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5 Reasons Why Retired Teachers Should Substitute

Why return to work after retirement?  

My grandmother retired from teaching about 20 years ago. I remember attending her retirement party in one of the large community halls and eating lots of cake. My younger self was blown-away that she would never have to work again. Shortly after, she moved to Florida with my grandfather to spend her time enjoying the beach and reading books for pleasure.  

This period of relative inactivity didn’t last for long, though. After a few months, she was back in the community, volunteering at women’s shelters and supporting theatre productions at the local high school.  

But this seems to be the trend nowadays. A Federal Reserve Board report from 2016 showed that about a third of retirees eventually “reverse retirement”, returning to work on a full or part-time basis. Many people see the golden years of retirement as a time to establish an “encore career”, pursuing the hobbies which they have always been passionate about or finding new opportunities to give back to the community.   

If you’re a retired teacher, you may be considering going back to work. Here are a few reasons why you should become a substitute teacher or aide in your local school district! 

Work when you want to  

One of the best things about substitute teaching is the ability to work the days that you choose. Flexible hours allow you to take assignments when you would like and then spend the rest of your time travelling, catching up with friends and family, or doing other things you love. If you’d like to work and stay active, but don’t want to commit to a full-time position, subbing allows you to do so!  

Earn extra income 

It may be time to travel and do all the activities you had planned for your retirement, but do you have the funds to do so? Pick up as many shifts as you need to purchase airline tickets to Italy or book your hotel near the Grand Canyon. Or maybe just earn enough to spend on weekly trips to the movie theater! After many long years of working, it’s time to do the things that you enjoy, and substitute teaching can help you afford all the expenses that your savings and pension may not cover. 

Stay active 

In order to stay healthy as we age, it’s important to remain physically and mentally active. Research shows that a lifetime of physical exercise slows down the aging process, and practicing mentally-stimulating activities can preserve brain health. A study from Center for Retirement Research at Boston College also found that people who continue working in some way after retirement tend to live longer and have a greater sense of purpose those who do not continue working. As a substitute, you’ll have the chance to keep learning about new teaching strategies and explore different subject areas. If you’re working with younger children, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to stay active! 

Mentor others 

This ain’t your first rodeo. Not only can you provide a continuous learning environment for students with your tried-and-true lesson plans, you can also supply plenty of advice to your colleagues who may not have as much experience. Outside the education world, industry leaders are recognizing the importance of having retired workers mentor their new employees in order to accelerate learning and instill confidence. New teachers often need support that school administrations can’t provide. As a retired teacher, you have a mountain of knowledge at your disposal, and many educators could benefit from it!  

Keep connected 

Do you ever wonder what happened to your former students or colleagues? Once you retire, it can be difficult to stay in touch with many of the people you once saw each day. However, it is possible to return to work as a substitute in your former school district and reconnect with many of the people with whom you may have lost touch. Also, many current students may be younger siblings of some of the children you taught for years. 

Working with Insight as a Retired Teacher 

Though it varies by state and school, retired teachers can return to work and not risk losing their pension. Our Insight recruiters commonly find that retired teachers can work as substitutes soon after their retirement. We typically find there is no danger as long as you don’t substitute in the school district in which you were employed for one year immediately following your retirement date. The conditions differ by district, however, so it is extremely important to contact your pension board directly to get the most complete information regarding terms and limitations. Whatever your situation is regarding your pension, we can work with you to make sure you are not violating any of the stipulations in your contract. 

When you’re ready to reverse retirement and make the most of your golden years, contact Insight at (856) 406-6015 or