Substitute teaching

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by ChicksterJo, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    I recently took the CBEST, which is a test that you need in order to become a substitute teacher in California. I do have a four year degree. I think I did fairly well on the test since I took 3 practice tests and I read a prep book front to back. Now, if and when I do pass and I finally get credentialed to substitute, I think I'm going to have a mental breakdown. I have worked with kids before ( tutoring) but I haven't managed a classroom full of kids. This scares me. Anyone have experience substitute teaching and advice for me that I can use when I actually do start?

  2. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
  3. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    Thanks! [​IMG] me too. I think substitute teaching experience will help me get a job back at my college's neighborhood where they have a lab school for elementary and middle school kids. So I want to get comfortable teaching or at least managing larger groups of kids.
  4. oceanwidedesigns

    oceanwidedesigns Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    Fresno County
    I would ask if you could observe or volunteer in a friend's classroom to get the jist of everything, see if it's right for you. I got my degree in Deaf Ed, but decided not to go the teaching route after having to take a semester of observations before entering the school of ed to get my credentials. I'm a homeschooler at heart, I couldn't stomach the idea of not having one on one time to work with students.... plus all the politics and stuff.

    Unless you're doing long term subbing, you're not going to need much more experience than being assertive and being able to improvise no matter what kind of instructions the teacher leaves for you. I think your biggest obstacle is going to getting on the substitute list for the school district or school. In the Central Valley, most of the larger school districts froze their lists two or three years ago. Teachers that are surviving layouts are being kept as full time substitutes. Keep in mind that even if the lists are open for your area, you're going to need to pay for things like finger printing, background checks, TB testing, etc just to qualify to get on the list. After that, it's a matter of getting your name out there and gaining a good reputation so that teachers will request you. My mom always requested the same sub, with maybe two others as alternates. I can only remember a few times where she just put it into the system for anyone to show up.

    Good luck!
  5. showme31

    showme31 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moscow Mills MO
    I subbed for over 3 years (at the elementary level) before getting offered a regular teachers aide position with the school. Yep it seems that teachers like to be able to have a "go to" sub. I have found that they are like parents when it comes to the success of their classes. I made sure I followed the lesson plans that were written to the best I could. If I didn't follow for any reason I was totally honest as to why. I would leave the teacher detailed notes as to how the day went. I never just listed the kids that didn't stay on task, but spent the time to recognize the kids that did.

    Now as a school employee I can say, yes we are extremely particular about our subs. I'm in the special ed dept and the only time we put in for a random sub is when none of our regular 7 are available, so almost never.

    Good luck, while some days might be stressful I found way more rewarding days. That's why when one of my regular teachers told me a spot was opening up and she'd support me in it I was excited.
  6. Jloeffler

    Jloeffler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Northeast NC
    I agree with Showme. When I have to be out I have certain subs that I prefer over just Joe schmoe off the street. Though it sounds as if CA has a much more rigorous sub screening process than we do here in NC. We are fortunate for a small rural school district to have several retired teachers who come back to sub and even volunteer for the difficult classes. I also understand the feelings of the homeschooler approach and my only issue with homeschooling is unless the parents work at it, home schooled kids tend to have social interaction issues. But, having said that, peer groups are always willing to enlighten and social skills are usually easy to pick up.
  7. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Oftentimes, teachers just leave a few worksheets for the students and expect the subs to baby-sit. After I was laid off from a teaching job, I dreaded subbing again after having my own classroom, although prior to getting my own classroom it was a valuable learning experience.

    Yes, teachers often have favorite subs. I teach Spanish so subs often shy away from my classroom even though I try to leave stuff for the students that the subs shouldn't have much difficulty with.

    I lucked out last winter when I took 2 weeks off for bereavement, my sub had taken Spanish in college. She wasn't certified, but at least had a background in it.

    Long-term subs can make very good money, sometimes even higher than salaried teachers since they don't have to pay union dues.
  8. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    Thank you to everyone for your input and advice. My mom works as a teacher's assistant but I don't know if that will get me anywhere. I will try volunteering in the meantime. I don't have anymore work for the summer (I had short term employment).

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