If you’ve made the decision to pursue the professional and rewarding career of substitute teaching, they’re are a number of things that you can do along the way to not only make new contacts, but also to increase your earning potential. You can look at it as serving as your very own PR manager, but make no mistake about it, meeting new friends in the education field definitely opens doors!
As far a substitute teaching is concerned, one place to meet new professional contacts is the teachers breakroom. If you’re new to a particular campus, just look for the friendliest face and ask them if it would be ok for you to use the staff refrigerator or microwave for lunch purposes. They’re not going to say No, and now you have a way not only to enjoy a warm lunch but to also sit down and talk and visit with coworkers.
When you work as a substitute teacher I cannot stress enough the fact that you are like a walking billboard as far as the campus contract teachers are concerned. Make a good impression on them, and they’ll have a big hand in you receiving phone calls or texts to continue substitute teaching at their campus in the future. Believe me, contract teachers “put the word out” for you when they know you on a more personal level and see that you are professional and dependable. Additionally, meeting new teachers will enable you to have friends that can answer questions for you, or direct you to the supply closet or to the restrooms, for example; it’s just good all the way around to know people when you substitute teach so that you’ll have people to help you with simple questions, should you have any.
So after you’ve figured out where the breakroom is and managed to meet a few of the staff, try to find things in common with one of them or some. Whether it be music concerts, ballgames, an upcoming holiday, the summer, your children if you have any, or anything else interesting that you can think of; find something to talk about and make a positive impression!
My trick was always food and humor! On a busy and hectic school day, nothing makes a bigger impact than a funny story that brings a teacher to a belly laugh, or a big plate of homemade peanut butter cookies! Or both! Teaching can be stressful at times, so when you can lighten up the mood by making someone laugh, they’ll remember you for that! And teachers love snacks, so it never hurts to bring candy, cookies, or donuts and leave them on the table in the teachers breakroom; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that serves as a nice gesture that tells them that you want to be part of the group.
So keep these simple tips in mind as you pursue your new substitute teaching career. And remember that SubSidekick can help you with any of your substitute teaching questions or concerns. Keep up the good work and contact us should you need any help or assistance in this rewarding field!