Considering being a substitute teacher? Learn some pros and cons to the job!
Good pay straight out of college.
Depending on the state you live, all you usually need is a bachelor’s degree and pass a test. If you live in a big city, it is pretty easy to get work every single day. The pay is quite good, especially as an entry level job with no experience!
No prep work, or dealing with parents!
One of the challenges of teaching is prep work, dealing with scary parents, and the constant struggle to meet all the students needs on a daily basis. Forget all that with substitute teaching. The prep work is the main teacher’s responsibility and I never had to deal with parents working as a sub. (Maybe a greeting before and after school, but never about how their child is doing in work etc). Also, sometimes you have some students with some challenging needs. You only have to worry about that for maximum six hours!
No overtime. Great hours!
I never ever had to work overtime as a sub. It’s amazing all the other things there is to life you can do besides your day job. It’s wonderful to leave work and its still sunny outside. Even in the winter. Perfect weather to still go exercising in. Also perfect for parents who want to get home the same time their kids do. Main teachers have to do grading and planning. Subs get to go home as soon as their contract says they can.
You don’t have a boss.
No boss to deal with at this job. You get calls, or check the internet for jobs. You accept them through a robot or a few clicks. You show up. As long as you take attendance and maintain decent peace throughout the day, everyone is happy. It’s almost like being your own boss. In fact, you are the boss to a big classroom of new kids every day!
You can take time off whenever you want.
If you don’t want to work that day, simply turn off your phone and sleep in! Don’t check the website for jobs. It’s that simple. It also leaves you open for other jobs or other interests you may want to pursue.
You get to work with kids!
Ok, I added this one because I love to work with young people… of all ages. Subbing allows you the opportunities of touching the lives of kids from preschool to high school, all in the same week!
By now, you’re thinking, wow that sounds great! But of course, with every job there are some cons.
Many subs don’t buy benefits. Instead they take a class at a community college and use the health services the school provides. Or take advantage of free clinics. But if you don’t like those options, you could always buy benefits, though that could get a little pricey. If you are under your spouse’s benefits though, this is not a con.
No close relationships with students.
There is only so much you can accomplish in one day. Though I do believe subs make a difference, the main teacher has the potential to create an even bigger difference on their students lives that they see on a daily basis. You do often get called back to work in the same classroom more than once, so you often do get to see the same students multiple times.
Students can get a little crazy…
Okay, this is only a con once in a while. Sometimes it is true, the students act up for the sub. But if you read my other article on subbing, “Substitute Teacher Tips: The Vital First Few Moments” then that should create a good foundation for a smooth day.
Subbing does have cons, but I believe subbing can be a great job for the right kind of person. If you like being around young people, without the stress of lesson planning, along with the flexibility this job might be the perfect fit! If you need something more with benefits, and can’t handle the occasional bratty student, then maybe this job isn’t for you. Best wishes on finding a fulfilling career!