Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How I became a Substitute Teacher

I thought I'd follow up on the post below with another "How I.." post. Anyway, I've always tried to be involved with my children's classes at the church as well as with pre-k. So when my son started Kindergarten, I let the teachers know I'd help if they needed it. I also joined the PTA and said I'd volunteer.

It was through the PTA that I started working in a couple of the other kindergarten classes. In one class I was helping the advanced students, the ones who knew how to read, to improve and practice. In the other, I was helping the students who needed extra one-on-one to get what they needed in order to advance to 1st grade. I also started volunteering in the library (media center) every so often, helping the kids check out books.

The librarian actually talked to me one day and asked if I'd considered becoming a substitute. She could really use the help at times from someone who knew how things worked in the media center. About a week later, one of the kindergarten teachers I'd been working with made the same basic comment.

For a long time I had been kicking around the idea of going back to "school" and becoming a full time teacher. The county (state actually) has programs to allow professionals to become teachers through a specialized course. It's aimed at helping to increase the number of teachers. I wasn't quite ready for this step, though the idea of becoming a substitute seemed a good way to find out if I DID want to go back. So I signed up for the county's required "Substitute class", which basically gives you the rules you operate under when you're working in this capacity.

About 2 months later I was in the Gwinnett County system as a substitute. I didn't do a lot for the rest of that school year (I was in the system as of March 2005), but have done quite a bit this past school year. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy working with the kids at the school. I haven't really ruled out working for any particular grade level, though I seem best suited for 2nd/3rd grade classes.

I found it very rewarding and very convenient. On the days I worked (I only work as many days as I choose, based on need), I would take my son in to school with me. He would then meet up with me at the end of the day and we'd head home. His sister would stay for after school programs at her pre-k for maybe an hour before we got her. She enjoyed the extra play time with her friends.

education, substitute teacher, Gwinnett,

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