The Long, Long Road to Substitute Teaching

You know, one might wonder when it is that I will start getting the urge to go back to work full time. Then again, some of you who know me well know better than that.

The truth is that at this point, I have no desire to go back to work full time - at least in the way that I have known full time in the past.

Granted, I have learned from past experience that I really enjoy it, and find it highly gratifying. However, when I'm out of it, I can't imagine giving up this (Stay at Home Mom Life) for that (Work Full Time Life)

I suppose one could say that the California economy is on my side in this, as it is basically impossible to get a job as a teacher right now, since no teacher are being hired. However, they are hiring substitute, teachers, and since it really would be good to provide some income for the family, I find myself traveling down this road. sigh

You can enter the Substitute Teaching World here in California in two ways. One is with a teaching credential, and one is without. Anyone with a college degree and a passing test on the CBEST (Basic Knowledge) test can substitute teach here, providing that they don't have a criminal record or other bad background things. However, it made more sense to me to go ahead and get my California credential all set up, so that if there ever is a teaching job out there that I am interested in, I can be ready to apply.

With that aim, I have spent many months, many hours, and many dollars getting that all together. I will sum that effort up for you now:

  • Gathering of multitude of papers including transcripts, past teacher evaluations, test results, teaching certificates from other states, and letters signed in person by Human Resource Directors that have employed me (regular teaching service records will not do - must be letters).
  • Filling out of multitude of forms listing every job, every reference, and every educational institution I have even had anything to do with.
  • Application fee for California certification ($71)
  • Fee for fingerprinting for Fresno County Board of Education ($55)
  • Taking of CTEL Exam - ($40 for study materials, $300 for test fees)
  • Fee of applying for CLAD certification after I passed CTEL ($45)
  • Filling in and submitting applications online to two different school districts
  • 3-hour Substitute Teaching Orientation for District A, including TB test (fortunately free)
  • 1-hour Substitute Teaching Orientation for PreK subbing, although they're actually paying me for this one, so (-$16/hour)
  • Submission of two letter to my primary care physician so she can verify that I am healthy enough to work (hopefully without needing an office visit)
  • Additional fingerprinting from District A ($46)
  • Pediatric and First Aid course to enable me to sub for PreK in District A ($60)
Also in the near future should be:
  • Interview to sub for District B
  • Fingerprinting for District B ($50)
  • Filling out of multitude of paper work listing every job, every reference, and every educational institution I have even had anything to do with for District B
  • Multi-hour Substitute orientation for District B
As you can see, the road to Substitute Teaching is a long and bumpy one. At this point, I am figuring that this journey will cost me around $620 to become a (highly qualified) substitute teacher here. Let's divide that by the $75, which is approximately the net pay/per day I will get for subbing:

Hey, if I sub eight days, I can make all that money back.

Now, if only I really wanted to leave Stay at Home World and sub in the first place...

picture by iDanSimpson (Creative Commons License: Attribution, Non-Commercial)
Open on Flickr

Sarah  – (11 October 2009 at 14:07)  

Maybe I'll quit grinching about the $42 my district wants to fingerprint me to sub. Maybe. Doubtful, but maybe.

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