Confessions of a Substitute Teacher
When I tell people I’m a substitute teacher, the response is usually not very encouraging. I often hear something like “oh, (sad face)…maybe it’ll turn into a real job one day” or “I guess you gotta do what you gotta do until you can find something better.”
It never dawns on people that I actually chose this job. This is the job I want. I’ve held full time teaching positions before. I’ve even been offered higher paying, full time teaching positions from my current employer, but I’ve turned them all down. Being a Substitute Teacher is what I choose to do.
I love everything about my job. I set my own hours and work days, which gives me time to work on my writing. I'm on break when my kids are on break, which allows for more family time.
I like that I’m able to support full time teachers as well. Teachers can take a day off without having to worry about what crazy person is in their classroom while they’re out. Instead, they know they’re students are being cared for and treated well. They know the lesson plan they leave is being implemented and their students are still learning in their absence.
But my absolute favorite part of the job is the interaction with the students. Educating and mentoring children is a passion of mine. As a Substitute Teacher, I educate, mentor, and encourage students in a way that many full time teachers just don’t have time to do.
Teachers are tasked with many duties. Their classes are often filled to capacity with 27-30 students. They have to create lesson plans, reach out to and respond to parents, keep up with missing assignments, deal with office politics, attend training, parent conferences and even handle discipline issues. When all of that’s done, many teachers are either too tired or just don’t have the time to chat and really get to know their students.
I’ve decided to be the person to fill that gap. I’m the one teachers, administrators, students, and parents count on to be there when the teacher can’t be. I keep the classroom flowing so the education doesn’t skip and beat. I’m there to encourage the students and remind them how amazing they are when their teachers can’t be there. I also share life lessons with the students that go beyond mathematics and language arts and I keep them safe, happy, and motivated.
So you see, I love my job and I take it seriously. Being a Substitute Teacher is what I choose to do because I love the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children.