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10 reasons substitute teaching is a great way to start your teaching career

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Perhaps you’ve recently graduated from a teaching certification program and are looking for a full-time position. Or, you’re entertaining a career change and determining if teaching is right for you. Substitute teaching is a great way to gain classroom experience while discovering what you want from a full-time teaching role.

Here are 10 reasons why substitute teaching is a great way to kickoff your career:

1. Test the waters

If you’re unsure whether a career in education is right for you, substitute teaching can be an excellent way to dip your toe in. You’ll gain firsthand experience in the classroom and be able to determine whether it’s a good fit for your personality, interests, and long-term career goals. 

2. Try out different grade levels and subject areas

While full-time teachers generally keep to a particular school and classroom, substitute teachers can take on a variety of assignments. This helps aspiring educators get a sense of the grade levels, subject matter, and school community that suits them best. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to experience diverse student populations and classroom dynamics, which will prepare you to adapt and thrive in most any teaching situation.

3. Build relationships

Substitute teaching enables you to connect and collaborate with seasoned educators. Building relationships with other teachers can provide valuable mentorship, guidance, and support as you navigate the start of your teaching career. Networking can also open the doors to potential job opportunities, as well as professional development resources.

4. Financial incentives

While the pay for substitute teaching may not be as high as that of full-time teachers and can vary from state to state, it is still a viable source of income, especially for those who are still in college or recent graduates. Because there is so much variety in substitute teaching, there are opportunities to earn increased pay for long-term assignments or even specialized positions. This sort of financial stability can be particularly beneficial when first starting out a teaching career.

5. You can gain classroom experience

A huge advantage of substitute teaching is the hands-on classroom experience. Each day brings a new adventure, fostering adaptability and problem-solving skills. The diverse classroom settings and students you work with will enhance your ability to manage classrooms effectively and engage with students.

6. Give back to your community

When you jumpstart your career as a sub, you have the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives and give back to your community. Substitute teachers play a crucial role in the education system; when the regular teacher is absent, you’ll be there to ensure that the learning continues and that students receive the support they need. By stepping in and maintaining a positive, engaging learning environment, you’ll make a significant impact on the lives of the students you teach.

7. Develop confidence and leadership

As a substitute teacher, you’ll be in charge of the classroom, making important decisions and guiding students throughout the day. This responsibility can help you develop confidence and leadership skills that will be valuable in any future career. By taking charge and demonstrating authority, you’ll be able to establish yourself as a capable and competent educator.

8. Access to resources and professional development

Substitute teaching often provides access to valuable resources and professional development opportunities. Many school districts offer training programs and workshops for substitute teachers, allowing you to hone your skills and learn new techniques. These opportunities can help you stay current with the latest educational trends and best practices, making you a more effective and marketable educator and worker.

9. Gain a variety of transferable skills

The skills you gain as a substitute teacher aren’t limited to just the classroom. In addition to mastering adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking, skills such as public speaking and time-management will be readily available in your back pocket after some time teaching.

10. Set your own schedule

A perk of substitute teaching is the flexibility it offers. As a substitute, you have the freedom to set your own schedule based on your availability. This is especially beneficial if substitute teaching isn’t your only commitment. When using a substitute teaching agency, like Swing Education, the opportunites for flexibility only increase. 

With Swing, it’s super easy to filter requests by criteria such as location, commute times, grade level, and schools on your favorites list. You can even see if lesson plans will be included in your assignment. This way, your schedule is in your hands and you can fit subbing into your day rather than the other way around.

If you’re passionate about education, and seeking a flexible and impactful way to start your teaching journey, substitute teaching is an invaluable stepping stone. Get started today with Swing Education.

what a typical day looks like for a substitute teacher cta