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Is Subbing My "Ticket In"?


New Member
Hey everyone -
This is a wonderful board and although I just joined I have already picked up some great tips and advice. My question is this: I just finished my student teaching in a 5th grade class in December. I decided to sub in the spring to get more experience with different grades and types of classrooms/schools (and also because I'm going out of the country for 6 weeks in March-April). From your experience, is subbing a good way to get yourself known in different schools and districts and does the experience come in handy when looking for a full-time position? I have heard that many principals give preference to people who have subbed at their schools when hiring. I'm sure it depends on a lot of factors, but I was just wondering what you may know about this type of situation....Thanks!

mrs. pancake

New Member
it depends....

I think it depends on where you are. I live in a large area with many, many suburbs. I sub in so many different schools in so many of the big suburban districts that I don't think it's really helping me. There are so many subs on any given day that the administration doesn't really have time to get to know you. However, before moving here I lived and subbed in a very rural area. I regularly subbed at only 2-3 small schools, so I really got to know the staff and administration (which at one school was just a principal...no vice, no dean, nothing else.) I know that had I stayed in that area I definitely would have had a great chance of getting a job because everyone knew me.


Senior Member
I teach in a relatively small district (not rural). It's in a city, but it's a small city that no one knows of. lol Anyway, subbing is THE ONLY way to get in around here. The only people I have heard being hired without subbing are tutors with special education degrees.

This is my 3rd year. The second year where the district will be hiring new teachers (I think). Last year, many were RIF'd due to the levy not passing. I am one of the most senior subs, so I am hoping to get a position. Hoping. We'll just see though.

It all depends where you are.


I agree w/ Ms Pancake

I too work in a large suburban district with many schools. And even the schools where I'm "favored," I'll only work at a couple times a month. I am looking for a permanent teaching job for next year, and I am subbing primarily to boost my resume and experience (b/c I was a non-education major at school). It's better to have some sort-of teaching than none at all.

Mrs. Monica

Full Member
I'm torn about this.

In my area, I've heard that any regular school staff (who happen to be certified to teach) have a better chance of getting hired in than I do as a substitute teacher. I work in two very small rural area schools in Michigan.

Right now I'm sticking with subbing because it's great experience, my certificate is currently expired, and subbing pays better. I'm paying the bills with my subbing and a second job as a grocery store cashier as my husband is trying to find a job.

But, when I have the time and money I'm going to renew my certificate. Once we are financially stable I will probably take whatever permanent job I can in the schools, such as; parapro, aide, or school secretary. These jobs pay less, but in my area it will mean having my foot in the door to get a teaching job. :)


New Member
There are advantages and disadvantages

I am a new sub, I've subbed 5X so far. I sub for a large district. I am not doing it for the money. I make more doing my office job, I actually take 2 days off (unpaid) to sub. I do it for myself. I do it for the experience. With each sub experience, I am gaining more confidence. I get to see different schools and different classrooms. I may pick up ideas from different curriculum/lesson plans. People say go in the lounge and kick it there. I have not done that yet. Subbing isn't relaxing so if I have a break, I'm still reading the lesson plans and preparing mentally. The last thing I want to do in my little break is to go over and force myself to be uncomfortable again. It isn't an easy job to go to a new place, in a new classroom, most likely, the students will challenge you and give you a hard time. I think it is worth it because I get paid for the experience that I need and want. It may also help me get hired one day too. I used to volunteer in a classroom and that teacher got her foot in the door by subbing. She took a long-term sub position, she did a good job, the teacher she subbed for decided not to come back and the principal hired her. In this case, it really worked for her. Because in the Fullerton School District, 1000 people applied for 60 positions. Not even 100 applicants got an interview. So, this teacher probably was not the most qualified or experienced (she finished her student teacher and did that long-term subbing only), but doing a good subbing got her the job!


IMO no! If you are a good sub and they cannot get subs - why would they give you a full time job? At least that is the theory in my county and city. Of course it seems it is different in other places.


Subbing, in the absence of full time, "regular" teaching certainly beats the alternative. It is also a good way to get experience.
With that said, subbing, is not a good way to "get a foot in the door" especially within a large district. Going from site to site, every day, tends to marginalize the sub teacher. Administrators seldom get a chance to know you. Besides, who has a chance to "hob nob" with other teachers when the substitute is assigned to work all periods(not just the teacher's schedule) ?
In New York, we have 165 separate certification licenses, each one requiring a separate certificate. The schools are always looking for special ed. and math teachers, and usually hire the most recent resume that comes across HR's desk. HR is a separate entity from any of the schools one subs in, so the hiring and interviewing, seldom utilizes the onsite staff for job openings.


Senior Member
foot in

Sorry allimc22 don't count on it. You would have a better chance if you picked up a few special ed. classes instead. That or get into some type of internship through colleges. There are some programs where if you are working towards your master's, the schools will give preference to the interns with a set number of interviews/jobs in the schools. Like some of the others stated, some schools have a hard time finding subs. They like to keep them subs. It does depend on the teacher supply/demand for your area of the country though.


Full Member
still deciding...

I thought subbing was the way to get in the door, too. But I'm not so sure anymore... The district where I sub told me they give their subs a first shot at any openings (that doesn't mean they will hire you). There are so many subs and with the Aesop online system a sub can look ALL day and miss jobs. I have found jobs at the oddest times...There are only a handful of teachers that will actually call you to tell you to get online to get their post. It takes time to post your absence and if you're sick why take longer and call someone to make sure that person will get it, they may not be home or subbing elsewhere. I sub with some wonderful teachers, don't get me wrong, but they are in their own little world(s). Wow, I sound a little bitter, but, I see so many different subs, every once in awhile I see a few "regulars". I have 2 certifcations and one is in a "special" area, and so far, I and one other sub are the only ones in this "special" area so why would they hire me when they need me for subbing?
I get upset because I have been told OVER and OVER to sub to get your foot in the door...but things look a little different from inside the doorway looking out...