It didn't take me long to realize that in this economy, in a large metro area, there are thousands of substitutes. Because of all of the budget cuts, teachers are no longer getting to take days off for meetings and development classes. This means LESS subbing jobs.
One way to pad the pay check is to think of creative ways to get jobs.
- Sign up for lots of area districts.
- My closest districts didn't even accept applications for new subs this year. They just stuck with the subs they had last year. UGH! So I have to drive further, but I am signed up for 12, yes 12 area districts. Some are nearly an hour away, maybe more, but I need the paycheck and the contacts that these sub days provide.
- Charter Schools
- There are TONS of charter schools in my state. Most of these schools are not on the district sub network, so I have to make individual connections with each of their secretaries. You can get a list from your local department of education website.
- Private Schools
- If you aren't religious, it's okay! Not all private schools are religious, and many that are will accept subs who do not subscribe to their religion, as long as you agree not to share your views with the students or contradict the teachings of the school. Again, check the department of education for a list and start emailing your resume.
- Usually pays well, but is like 2-4 hours a week. Another drawback is that they typically want a commitment that may not fit in with accepting a full time teaching job on the day you tutor.
- Instructional Assistant/Teacher's Aid
- Sure, it pays less, but it's a great way to get to know many people in a building. Just make sure and work into the conversation that you are a fully certified sub, and available for work! Drop off your sub card in the staff room!
- After School Programs
- These typically pay much less, and are only 3-4 hour shifts, but if you don't have a job for the day it's a great filler. It also gets you into a school and meeting people.
- Sub Cards
- I have a card that I leave a teacher, to let her/him know that if they liked my work, I can come back. Repeat work is the best way to get jobs! Some subs use a little business card, but I want to make an impact, so I purchased postcards from www.VistaPrint.com and had them specially printed with a cute graphic and my personal info, along with enough space on the back to leave a note about the class and my request number on Subfinder, Aesop, or whatever subfinding software they use. I also leave one in the staff room.
- Teaching Outside Your Certificate
- Several states allow subs to teach any grade regardless of their certificate. For example, I am certified for Early Childhood and Elementary, but I can also sub for Middle School, High School, or even Special Education and English Language Learners.
- The trick to remember here is to know your limits of comfort. I don't take music, foreign language or Special Education classes, because I don't feel that I would be best for those classrooms.