Maybe it’s the moment your youngest child heads out the door to kindergarten, or the day your eldest gets their learner’s permit. Now that the kids are older, the house is quiet, and you’re able to take a breath, it hits you: You’re ready to go back to work.
Returning to the workforce can be a challenge. You may fear that some employers will view your time off as a sign you aren’t as professionally driven as others or that you’re way behind those who took a straight track.
According to a study in Harvard Business Review, 93 percent of women taking a career break want to return to work. Of those, only 74 percent do, and of those, only 40 percent secure full-time work.
But going back to work shouldn’t be scary, and opportunities like substitute teaching are a great way to get back in.
Here are some reasons to consider substitute teaching as a great way to re-enter the workforce.
There’s no doubt about it: Few professions give you the kind of flexibility substitute teaching does. You can pick and choose your assignments, so you’ll be able to schedule working hours around your family’s needs.
In a more traditional job, it might be difficult to make time for a suddenly sick child or an important game or performance, but substitute teaching offers the flexibility to work when you want to without having to worry about asking for extra time off.
Flexibility goes beyond planning your assignments. If you find you need to take a step back from your return to work, you can always put substitute teaching on pause, too.
You’ll earn good money
As a parent, you know the costs of raising children can put a major strain on a household budget. Substituting can reduce some of that financial stress — in some states, you can earn up to $280 a day. Many districts also add incentives or bonuses for longer-term substitutes.
You know the ropes
Let’s talk #parentinghacks. Know how to get your kids to clean up their rooms, finish homework, or stop fighting over the remote control? Your expertise will transfer wonderfully to the classroom. You know how to manage kids, which is an essential skill in substitute teaching.
As a parent, you’ve also likely been working on growing your patience and deepening your compassion, skills which are essential in the classroom, too.
You’ll learn from the students
Just as you’ll bring your parenting experience to the classroom, you’ll also be able to take what you learn in the class home. All children face challenges at school: bullying, peer pressure, cliques, and learning difficulties. By successfully navigating the tough stuff with your students, you’ll be more familiar with whatever problems your own children may be facing in school.
In short — substitute teaching can make you a better parent, too!
You’ll gain experience
It can be intimidating returning to the workforce after a break. If you’re a former teacher, you might be wondering about new developments in education. You might even feel unsure about what’s changed in the lessons you’re used to. (Wait — is Pluto considered a planet again?) Substitute teaching will help you quickly regain your footing in the classroom.
The skills you learn as a substitute are transferable to many other fields, too. You’re learning problem-solving, time management, and how to be at ease with public speaking. Whether you choose to pursue teaching or another occupation, those are highly valued skills.
You can open doors
If you’re thinking you might pursue teaching full time, substitute teaching is an excellent way to make connections with teachers and administrators in your area. You’ll get an inside look at how the schools function, and you’ll build your resume.
Another big plus? You’ll be in the know when opportunities for full-time positions come up. And you’ll have a foot in the door when your school’s administrators see that you are a trusted, reliable educator.
You’ve got the qualifications
In most states, you do not need a teaching credential to substitute. If you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher learning institution and a clear background check, you’re typically ready to begin.
Swing Education makes it easier than ever to start substitute teaching. Not only will we connect you with local schools, we reimburse start-up costs for most permit-related expenses, background checks, and other requirements.
Want more inspiration to get in the classroom? Check out our blog on 10 reasons to start substitute teaching today.