Substitutes spend the whole school year assisting regular teachers in need of daily or weekly replacements due to illness or other personal reasons. This adds quite a bit of pressure to any substitute’s job. Not only do substitutes have to teach students, but they must manage the classroom simultaneously. After a full academic year, many teachers find summer vacation to be paradise. Substitutes are no different; they, too, seek to find relief over the break.
Seeking Employment Options
So, summer arrives, the children play, and substitute jobs become nonexistent. What can a substitute do to maintain earning potential? The answer is: look at employment options in the community. There are a couple of choices to consider. One, the substitute can work part-time or full-time in a temporary capacity. The key, here, is to apply for positions early in the year so that chances are better for getting hired when summer comes.
Part-time work can become seasonal work in the future as well as weekend and rotating shift work during the school year. Taking temporary jobs is a good way to maintain a summer work schedule and keep fall open for teaching. In any case, obtaining summer employment helps substitutes to earn a living while staying active in their districts’ sub database. Another possible option is doing volunteer work. Although volunteerism has no monetary rewards, many educators like the altruistic rewards it brings.
Focusing on Professional Development
Many substitute teachers are either former teachers or aspiring teachers. Hence, they are people who are always striving for educational and professional attainment. Professional development is essential in a substitute’s plan of action because it sharpens teaching skills. Some basic types of professional development activities for the summertime are: enrolling in a class, watching teaching videos, attending workshops, and getting online support.
Taking time to do some professional research is a wise choice, if one wants to keep up with educational trends. Whether one goes to a brick and mortar institution (e.g., library or college) or surfs the World Wide Web, there are ways to find pedagogical tools. For instance, Super Substitute Teachers and Education World are two interactive websites designed for substitute teachers. These sites include everything from lesson plans and curriculum ideas to classroom management and technology techniques.
Sharing Experiences with Peers
Teachers are used to discussing their profession with their colleagues in classic “teachers’ lounge” conversations about lessons, students, and parents. Most substitute teachers also desire the opportunity to vent their thoughts and feelings. During the summer, these teachers can enhance their communication abilities through active participation in both online and offline chat sessions with other substitutes. By bonding with peers, substitutes can network and build professional liaisons that improve their status.
There are a select few websites devoted to networking in this profession. Some sites, like Teachers.net have chat or discussion boards where substitutes can post their thoughts. Also, Teacher-world.com has blogging capabilities with RSS feeds for educators to share their ideas and plans. Lastly, Substitute Teacher Magazine is an online service for substitutes to join and participate in online forums. Networking is the key to success because it allows teachers to collaborate and inspire each other.
Closing Remarks on Staying Motivated
Above all, if you are a dedicated substitute teacher, it is in your best interest to learn something new over the summer that is related to this profession. Stay motivated through work, study, and recreation. Don’t let your vacation slip away without any accomplishments before the school year begins!