CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A college education geared toward getting a teaching certificate is one way to become a teacher, but it’s not the only way.
Another way to get into the classroom is by starting as a substitute.
“It is fun,” said Gina Chiaro. “You go into the classroom, spend time with the kids, go through the plans that the teacher has provided, but then you can also put your own spin on it with what you have to give.”
If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can get a temporary substitute teaching license.
Chiaro taught near Cleveland and then raised her children and restarted her teaching career as a substitute to get into her home district at Poland.
This is her third year as a second-grade teacher.
“You get to know the principal. You get to know other staff members. They get to see your work, your work ethic,” she said.
Mike Masucci started as a short-term substitute for first-grade students. It turned into a long-term job within two weeks, and 25 years later, he’s a principal.
“I think the sub route is a great way to go, not only for new graduates, but for established teachers who haven’t found a full-time job yet because it gets the district to take a real good look,” Masucci said.
Penny Mayle taught first grade for 10 years and then moved back from Columbus. She then became a substitute.
“That also helps you to build strategies to build lesson plans or activities,” she said. “It’s a good way for new teachers to build your repertoire of teaching strategies.”
Twelve of the 17 classroom teachers at Poland Union Elementary started as substitutes before turning those into full-time teaching situations.
It’s a career that can be rewarding, according to Mayle.
“It’s just the kids are fun, watching them learn something new and grasp something is exciting. It’s just the greatest job there is, in my opinion,” she said.
A substitute teaching license can last either one or five years.
A teacher job fair is being held Wednesday, January 24 by a dozen school districts looking to hire substitutes and full-time teachers.
It will be noon to 3 p.m. at the Joyce Brooks Center, located at 7300 N. Palmyra Rd. in Canfield.