Pros and Cons of Substitute Teaching

Substitute teachers have been like superheroes who come to the rescue of regular teachers. Their primary job is supervising a class when their regular teacher is not around. This career path is perfect for some, but some say otherwise.

If a career in substitute teaching is something you want to pursue, work with a substitute teacher agency you can trust. For instance, Scoot Education is an educational staffing company that helps substitute teachers find jobs and schools find substitute teachers.

With the help of a trusted agency like Scoot Education, you can thrive as a fantastic substitute teacher in the best schools. This article discusses the pros and cons of substitute teaching to help you better understand the pros and cons of choosing this career path.

The Pros

The job of a substitute teacher is comparable to that of a regular teacher. Unlike regular teachers, substitutes have more flexibility in their work. Here are some advantages of substitute teaching that full-time teachers may not have the luxury of.

1. Flexible Working Hours

Perhaps the biggest perk of substitute teaching is the flexible working hours. A substitute teacher’s schedule is much more lenient than a full-time teacher’s schedule. Substitute teachers often get to choose when and where to work. Essentially, a substitute teacher’s schedule can be based on their lifestyle, not the other way around.

Part-time substitute teachers get to decide if they can work on specific dates or not. On the one hand, some substitute teachers choose to work as long-term substitutes. Unlike part-time subs, the working schedule of long-term subs depends on the regular teachers’ schedule they are filling in for.

2. In-Demand Job

Substitute teaching jobs are in high demand. Every time a regular teacher takes vacation leave gets ill, or needs to attend a conference, a substitute teaching job opens. Many schools seek reliable substitute teachers when they need them. And most of the time, the need for substitute teachers never declines. 

3. Teaching Experience

Some substitute teachers plan to eventually work as full-time teachers. And working as a substitute teacher is good preparation for the future. As a substitute teacher, you will be exposed to what a regular teacher often deals with daily. This can help you learn to problem-solve conflicts that may arise; as a sub, you can mimic what regular teachers do every day.

4. Everyday Is An Adventure

The daily schedule of a substitute teacher is vastly different from that of a regular teacher. As a substitute teacher, you will be meeting new faces every day, and there is no telling what you’ll experience in the day. Compared to full-time teachers, the day is unpredictable for substitute teachers. And one thing is sure; subs don’t have the dull nine-to-five job regulars are used to.

The Cons

Although substitute teaching sounds perfect for some, some cons in choosing this career path must be considered. Awareness of the downsides of substitute teaching can prepare you to make a career-defining decision.

1. Weekly Hours Are Not Guaranteed

Although the schedule of a substitute teacher is more flexible than others, hours are not guaranteed. The need for substitute teachers is rarely scarce, but this doesn’t mean there are consistent working hours you can have per week. Understandably, some substitute teachers seek other jobs when teaching jobs are insufficient to pay the bills. 

2. Lower Pay Than Full-Time Teachers

Since substitute teachers are not considered full-time teachers, so subs get lower pay. Non-permanent teachers, like subs, often get paid by the hour or day they worked, compared to regular teachers with a more fixed pay. 

 3. Fewer Benefits

As a substitute teacher, you will likely not get insurance and other benefits from full-time teachers. Substitute teachers don’t get paid vacation leave and health benefits, which can financially challenge them. This can be a source of stress for substitute teachers, and why some pursue full-time teaching later. 

4. No Routine

Although flexible working hours greatly benefit most substitute teachers, some seek routine. The job is unpredictable, and it is not for everybody. And if you need a routine to thrive, a substitute teaching job may not be for you.

Consider Substitute Teaching

Substitute teaching is not a job for everyone, but sometimes, the flexibility of their schedule is enough to draw the attention of many. If teaching is your true passion, an excellent way to start is by being a substitute teacher.