Dear PoPville – Part-time Jobs – Tutors and Substitute Teaching

by Prince Of Petworth — August 3, 2011 at 11:00 am 14 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user sciascia

“Dear PoP,

I was hoping you and the PoPville community can help me. I’m a furloughed FAA employee (and a contractor at that, so no chance of back pay), and I could really use some part time work now that it looks like Congress is taking their recess without reauthorizing the FAA. I’ve previously worked in a daycare center, as a barista and as a writing tutor. Anyone looking for a babysitter/freelance writer with way too much free time?”

If interested, please email me and I’ll put you in touch with the OP.


Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoP,

I am currently working on my master’s degree in a non-education related field but I wanted to fill my spare time substituting at DC schools. Do you know any DC substitute teachers? I was doing some research online and the process seems quite convoluted. It looks like since I’m not from DC I will have to get an official FBI criminal background check which, according to the website, could take 18 weeks (Not to mention 18 dollars). The application fee to become a substitute teacher is 30 dollars, 15 dollars to get finger printed, 18 dollars to get a background check, and 20 dollars to acquire official transcripts. In case you’re mental calculator is offline for the day, that’s 83 dollars just to apply for a job! So if anyone out there could offer any advice that would be great! Is it worth going through the process to risk getting one or two assignments a month?”

Anyone have experience with becoming a substitute teacher in DC?

  • Anonymous

    If you have a technical or science background I highly recommend getting in touch with Phelps HS in DC. I’m working with them and I know they can use help from people with science-y backgrounds.

    If you tour their campus, you’ll be amazed at their resources.

  • Rosie

    You might be better off applying to counties outside DC (if you have a car)

  • mmm

    try private schools — fewer hoops.

  • Josh

    The process actually sounds very similar to what it takes to get a job teaching in DCPS period. Charter Schools are another possibility, they usually have a smaller group of substitutes that they circulate through, and will have to run their own background checks, but still worth looking into.

  • eli

    MPD is now doing the live scan fingerprints at the Judiciary Square building. I went two weeks ago for a health professional license and it was only about $50 for local and FBI. The FBI does take a few weeks to come back. You might want to check out whether that is an option for you–I’m not sure how long they’ve been doing it, so it could be that it hasn’t been added to the DCPS website for that reason.
    I think whatever jurisdiction you end up in is going to require the background check, sorry to say. Best case scenario is if you can get the employer to pay it, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  • Anonymous

    Shame on Congress for what they’re doing to the FAA workers.

    • CE


  • Alix

    TO both OP’s try local listservs…I always see requests for part-time including tutors. You could also post your request but maybe you’ve already done so.

    On another note: Read this in the WaPo Reliable Source column….quote from Linda Evangelista (aka supermodel) about her job and why she needs a 24/7 hr. nanny….”On days when I’m not working I’m working on my image”.


  • SF

    Big enough coffee in that first photo?

  • Kerry

    Try craigslist.. There are always parents/companies looking for tutors, especially in math and science

  • xxx

    Substitute teaching could become a nightmare if you plan on depending on it for money and if you have no background in education. A better idea (for the 2nd person) might be trying for a teaching assistant job NOW (schools are finalizing hiring). This would involve little responsibility in the classroom and significantly less stress than with substitute teaching. Good luck.

  • D

    I am a DCPS teacher and was a sub about 5 years ago when the process was much easier. Your application fee will be paid for after one day. It is a decent gig if you find a school, or a few, that you like and get in with them. In my elementary school, we probably average 2 subs a week, so if you get in good with two schools then you could be working 3-4 days a week and have some flexibility. Word of warning-not all schools are the same, and you should certainly check them out and make sure you are comfortable with the type of school you are going to be working in, the neighborhood, and some activities/games in case you are left with limited plans.

  • teacher

    The fingerprints and background checks are standard for anyone working with kids. Since I teach in Maryland, I had to do FBI, Maryland, and DOJ. Luckily, my private school employer reimbursed me for the fees.

    Another word to the wise: teaching is really hard and not always rewarding, and subbing is even harder and less rewarding still. I’m not sure what leads you to want to substitute, but good luck.

  • Amanda

    I’m the person that wrote about the substitute teaching. I don’t plan on depending on it for money because I know it’s not wise to depend on something so sporadic. I guess I’ll just bite the bullet and go through the process. Thanks for the advice. Oh, and to “anonymous”…I’ll check out Phelps HS.


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