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    Substitute Work
    By Amanda K

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    First of all, subs in the L.A. area are very scarce. There are days in which not all the sub requests are filled. I'm surprised that they are requiring an interview at all... both districts that I subbed for (San Bernardino and Apple Valley) basically just wanted to know when I was available. I'm sure you have nothing to worry about in that regard.

    If you enroll in a teacher credential program,it probably won't affect your chances as a sub since they are desparate for subs anyway, but you will be eligible to be hired as a full time classroom teacher on an Emergency Credential, as long as you take two courses per year. The human resources person at your district can help you with this, as can your credentialling school. The bottom line is, they are desperate for teachers, particuarly at low income schools. It just depends on the district you are interested in... some districts (usually wealthier districts... particularly in Orange County and more affluent areas in the Valley) do not need to hire non-credentialled people, but other districts depend on them to fill jobs, particularly at the elementary level.

    I can't help you very much in specific books you should read without knowing what level of teaching you are interested in. I teach first grade, but I subbed for six months in all grade levels K-12. However, here are some books relevant to all grade levels that were invaluable to me when I was first starting out: The First Days of School, by Harry and Rosemary Wong. Assertive Discipline, by Lee Canter. These books were designed for full-time teachers, but may help you as a sub. Both of these are available at

    If I were you, I would contact your districts and ask if they have a substitute orientation program. Many districts in our area do, and these can give you valuable tips. I always had a binder full of ideas for "sponge activities" (simple games that you can play with students when there is nothing else to do)... these are invaluable to subs. You can get some great ideas for those off this site... if not, post to this thread again and I'll see if I can't remember some of the ones I used when subbing.

    The best way to prepare for teaching is to sub for a few months, in my opinion. It gives you a better idea of what grade level you would most like to teach, what schools are good, and you also gain many ideas for things that you could use in your own classroom.

    Good luck, and welcome to a wonderful profession!

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