I've been a sub for years, finally passing my state exams & ready to apply to schools for my credential. Are there any subs in that situation, right now? If so, what kind of financial challenges do you find having a subbing job where one makes little money while trying to pay for school and the credential program costs more money than what you make in a year? All I know is that for me personally, I'm tired of having to depend on teachers being absent while school districts only look at you like a faceless mercenary who is nothing but a random computer number and students look at you like scum because you're not a legitimate teacher. I don't want to stand on the sidelines anymore & be a babysitter.
I know subbing can be unpleasant work (I've done it, and I definitely remember terrible pay and feeling like a non-entity at school), but remember that there can be great opportunities in it too. I went out of my way to be really nice and friendly to other teachers, eventually got a long-term subbing position in a special needs classroom, and got a great letter of reference out of it from the teacher in charge of the classroom. I know other teachers who have been able to turn long-term sub positions into permanent teaching positions.
Just recently, a substitute teacher in my school emailed me asking if he could come observe a few of my classes. He's young and eager to become a full time teacher, he's been subbing this fall in the interest of pursuing that goal, and he's interested in teaching in my subject area. He got permission from our sub coordinator to observe other classes during his free periods, asked my department head if he could contact people in my department, and sent me an email asking if he could visit my classes. He subbed for me last month and did a wonderful job (the kids kept telling me how helpful he was and how much they got done, which is the highest praise a substitute can get in my book), so I was happy to say yes. I haven't met this guy yet, but I'm impressed already because he's being very smart here. If I have a planned absence, I'll ask for him based on my students' positive experience with him (increasing his money-making opportunities) and he's also trying to build positive relationships at the school, which can only help him in applying for a job, at my school or another - you never know what connection can help you out with that.
I know subbing is frustrating work (I can imagine that years of it would be enough to get anyone down), but I just thought I'd throw my two cents in - remember that there can also be opportunities in it. Like anything else, you usually get out what you put in. With that being said though, best of luck with the job search! Teaching is MUCH better when you have your own classroom and a full time, permanent position. I wouldn't want to go back to subbing either, and I imagine years of it would be enough to try the patience of a saint.
Thank you for your reply. I've actually already been through the stages where other teachers were kind enough to let me observe their classes & have networked with other teachers to cover their classes on a constant basis. I've also had at least 3 relevant long term assignments. The first one in a 9th grade English class where the only valuable lesson I learned was classroom management & I've forever hated high school assignments. The second, covering a 7th grade English class where I actually got to call the shots with the lesson plans & flow of the class & despite working all 6 periods for weeks, I got paid well & improved my teaching skills. I got them to think & work hard on assignments they appreciated & learned from. The kids didn't even want me to leave which spoke volumes about my presence, even though I was strict, but fair. The third was this year in a class I've covered for 2 years which is a high school special-ed moderate-severe class where I feel I improved more & have known for 3 years that this is what I want to go to school & get my credential for. Or for the Transition class of moderate-severe (post HS). While these positives are doing a lot for me in the long run, I just can't take the 2 or 3 week workdays where all I do is just babysit while kids do meaningless class assignments, put on movies, or deal with kids don't see you as a real teacher. I've left many business cards over those few years just to never be called back & only to learn teachers always have different subs, all the time. In my eyes, most teachers could care less about subs because that's what I've seen. There have been a few that I'm thankful for their opportunities. I know I've put in a lot of work only to have my district pass me up for long term assignments that should've been mine (me being the teacher's choice to in the their class), only to put some other random person in my place. I feel I've reached the point where I can no longer learn or develop anything as a sub. The next logical step is getting the credential, but it is a huge challenge when a sub salary isn't enough for tuition and I no longer want to be stuck in what I see more as a mental prison than I did an opportunity where opportunities no longer exist for me.
I'm in grad school now earning a Master's along with certification in middle school math and science. This is my third year subbing. I really love teaching and I'm excited about the transition. I must say that my experience with subbing has been mostly positive; I don't think that the students or other teachers or the district look at me like a faceless mercenary or scum. Most everyone has been kind and helpful to me, including many of the students.
I agree with this poster,I live in Missouri; I was a substitute teacher for 2 years. I currently am in a totally different position outside of school, and miss being able to make a difference in young minds. However, I am confused on many issues. I am a youth leader at my church, coming up with my own lessons, and providing counseling,etc. I teach 6-7 teenagers (not a lot compared to substitute teaching!). I really enjoy teaching high school, junior high, and special education. I've considered all and cannot for the life of me, choose. The closest place I can attend is a branch of a University that offers the degree to teach Mid-Level Education. I've heard I can take a test to teach high school if I so desire, is this true?
Any ideas on my confusion of what grade to teach? I would like to teach English either in Jr. High or High school; or teach Special Education 7-12; I could also teach Art (I hated my Art class, and have talent; so I might have some insight there). Thank you for reading this!
If you are interested in special ed, go for it! Special ed positions are abundant (area of high need for teachers in Missouri) and you get federal loan forgiveness for each year you teach in a high-need area. English at the high school level is flooded with qualified teachers at this time and you may find it difficult to get a job.
I'm currently working on my middle school Language Arts certification - once you earn a certification in one concentration area, I believe you can become certified by taking the praxis in additional areas, but you would probably want to stay within the same age range. For example, Riverview Gardens suggested that I try to get certified in Middle School science or math also so that I could teach more classes in the same building (she literally told me it is so the district can save money!!!)
If you want to teach high school English, most school districts are going to have numerous applicants who have a major in English, so take college coursework for Secondary English Certification.