If you have decided to become a substitute teacher, there is a couple of things you should know. Being a substitute for anything is never easy and being a substitute teacher is even harder then you would expect. Here are some tips to help you navigate through the difficult parts of subbing in order to keep your sanity and get jobs.
First thing you should consider, is why are you becoming a substitute teacher. If it is because you wish to become a regular teacher and have a degree, but nowhere to use it, you might want to consider a couple of things.
Are you applying to be a substitute at a school that you want to work for? If so reconsider this. You might think that becoming a substitute for a school is a good way to get in, and know the people, But it isn’t. Its actually a bit dangerous for your chances to work their permanently. Schools like to have a gigantic pool of substitutes that are available whenever they have a crisis, or have an event that takes multiple teachers away from their work. Being a substitute can make them want to keep you as a sub and not upgrade your status to a permanent teacher.
Another downfall about subbing is you will be seen as a sub, and not a permanent teacher in the eyes of the people you will work for and with. This will make you appear less qualified then you really are. If you are asked to sub for a classroom in which plans are not laid out you will look bad as a teacher. Showing a movie is a great way to spend a class as a sub and sometimes the only option when things are not written down, but it will hurt your chances, even though it is not your fault and there is nothing you can do about it. So be careful applying for a substitute job near where you would want to work.
Now then if you’re a retired teacher, or just picking up a little money subbing on the side, here are some tips for you.
Do not take yourself to seriously. Remember your just a replacement cog. Do your very best, but if things do not work out, do not worry.
Do not get to familiar with the staff. It may seem like a good idea to go and have lunch with them, and for some substitutes it might be, but a more effective way of getting jobs is to be a bit mysterious. Do a good job and leave. a classroom, that got everything required done just like the teacher was there is the best way to say your ready to sub, and willing to fill the place only when needed.
Do not over achieve. It might make the real teacher feel uncomfortable, like you are trying to replace them if you do more then what is recommended.
Enjoy yourself. If you are showing a movie sit back and watch it with the students. Just make sure you keep an eye out for bad behavior.