Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why I LOVE Being a Sub

In celebration of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd do love in a different way... why I love being a sub. I'm not going to lie, it's a tough job, not always fun, and has a bunch of down sides. But there are also plenty of positives about subbing, and today is a perfect day to remember them. This is what I love about being a sub:

1) Flexibility. You can work when you want. If my children are sick, I am sick, I have car trouble, or I have an appointment, I just don't take a job for that day. No worries about finding a sub or writing lesson plans.

2) Less Paperwork. Ask many teachers, and they will tell you one of the most tedious parts of teaching is all the paperwork that comes with the job. As a sub, however, you don't have to worry about writing IEPs or documenting RTi or completing report cards. The only paperwork you really need is your Daily Report.

3) Grandparent Privileges. Much like a grandparent who gets to play with the grandkids and then give them back, a sub gets to "give a class back" to the full-time teacher at the end of the day. This is particularly pleasant in those classes with the extra "challenging" students.

4) Less Pressure. In these days of high-stakes testing, it is not the sub who takes the heat if the students are not getting the scores expected. When there is a student who is below level, the sub just does what they can for the day. But there is no pressure to get that student on grade level.

5) Teach and Leave. Once all the students have departed for the day and clean-up is done, subs get to leave right after school is out. Not so with full-time teachers. They have lesson planning, meetings, grading, and all that paperwork.

6) "Stealing" Ideas. My final and favorite part of being a sub is getting to go in multiple classrooms to see how other great teachers have their classroom set up, use different teaching strategies, and so much more. I have gotten so many amazing ideas just by seeing them in practice in other teachers' classrooms.

Those are my sub favorites. What do you love about being sub?


  1. I love being a sub for the same reasons! I also love the special connection that sometimes happens, a different sort of bond.

    I love sharing my ideas that I get to see with other teachers who normally don't get that chance.

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  2. I love the flexibility and being able to teach so many different things every day. One day I may be teaching Grade 12 calculus, and the next I could be in a Grade 1 class working on shapes. I like the challenge that it brings, sometimes more than I want, but at the end of the day you get another fresh start.

    Love your blog!

    The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate

    1. You cover a wide range, Amy! Good for you!

  3. Wonderful points!

    Your students and own children are VERY blessed to have you as their teacher!

    1. Thanks, Tamara! That means a lot coming from you. :-)

  4. I loved being a sub for the same reasons, my all time favorite was being able to borrow ideas! During my lunch break or planning time I would sneak a few photos of center set up or bulletin boards to file away for my own use someday (c:

    1. hee hee... Jen, I do the same thing. All the photos on my phone are of other teachers' classrooms. :-D

  5. I loved reading your blog post today! Sometimes people look at subbing as being not as desirable as full-time teaching, but you have pointed out so many positives! I started out my teaching career subbing for several months and it was some of the best preparation I had for my own classroom. What I loved about subbing was that if things didn't go well one day, the next day was a brand-new start with a new group of kids. Believe me, I made a lot of mistakes those first few weeks!
    ~ Laura Candler
    Teaching Resources Website
    Corkboard Connections Blog

  6. You hit the nail on the head with all those positives and my subbing experience has been 99.9% positive. The only other that I can think of, but hasn't really applied to me yet is if you get a tough class and you just don't want to sub for them again you can turn down the assignment. Brian

  7. Thanks for reminding me of the plus points of subbing. I am going through a bit of a crisis right now, mostly to do with the fact that it's half term, so no work no pay... I don't know what the set up is in the US but over here we are not paid to Teachers' Pay Scale - it's much less, which doesn't do much for your sense of self-worth.

    That said, I love subbing for the same reasons as you - it's great to go in, enjoy working with kids from a range of different ages, then pack up and go home with none of the extra baggage. I do miss that baggage though....


  8. It was very nice reading this post and comments. I am going to move to Portland in June and I will be looking for subbing positions. I am from Brazil and I have been teaching preschool and kindergarten for over 15 years in International Schools in 4 different countries. I hope things will work out for me! Wish me luck! Thank you all for sharing! Amelia Mello


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