Friday, September 23, 2011

Earning Money While Gaining Teaching Experience

I went through my first year of my credential program, CalState Teach, without earning any cash. I guess that was OK since I had FAFSA. It covered my tuition and living expenses. However, I used mostly subsidized and unsubsidized loans to cover my tuition and living expenses. If I can afford to, I prefer not to use loans. At the end of my program, I'd rather just return all of the loans that I borrowed. But, I'm not in a position to do that right now. You might be in the same position as I am. Here are a few ideas to supplement your income and necessarily, have less of your loan(s) to pay back after you finish your credential program.

1. Substitute Teaching
- Substitute teaching is great both for experience and for the money. For the experience, you will start out by substitute teaching for classrooms whose students are foreign to you. That will give you experience that you may need in instruction and classroom management. If you do well, you will establish an ongoing relationship with the lead teacher, the surrounding teachers, and principal. And, that being the case, they will want to call you back for further substitute teaching assignments. At least in California, substitutes are paid by the day. However, there is some qualification to that statement (see page 8 under "Hours").

- At least in the Oakland Unified School District, to be paid the daily rate, you must work more than 4 hours. If you work less than 4 hours, then you will be paid an hourly rate. I think that several "teachers to-be" are aware that they can substitute teach, but I'm not certain whether they are also aware of some of the nuances in pay. Your daily rate goes up based on how many days of the year you have subbed for. So, for this case, the daily rate could range anywhere from $118 to 152 depending on whether you sub for 1 to 30, 31 to 60, or 61 and more days of the school year. For now, I assume that this same format as just described is similar to those of other school districts. But, I would need your help on confirming that.  

2. Teacher Temp Agencies
- It's possible that you will not get into the substitute teacher pools of which you apply. Why? One simple reason is that perhaps you didn't pass the interview. I am an employee of two teacher temp agencies. Their names are Tempositions and Teachers on Reserve. If you don't have at least a 30 day emergency teaching credential, expect to do mostly after school sub teaching assignments. Take what you can get. Both temp agencies pay by the hour. The wage is decent. For now, I will refrain from talking about the specific hourly rates since I'm not sure that I am allowed to publicize that information.

- My experience so far is that you must have completed at least your bachelor's and your CBEST.

- One more side note... If you live in another state, I suggest that you contact these teacher temp agencies and ask if they are in contact with or know of other teacher temp agencies in your state.

3. After School Teaching
- Currently, I work for Adventure Time as an After School teacher. I'm getting a few opportunities to teach and I'm getting paid. Again, I will refrain from publicizing the hourly rate. Unfortunately, the level of teaching experience is not as frequent as I would've liked. Oh well... I will not assume that the frequency of teaching opportunities I am getting with Adventure Time is the same for all after school programs. There are many other after school programs out there and they are probably run differently to some extent. Those programs might offer you a higher frequency of opportunities to teach while getting paid. You will just need to think of what to look for in each program.

Let me know whether you have any questions regarding these job options for the studying teacher.


  1. I personally would love to hear what you have to say on interview and job hunting tips in general for a wanna-be temp/sub teachers. What do the schools value? What would be good questions to ask and options to consider? How can we make sure that we know exactly the teaching arrangement we're getting into? (or is there really no way of knowing until the first day of teaching?)

  2. Q: What do the schools value?
    A: My understanding is what they value most is someone who has a strong ability to manage the behavior of a class.

    Q: What would be good questions to ask and options to consider?
    A: I'll need you to clarify. Good questions to ask about what? As far as the options of substitute teaching are concerned, you're options are either becoming a sub or becoming an employee of a teaching temp agency. For the former, each district has their own substitute teaching pool. So, the best way to increase your rate of substitute teaching is to determine all nearby school districts and apply to all of their substitute pools (and be accepted). That's my current understanding.

    Q: How can we make sure that we know exactly the teaching arrangement we're getting into?
    A: In the end, it depends on what in particular it is that you want to know about the teaching arrangement. Before I will elaborate on my answer, I need to know even hypothetically, what you would want to know about a given teaching arrangement. There is just too much that "arrangement" can denote.