Temporary Teacher vs. Long-Term Sub

Long-term subs and temporary teachers have very distinct statuses.
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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.

Long-Term Sub

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.

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