Thursday, December 9, 2010


Nope, this is not a post about basketball.

It's a post about hoops you have to jump through.

Hoops to substitute teach in the state of Iowa.

Holy, moly. It's not easy. Every state has different laws and many states are extremely lenient. In fact, I think in the state of Alaska all you need is a high school diploma! In Missouri, all you need is two years of college.

But, in Iowa you must:
  • Have a bachelors degree or paraprofessional certification
  • Complete a 20 hour "Fostering learning as a Substitute Teacher" class
  • Complete 2 consecutive hours of classroom observation with ONE teacher
  • Get an Iowa and national criminal background check
  • Be at least 21 years of age
There's some serious hoops there. But, subbing in Iowa pays pretty well... seriously, if you have a bachelors degree and need a part time job (and don't hate children) subbing is the way to go.

Tomorrow after class I am going downtown to get my fingerprints done. I'm hoping I can get all these hoops taken care of by the new year so that I can start subbing as soon as kids get back from break.

I'm not complaining about the hoops, though. Iowa has always been a leader in education and I am very proud of that. All states have their own core standards that they teach to, but Iowa's standards tend to be what the government compares standards to. They're that high! In my opinion they are not high enough (hello, the United States will NEVER catch up to China) but we're on the right track. Anyway, that's a different topic and for a different day! :/

Tonight was the first 4 hours of the 20 hour class and I really enjoyed it. One of my sorority sisters from over 6 years ago was in there, so it was super nice to see a familiar face! The next two days are full 8 hour days of class, but after tonight I am not dreading it as much! The instructor substitute taught (I totally just wrote teached) for 12 years and she's giving us so many great tid bits, I am so glad we have someone that has experience!

With each day that passes I am more and more excited and, more and more convinced that I am making the right decision!

Do you remember any subs? Did you have a favorite? Did your class do anything mean to your substitute teachers?


Sam said...

One of my fave's was Mr. Brown. He was everyone's favorite sub. He was in his 70s (or 80s?) and wouldn't teach us anything, but just tell us fun stories. He had the biggest smile and loved getting to know all of the kids. Once he finally retired (or was nicely asked to retire, since he really couldn't teach) all of the kids were sad and missed him so much.

Everyone was always super mean to Mrs. Piepers. She was a midget, and kids would put the dry erase board markers and erasers on the top of the board so she couldn't reach them... it is cruel, but this woman was EVIL. she was so mean to everyone. teachers didn't even like having her sub because she would make students do more work then what was left, and work that didn't have anything to do with the lesson plans. She never smiled and was also in her 70s. She seriously looked and acted like she came out of a horror film.

Jac said...

As a teacher in Pennsylvania, these hoops kinda make me a smirk. Some of them are absolutely appropriate, such as the clearances. However, the class is funny, to me, because I would never expect a substitute to actually teach! I teach high school English but rarely get a sub who is English certified!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I was smirking about the class too, but I think all the little tips she's giving us are going to REALLY help and make life as a sub easier.

Kara said...

My favourite sub was nicknamed "The Fonz!" like from Happy Days, lol. He was a retired teacher who just subbed for fun, and he was awesome! I guess he got his nickname from being totally laid back, because we got away with anything when he taught our class.

Shoshanah said...

Back in college I used to think it was crazy when my friends would go home and substitute teach over winter break. I just couldn't believe that some states really only required a high school diploma in order to substitute.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Good luck with everything! I know that can be so frustrating some times!!!