Why military veterans should consider becoming a substitute teacher.

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Working in schools is rewarding work that requires a service mindset. It’s filled with people who want to make a difference and impact on the future. This is just one of many reasons why U.S. military veterans should consider becoming a substitute teacher. 

At Kelly Education, we know that people who have served our country have a deeply-rooted commitment to helping and protecting communities. They have a calling to do work that serves a higher purpose. That’s why we actively recruit and hire veterans and their spouses to work in schools as substitute teachers, paraeducators, and support staff. In fact, we employed more than 3,400 military veterans across the country in 2023. 

Veterans’ skills translate well to education jobs.

The military teaches discipline, leadership, organization, and adaptability—all qualities that go beyond the substitute teacher job description and make for an effective educator. 

Most veterans have also worked with diverse groups of people, giving them the experience and insights to support students with varying needs. Their exposure to diversity helps to bridge gaps between different cultures and promotes understanding among students. 

Schedule flexibility supports career transition and work-life balance. 

Substitute teaching allows veterans to try teaching before fully committing. The role allows them to teach different grade levels and subjects to see where they are most comfortable. 

Substitute teachers can also choose short-term or long-term assignments. That means they can work one day, an entire week, or commit to a few weeks or a few months. 

This supports a well- rounded work-life balance because substitute teachers can prioritize family responsibilities, health and wellness, vacations, and other hobbies. 

Carry out orders or unleash creativity.

When serving our country, veterans carried out orders from their military officers. In education, following the teacher’s instructions is key to success as a substitute teacher. The teacher will typically leave behind a lesson plan that the substitute teacher must execute to keep students on track toward academic goals. 

However, some days will require more creativity—especially if a teacher is unexpectedly absent and didn’t have time to share lesson plans. 

On those days substitute teachers can get creative with backup lesson plans. This adds a new element of challenge and excitement to the job. 

Act as a role model for students.

Today’s students face many challenges and often need a boost of support. While substitute teaching, veterans can continue to be role models. After all, veterans are real life American heroes! 

Sharing appropriate stories about overcoming adversity, veterans can instill values like teamwork, discipline, and leadership. They can also be mentors or sources of inspiration for being good citizens, having a good work ethic, and giving back to the community. 

Continue to help the community.

There is a teacher shortage in public schools across the nation. School administrators report they can only fill about half of the teacher absences due to an additional shortage of substitute teachers. According to the Department of Education, 77% of schools struggle to find substitute teachers. 

The shortage of educators is so severe that some states, like New Mexico, had called in the National Guard for help. 

This meaningful work extends to military families. Kelly Education often hires spouses who enjoy the flexibility of working in their children’s schools where they get to know their children’s teachers and become an invaluable part of the community. And if substitute teaching sparks inspiration to become a full-time teacher, there are many scholarships for veterans who want to become certified or earn a higher education degree.

Ready to become a substitute teacher?

Veterans looking for flexible work that matters don’t have to spend another day searching. 

Fill out our interest form https://www.mykelly.com/open-interest/education and a Kelly Education recruiter will contact you. To learn more about education employment opportunities near you, visit myKelly.com. 

Kelly Education is a business unit of Kelly—repeatedly designated as a Military Friendly Employer and Military Friendly Spouse Employer. Out of 1,200 applicants, Kelly was one of 388 to receive the honor. We proudly partner with military organizations and have helped more than 6,600 veterans obtain employment. 


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