Substitute teaching in a public school is great part-time work, but it takes a special person to be able to actually meet all of the expectations that teachers and administrators have for those who will be responsible for their students.
1. Be Reliable
It’s really important for teachers to know that you’ve got their backs. You can build trust and widespread approval by being on time and going above and beyond what the teacher asks you to do. For example, write notes to the teachers on how the day went and leave a way for them to contact you should they have a question or concern. This shows that you take your job seriously and you genuinely care about the students and the teachers.
2. Be Flexible
While you can pick the days you want to work, you need to be available at a moment’s notice on the days you can work. Both teachers and administrators love substitutes who can come to their rescue. Remember – the more you are available, the more you work; the more you work, the more you get paid.
3. Have a Heart for Teaching
Substitute teaching is no small task. It is so much more than just babysitting a classroom full of students; you are helping to mold young minds and preparing them for their future. Take teaching the students for whom you are responsible for seriously and know that you are making a positive difference in their lives.
4. Have Good Classroom Management Skills
Whether it’s Kindergarteners or seniors in high school, good classroom management skills are a must. You need to be kind, but follow through on any and all consequences for bad behavior. This will eliminate most any problem at its root. When the students know you are serious about expecting good behavior, they will rise to the occasion.
5. Know How to Follow a Schedule
This seems like a simple task, but it is amazing how many substitutes find it difficult. This is because many cannot grasp the importance of pacing his or her teaching so that the lesson or assignment is finished on time. It is also important that you check the schedule periodically to make sure that students are where they are supposed to be at certain times. This is especially a must if you are substituting in an elementary school, where children solely rely on you to take them where they need to be.
6. Get to Know the Principals and Assistant Principals
These administrators are usually the ones who approve substitutes and contact them in some way to work, either by phone or through some type of online substitute placement management program. It is very important to get acquainted with these administrators and let them know that you are very reliable and serious about working in their schools.