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Substitute Teaching: In General, and at My Alma Mater


I’m going to start a running list of extremely part-time jobs, for those of us who (infuriatingly) can’t work full-time, because – how do I say this – full-time work leads right to the hospital and urgent care center.  The first on my running list is something I do myself – substitute teaching:


  • You work per diem.  You can sign up to get called in 1-5 days a week, so weeks where you’re feeling strong, you can say yes a couple times and sicker weeks you can say, “No thanks, next time!”
  • You can work as a classroom teacher (at the front of the class, leading everyone) or as a paraprofessional (working 1 on 1 with a special needs kid.)
  • You can specify which grades you’d like to work with. Are you more scared of taking a kindergartner to the bathroom or facing down a 6 foot high school junior?
  • You get to visit with both kids (they say the darndest things!) and adults (hello, teacher’s room.)
  • If you work  in the same school district as your kids, you will have the same days off as them.


  • It’s kind of a long day – 7 hours – so you want to take it easy both the day before you might work and the day after you work.
  • There’s a background check. (Just kidding.  I passed mine with flying colors.)
  • No income in the summer or during school vacations.

This year, I have been substitute teaching at a local middle school one or twice a week and loving it. As a sort of a personal challenge to myself I said I would try working at my old high school too. I arrived early, didn’t know where to park, and amidst high school memory flashbacks I locked both my keys and my phone in my car. So the pep talk I gave myself about how I was now the adult in charge, and NOT the 16 year old student I still felt like went out the window because I had to go the principal’s office and ask, “Could I please use the phone to call my Dad?”




Ad and link for a neat magazine I read:



3 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Substitute teaching is one of the jobs I love doing when I can work even part time. It can be a long day, but if you time it right, you can take all the time you want to recover afterwards. 🙂



  2. Pingback: Running List of Extremely Part-Time Jobs | Living Incurably

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