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How substitute teaching helped me find time to farm and teach

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jose VanDerburg loves helping people and being active in the Los Angeles community. He also loves helping students which is one of the reasons he entered into education as a one-on-one and classroom aide with the local school district.

“It is great meeting and interacting with students on a daily basis,” said VanDerburg. “Having the opportunity to impact young minds is so rewarding.”

Need for flexibility

While VanDerburg loved being in the classroom, the full-time schedule made it hard for him to find enough time to grow his two emerging small businesses: a community supported agriculture (CSA) business called Yo Foods and a local landscaping company called One Community Landscaping.

“I was ready to switch roles and grow my small businesses,” he said. “However, I wanted to find a way to fit in all of the projects that were important to me, so flexibility was a priority.”

Finding the perfect fit with Swing

After searching job postings online, VanDerburg discovered Swing Education. Subbing with Swing Education enabled VanDerburg to effortlessly secure substitute teaching jobs at more than 25 schools in the Los Angeles area over the last four years.

“I knew almost immediately that substitute teaching would give me the flexibility I needed, while still allowing me to maintain my professionalism and teaching skills in the classroom, as well as be around students, which I love,” said VanDerburg. “Swing Education has provided me the opportunity to teach at so many schools and support students of all ages.”

Included in VanDerburg’s now-extensive substitute teaching resume with Swing Education is a long-term role he took at a local middle/high school last year during the pandemic.

“From early April to the end of the school year, I taught online every day from 8 am to noon,” said VanDerburg. “Oftentimes I’d even teach online from the farm, so right when I was done teaching at my computer I could go outside and begin farming for my CSA. Having the flexibility and opportunity to do both jobs back-to-back was huge.”

“And now, if I have a landscaping job lined up, I can easily pass on a teaching assignment if there’s a conflict. It’s no sweat off anyone’s back,” he added. “Other substitute teaching roles aren’t like that.”

In addition to giving him the time needed to run his businesses, VanDerburg also notes the flexibility provided by Swing Education is huge in helping to maintain work/life balance.

“This is especially important for millennials like me,” he said. “Substitute teaching with Swing Education is like a good friend – it doesn’t take up all of your time, but it’s always there when you need it.”

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