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Finding flexibility in substitute teaching with Swing

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Work hard, play hard, dream big!” – Paul Teogalbo, Sacramento Swing Sub

Graduate of San Jose State University, Paul Teogalbo has been a substitute teacher with Swing since September 2022 in Sacramento, CA. Before he earned his CTC credential in 2023, Paul taught as a paraprofessional for eight years, working with students with special needs.

An aspiring teacher

With hopes of one day becoming a full time teacher, Paul has enjoyed the flexibility of subbing with Swing. He said, “I’ve been a substitute teacher through a few different companies, but Swing is the platform I’ve enjoyed the most, mainly because of its flexibility.”

Currently working a long term assignment covering maternity leave, Paul explained, “Swing gave me the opportunity to step up and finally become a teacher in my own classroom, even as just a substitute teacher.”

What to look for in an assignment

When it comes to picking assignments, Paul looks for a thoroughly filled out school profile.  “I can’t go in blind,” he said. “Communication is key. Please tell me everything I need to know! I’m going to be flexible, but information is so crucial to becoming a successful substitute.”

With the Swing platform, substitutes can filter what exactly they’re looking for in an assignment, like:

  • Distance from home
  • Included lesson plans
  • Pay rate
  • Subject matter
  • Grade level
  • How long the assignment will last

“Swing has the most flexibility I’ve ever seen in a platform, the user interface is simple to use and effective.” Paul said. “I really appreciate everything that Swing has done for me to grow and develop as a substitute teacher. Eventually, I’d love to work at this current school as a permanent teacher.”

Advice for budding substitutes

Empathy is a huge component of substitute teaching. Acknowledging that certain subjects, like math, can be a challenging way to start the day, Paul likes to ease into his classes with a brain teaser to encourage creative thinking. 

He explains that, “Sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box finding ways to keep students fascinated.” Students can sense when there’s a lack of passion. He recommends making the most out of every assignment in order to have a positive influence on the students. “I want to make a lasting impression,” he mused.

If you’re on the fence about becoming a substitute, Paul’s biggest piece of advice is to, “Take the risk. Bite the bullet and take the risk because it’s going to be worth it. You’re going to grow and learn a lot!

“Not only will you learn from the school you’re working at, but about what you’re capable of. You have the capacity to do great things! As a substitute teacher, you’re going to impact the lives of all the students and staff around you. And you’re going to be able to do that through Swing.”

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