Today's SAHM has been substitute teaching to help out with her family's finances. She wishes to remain anonymous.
Note from Anita (owner of site)- Although this isn't technically a work-at-home position, a lot of SAHM's may be able to do this when their kids start going to school full time. It is extremely flexible and fairly easy to get hired to do. This is why I have included it in my Money-Making SAHM series.
Q. What inspired you to begin working?
A. My husband and I needed a few extra hundred dollars a month to pay for the rising cost in health insurance and to save for retirement. He works four 10-hour shifts Wednesday through Saturday. As a result, there were two days a week when we were both home. I thought it may be a good idea for me to search for work on those days to help us balance our budget and begin saving. He was fine with it.
Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?
A. Because I knew that substitute teaching had a lot of flexibility, I looked up the school districts in our town and called and asked them how I could become a substitute teacher. One school district hires out substitutes themselves, another uses a temp agency called Kelly Services.
I applied for both and was hired at both. After the interviews I had to do a bit of training, get my background checked, submit fingerprints, and a few other security measures were taken to ensure I was qualified. It was fairly easy to get hired by both districts.
Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?
A. You need to keep control of the class. That is my biggest piece of advice. The kids don’t have to like you, they need to be in line so learning can happen (and so you don’t disturb other classes near yours).
I often was very strict and stern in the first 10 or 15 minutes. If anyone talked out there were consequences and if they continued to talk out (depending on age) they would have to sit in the back of the room, sit in the hall, or go to the office. If I was strict and gained control in the first few minutes, the rest of the day went considerably smoother.
Word spreads in Jr. High and High Schools as well. If you are a push over the kids will tell their friends and subsequent classes will be even more chaotic. So I was often the strictest in the first few classes of Jr. High and High school and subsequent classes knew not to mess around with me. Having a disciplined class really makes substitute teaching a breeze. You can teach the content and the kids work quietly and efficiently.
Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?
A. I work about 8, sometimes 16 hours a week.
Q. When/how do you find the time to work?
A. When my husband is home and off work (Mondays and Tuesdays) I’ll accept any calls or log into the system and reserve those days if they are available. Our three oldest are in school full-time and our youngest is in pre-school. So often my husband only has him for half a day when I'm at work. It works out great. But if we have something planned, I won’t take the jobs.
Most districts require or at least ask you to please try and work 4-5 days a month which works perfectly for my schedule. When my youngest heads off to first grade in two years I’ll be able to work even more if needed. It is very flexible. I don’t always get jobs every Monday and Tuesday but I’d say it’s consistent enough that I usually always substitute at least 5 days a month.
Q. Are there certain tips/advice you'd want to share with others who want to start working like you?
A. Even if you are the kindest person in the world, go into your substitute teaching positions with a stern no-nonsense attitude, stick to the rules you outline (even before calling roll) and you will gain the kid’s respect or at least their compliance. I found I don’t need to be as strict with younger elementary age kids and find that they are a little more demanding of attention but so fun to teach!
Bring some things you want to get done during down time. Most teachers have a planning period or a recess and gym periods. During these times you can read, relax, pay bills, and do any other kind of work you need to.
Also, pack a snack and a lunch. I found it difficult to get food I liked in the cafeterias so I brought my own. Depending on the school, you can leave and get food and came back to eat it, but I think they mostly prefer that you don’t leave the grounds (because they may worry about you not coming back or being late).
Arrive a little early. The office really relies on their subs and you can see instant relief wash over their faces when the substitute arrives.
Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?
A. A high school degree or GED is required in the two districts I substitute teach in. But higher education is rewarded with slightly better pay. A sub with a teaching certificate that has not lapsed or retired teachers receive the highest pay.
Q. How much do you make from this job? or does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family's income?
A. I bring in about $320-$560 a month depending on how many days I teach. I make about $80/day after taxes but other parts of the country and other districts do pay better than the two I’m in.
My additional income does make a big difference for us because our health insurance has gone up. Without it, we would not be able to save for our retirement plan.
Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?
A. A few districts in my state (Utah) uses Kelly Services (found here) to manage their subs. Your districts may use them as well. You can check by going to their site, finding your country (it is an international hiring service), highlighting education/training under the job search drop down box, entering your zip code, and then click on search..
Also, you can call or go on your school district websites and look for specific instructions on how to apply. My experience is that most districts need substitute teachers so getting hired has been fairly quick and painless for myself and those I know who also substitute teach.
Thanks so much to my anonymous friend!
Check out the rest of the series here:
Series 31: Sell Shaklee (MLM)-removed
Series 33: Sell Mary Kay(MLM)-removed
more coming…pin or bookmark for more.