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  • Writer's pictureBusybee Teachers

My Experience as a Long-Term Substitute Teacher

I have had the opportunity to step into the shoes of a full-time teacher and experience the joys and challenges of being in the classroom day after day. While it may not have been my original career plan, the experience has been invaluable and has taught me so much about teaching, learning, and myself.

When I first started as a long-term substitute, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. Would I be able to connect with the students? Would I be able to handle the workload? But as the days went on, I found myself becoming more and more comfortable in my role. I developed routines and strategies for managing the classroom, learned the ins and outs of the curriculum, and got to know my students as individuals.

One of the greatest challenges of being a long-term substitute is the lack of continuity. As someone who is not a full-time teacher, I was not present at the beginning of the school year and will not be there at the end. This can make it difficult to build lasting relationships with students, as well as to fully understand the culture and values of the school. However, I have found that by being open and honest with both students and colleagues, I am able to establish trust and respect.

Another challenge is the pressure to perform. As a long-term substitute, I am essentially filling in for a teacher who is unable to be there for an extended period of time. This means that I need to be able to pick up where they left off, follow their plans and procedures, and ensure that the students are still making progress. While this can be daunting, it is also incredibly rewarding to see students learn and grow under my guidance.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned as a long-term substitute is the importance of flexibility and adaptability. Things rarely go exactly according to plan in the classroom, and being able to adjust on the fly is key to success. Whether it's dealing with unexpected behavior issues, adapting to a new teaching style, or adjusting to the pace of the curriculum, being able to think on my feet and be flexible has been crucial.

All in all, being a long-term substitute has been a challenging, rewarding, and eye-opening experience. While I may not have initially planned on pursuing a career in education, this experience has taught me that it is a field full of challenges, but also one of great rewards. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a long-term substitute and look forward to using what I have learned in my future endeavors.


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