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The perks of being a Substitute Teacher

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I love my job as a substitute teacher.

I love my job as a substitute teacher.

Jennifer Aguirre

Jennifer Aguirre

I love my job as a substitute teacher.

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Being a teacher might not be the best paid job, but certainly makes you happy. That is what most of my family who are teachers tell me. You would think that only being a graduate in education would get you the work experience in the field, but in fact you can have it right now.

Every time I attend my job I get a different classroom to cover for, I get to pick what days to work each week, and I can honestly say there is never a dull day because kids fill it up with laughter and spontaneity. This is my job, being a substitute teacher.

This is how it works: I get a job proposal from the Substitute Alert app on my phone, and decide if I should take it depending on the day, the campus and the person I have to sub for. If I do accept it I usually come in at 7:15 a.m. I walk in to the school wearing causal clothing but not really a uniform, sign in, greet everyone in the office and check my schedule for the day. On past occasions, I have been a regular classroom teacher from pre-k to elementary grades, because I do not like to sub for kids who are taller than me, which is pretty much everyone over the age of 7. I have also been a nurse,  coach, science teacher, teacher aid, art teacher, counselor, computer lab teacher and accidentally a high school teacher, but that is a scary story I haven’t gotten over yet.

During the day you basically interact with just the kids, some adults but for the most part kids. It is different but very funny everyday I go to work not only because I change who I am but kids just make it hilarious, sweet and…challenging. But being surrounded with young students is also a factor of why this job is so amazing, it is creates a friendly and easy-going environment, the adults obviously keep a nice moral and manner at all times and it makes you feel comfortable. At the end of the day, you might come out a bit tired from the routine but you also get appreciation from the students through letters, hugs and smiles. It definitely makes you feel happy at the end of the day.

And if you are pursuing a career in education it is an excellent job because it gives you a taste of how a regular day would go for you, excluding the planning of course. Another advantage is the job is only from Monday to Friday, you have weekends free and also the whole Summer, Winter, Fall and school holidays.

The counterpart, comes from the good news stated before. During the Summer and Winter which are the longest free periods of the year you have to find another job if you want to keep making money.  It is hard to find a job that will hire you especially if they know you are going to quit after that period of time, but it is not impossible.

Another bad thing about being a sub is that as I said in the beginning you are not going to earn what you would get in a bank as a part-time worker for example. As a substitute teacher you get paid every month, the pay depends on how many days you worked, and if  it was full or part time. It’s not a lot, but it is enough to help you pay gasoline and some food expenses, even going out every now and then.

Every district has its own way of signing up for getting into the program of substitutes, I work at Center ISD. What I had to do was to fill out the online application, submit reference letters, and present a clean criminal record and fingerprints,  but nothing like a certification. In fact, in order to be a substitute you only need a GED or high school diploma. Then, before the year starts, you attend to an annual workshop, and when the school beings you start receiving job offerings and decide whether to book or  not. You can ask in your local school district for the job, which is also a plus, because it means you do not have to travel too much since there is a district in every town.

This is in fact, a great work option. Even if you do not plan to go for a career in education it is very flexible for a part-time college student. However, I have worked with people before who have been subs and then they got hired by the district as teacher aids. It has many opportunities, and also many ways to be worked around. It gives you free times, free laughs, and free smiles. That is why I love my job.

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The perks of being a Substitute Teacher