One of the advantages of graduating as an education major is the variety of teaching positions that can be offered. All graduating seniors want to find a full time teaching position in a public or private school. However, there are other alternatives that can be experienced when a full time position is not offered the first year after graduation.
Substitute teaching offers many different types of teaching experiences. One experience involves teaching in a variety of schools within the same school district/area. The candidate can also join a consortium, for substitute teachers, that allows one to teach in multiple schools and districts. Once a person is established as a substitute teacher, the possibilities can be endless whenever it comes to working each day. This will be due to the fact that the “stand in teacher” demonstrated that he/she assumed the responsibilities as the teacher in the classroom successfully and met the needs of the students according to the absent teacher’s requests…these being reasons to be requested again.
One of the best resource organizations for substitute teachers is the NSTA…the National Substitute Teachers Alliance. According to their mission statement, “NSTA's mission is to promote dignity and respect for substitute teachers who provide educational continuity for our nation's students.” NSTA uses the term “stand in teachers”, a terrific descriptor, whenever discussing various topics and tips linked with substitute teaching (see link below).
One particular tip that is consistent, whenever it comes to using substitute teaching as the avenue for securing a full time teaching position, involves using “feed back forms”. There are a variety of forms that can be used (see links below). The purpose of the form is for substitute teachers to write information for the absent teacher. The information provided serves as documentation that the substitute teacher was observant, organized, and prepared whenever it came to teaching the students. This type of communication will also open more possibilities whenever it comes to being used by other teachers within the same school.
Some substitute teachers are emailing the absent teachers in order to immediately communicate what had been accomplished. The email can follow the same points that are found on the “feed back forms”.
Substitute teachers play a vital role in the educational settings. For those education majors who have recently graduated…may you embrace this position and use the teaching experiences in the most beneficial ways possible.
Important links for more information (in the event the direct link does not open, copy and paste the link to your browser):
(Website for National Substitute Teachers Alliance)
(examples of substitute teacher forms)
(excellent resources for substitute teachers)
(substitute teacher tips)
(packets created by teachers for substitute teachers)
(forms for teachers and substitute teachers)
Donna Hupe teaches ED 101 – Field Experience I and has been a Pre-Student Teacher/Student Teacher Supervisor at Saint Vincent College for the past five and a half years.