Earning Money Substitute Teaching

by - January 12, 2019

As most of my readers know I earn money by substitute teaching, which is a job I've done over the past ten years. I also subbed when my daughter was an infant for a couple of years. 

If you're interested in earning money while substitute teaching than this article is for you. 

The first thing I did to start subbing was to visit the school district's (where I wanted to sub) central office. Each school district will have their own set of rules for hiring substitute teachers. 

Some school districts require only a high school diploma or GED. Others will require a Bachelor's Degree and/or teaching certificate. The district I work in required only a high school diploma when I started. 

Today they require a teaching certificate, but the district has a shortage of subs and have been known to be flexible on that issue. So, check with your school district as the rules have been known to change. 

For me, I had some paperwork to fill out and had to have a background check, which I paid for at the time. At the time I paid for mine back in 2003 it was $50, I'm not sure what they cost today. Sometimes the school district will reimburse you for this expense, but not always. It pays to ask about this. 

As far as subbing goes, I get called multiple times per week to sub. I've had multiple teachers ask for the same day especially when there is a county wide meeting. 

I've even been asked to cancel subbing jobs in favor of another teacher. And sometimes I've had teachers ask another teacher if they can trade another sub for me. In a case where I might work for them three days in a row or something similar. 

Substitute Teaching isn't simply walking into a classroom and showing a movie. In fact it's pretty rare that a movie is shown. It depends on the teacher as to what work the students will do each day. 

Some teachers want students to continue with the work they are currently doing in class and will leave assignments for that purpose.

Other teachers will leave  work the students are not working on in class, but are capable of doing as they do not want to interrupt their teaching process. 

And some teachers, especially ones who are sick or have an emergency, might not leave any plans, but that is very rare. Depending on the age, It's fun to have students write a story about "What happened to Mrs. Teacher?" in a case like that. 

Any time you are in doubt you can either buzz the office and ask or ask a teacher near your classroom. I've always found a friendly teacher next door to ask and answer questions. 

One rule of thumb, if you decide to sub, is not to let students get into the teacher's desk. Some children have a fascination with the teacher's desk and want to rifle through it. I always nip this behavior in the bud. 

You are working for that teacher and you want to protect his or her things, so keep students out of anything they have no business going through. 

Same thing goes for the teacher's classroom rules. If I had a nickel for everytime a student said to me, "but she's not here" I would be rich. I always tell students that we follow the teacher's rules even when they are not there. It demonstrates respect for their teacher. 

Another good rule is to always leave the room as clean as when you got there. Teachers are more likely to call you back if you take care of their things while they are away.

Another good rule of thumb is have some sort of classroom management. Students will pick up on this right away and try to get away with things they wouldn't do if their teacher were there. Nip this in the bud as soon as possible by taking  charge immediately. 

Teachers have planning periods, so you might have some down time. Sometimes the office may need you to fill in somewhere else, but that is not always the case. 

You can always bring some work to do during this time or bring something to read. I've done all sorts of things during this time. Reading, crossposting resale items, work on my blog, etc. 

At the end of the day leave a note for the teacher. Thank them for giving you the opportunity to sub in their place. Let them know how the day went and leave any names who were especially good and helpful and any who were misbehaving. 

If you're interested in subbing, The NEA - National Education Association has a state by state summary of substitute teacher requirements. 

And most of all have fun with your students - get to know them if you can. My area of subbing runs from 6th grade through 12th grade, so I've had the privilege of watching some of these children grow up into mature adults. 

~ Living within our Means ~

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