Substitute Teaching grade levels and subjects

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by HN3, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. HN3

    HN3 Rookie

    Apr 16, 2019
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    Apr 18, 2019


    I have a single subject credential (K-12) and want to work as a substitute teacher. I had taught in a high school setting and subbed for teachers at my school. I have not worked with lower grades that I can remember.

    I took time off and now getting back into teaching and want to try substitute teaching for the flexible schedule.

    I have applied to one district and one substitute agency for substitute positions.

    For those who have worked as substitute teachers, specifically in state of CA (as rules may be different in other states).

    The sub agency lists schools with subs for pre-school, kindergarden, elementary, middle and paraeducators AND subject areas that I am not credentialed for.


    1. Can I take substitute jobs for subject areas that I am not credentialed for?

    2. What does a para-educator do?

    3. How is it (hard or easy) to substitute for a kindergarden middle, and elementary class?

    4. How is it (hard or easy) to sub for a class in a subject that you do not know?

    Thank you for your time and help.
  3. MsKelsey

    MsKelsey Rookie

    Mar 18, 2019
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    Apr 25, 2019

    In Texas subs only need some college education to qualify, so substitutes can take jobs for any grade level and any subject.

    Every person perceives the difficulty of specific grades differently. I won't sub any grade below high school, but have met subs who refuse to do high school. To me, elementary and middle can be overwhelming. I've also found that it varies from school to school depending on the area it's in. I find that late middle school likes to see how far they can go without getting in trouble while early middle school just wants to socialize past the point of what's acceptable.

    Personally, I find subbing core classes much easier because I had to learn that material myself at one point. I am very young so this may be an advantage because it's fresher in my mind, but I often find that I can answer the students' questions with a few google searches or minutes with the textbook. Students are also generally better behaved in core classes because failing them has greater repercussions.
    Other classes can be easier or more challenging depending on the subject. Art, choir, and band are easier because the students can often self manage at the high school age or just be monitored at younger ages (they're also more likely to have a "movie day"). I've never done elementary P.E. but at higher grade levels it's easy because there are other coaches to help you monitor the class. Foreign Languages are one of the more challenging ones because often students don't want to be in the class to begin with.
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Oct 25, 2005
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    Apr 25, 2019

    The difficulty level is nearly impossible to judge.

    I loved high school and middle school, but many subs refused to do either. I couldn’t stand early elementary and intermediate. I only took those jobs if the sub coordinator was desperate for someone to cover a class.

    Our district did not require any credential to sub, just 60 credit hours or more. I had a secondary English degree, and I could sub whatever I wanted.
  5. artiste7

    artiste7 Rookie

    Feb 7, 2009
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    May 1, 2019

    MsKelsey likes this.
  6. HN3

    HN3 Rookie

    Apr 16, 2019
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    Jun 9, 2019

    Hello All,

    This is just a follow up to my original post.

    I also want to thank the moderators and forum owners and all those who read and replied to my post.

    I have been a LTS (long term sub) for a middle school and also got offered this position for next school year. The regular teacher is retiring.

    For summer I will be teaching intensive Integrated Math 3 (Algebra 2/Trig) to high school students for 28 days, 7 hours/day and the goal of the program is to teach the whole course in 28 days.

    Thank you again and have a restful summer.
  7. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

    May 20, 2019
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    Jun 10, 2019

    I’ve been a para-educator / instructional assistant for 20 years. Our job in a core subject classroom ( middle and high school ) is to make sure that the special education students are being provided the correct accommodations, to help keep them stay on task, provide small group re-instruction, and assist ANY student that may need help or clarification. Our job is NOT to instruct the class on a lesson or be the teachers secretary. ( however elementary assistants are used different since they are in the same class all day and upper level assistants move to different classes based on where their need is ).

    So as you can imagine, I’ve worked with MANY substitute teachers over the years. I’ve seen really good ones and Ive seen really really bad ones. Key word is flexibility ... sometimes the job you sign up for may not always be the job the school will assign you to once you are there (especially if they are short staffed).
    As long as the teacher leaves adequate sub plans and you have support from team teachers, any subject should go well.

    Hope this helps. :)

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