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Sep 13, 2022

How to start substitute teaching

Whether you’re seeking to supplement your income, returning to the workforce, or looking for a bridge career post college, substitute teaching is a great way to gain transferable skills in a classroom setting.

Not only will you have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of students, but you’ll be able to do it on your own time. Read on to see why substitute teaching is right for you and how to get started.

Why you should sub

Substitute teachers come from all different backgrounds, but one trait they may share is a desire to positively influence the lives of students. Being a substitute teacher has benefits for everyone: you get to develop and share your unique skill set, receive reliable pay, and set your own schedule, all the while ensuring student learning stays on track.

Additionally, substitute teaching creates an environment where you can:

  • Be flexible: since subbing is a side hustle, you get to decide how often you work — subbing fits into your life, not the other way around.
  • Make an impact: even if you’re only in the classroom for one day, you’re ensuring that student learning continues regardless of teacher absences. Share your fresh perspective and support their learning goals.
  • Transition to full time teaching: subbing is an excellent way to grow practical skills, such as public speaking and classroom management, which can later help you land a full time teaching position. 
  • Build connections: with every new assignment, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new teachers, schools, and students. These relationships will allow you to build a network where you can seek out guidance, support, and additional subbing opportunities.

You’re intrigued… now what?

There’s no single, nationwide credential to start substitute teaching — many states have their own set of requirements. Pay rates, salaries, and other specifics often vary by region. Get more information regarding your state:

What to expect

Feel confident on your first day as a sub by being over prepared. Whether that means setting numerous alarms to arrive on time, ensuring you have the right supplies, or reading over any provided school resources, expect the unexpected. 

Start strong with a plan. Share your ground rules, begin the day with a short introductory activity, and refer to your favorite classroom management strategies if need be. Confidence is key — remember, you’re in charge!

Get started!

If you’re looking to make a difference in your community on your own time, it’s time to start subbing. Teach directly for a school or district, or experience an easier way to sub with Swing Education.

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