creative to provide a virtual space where moms can find encouraging tips and inspiring resources for family, home, and mom life. Read more

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