Temporary teachers and long-term subs are similar in that both have short-term roles in education. The primary difference for you as an aspiring teacher is that long-term subs often have better benefits and longevity, even though a temporary teaching position may last longer.
Temporary Teacher Basics
Unlike full-time teachers, a temporary teacher works from the get-go for a defined period of time in a given role. Full-time teachers sometimes take extended personal or professional leaves for a summer or school year. A temporary teacher fills the void. In other cases, school districts receive grants that fund teaching positions for one or two years. The job is temporary, though a school may rehire you if it renews its grant.
Pros and Cons
As a temporary teacher, you have stability in that you know you'll work regularly for a stated period. Taking a temporary job also helps you get your foot in the door in a school system for when a full-time opportunity arises. Unfortunately, temporary teachers don't typically have the same job security and privileges as full-time teachers. In California, for instance, state law doesn't give temporary teachers the same rights to due process upon termination as regular, full-time employees.
A long-term sub is simply a substitute teacher in a school district hired to fill in for a full-time teacher for a longer-than-normal period. Substitutes don't need the same educational licensing required of a temporary teacher. In most states, you simply complete courses for certifation as a sub. When a full-time teacher has an extended illness, personal issue or other reason for a prolonged absence, a school hires a long-term sub. This doesn't change the sub's employment status, as you earn per day in most cases.
Pros and Cons
Long-term subs usually get sick leave once designated as long-term subs. The Baltimore County Public Schools site notes its long-term substitutes accrue a half-day of sick leave for each 10 days in a long-term role. You also gain consistent daily employment and pay for a time, whereas subbing is normally a day-to-day thing. Aside from personal or sick time, you don't typically receive any benefits as a long-term sub. Plus, you won't earn a permanent position without gaining the necessary education and licensing in your state.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.