We recently heard from Haining Wei, who started teaching with Swing in the spring of 2022. Below, she shares her story of how she was able to get into the classroom quickly and finally achieve her lifelong desire to be a teacher after years spent on a career in another field.
I graduated from a university which trains teachers in China. I had been wanting to get a teaching credential and work in an elementary school since I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. But because of the need to take care of my children and my concern that English is my second language, I never really got the chance to be a teacher in a regular classroom.
When my kids grew a little older, I did manage to obtain a 30-day emergency substitute permit by passing the CBEST test, the background check and verification of my college degree in China. I also filled out the forms required by the school district. But I found I still needed to go to the county to finish more paperwork. I was confused. In addition, I didn’t think I could get up early every day waiting for a phone call to substitute teach, so I ended up pursuing another career.
At the beginning of this year, I heard that the substitute teacher for my son’s class didn’t show up and the students had to go to another class. I also heard that there was a shortage of substitute teachers due to the pandemic and that many teachers were sick. This made me think I should start to be a substitute teacher to help out.
I went on the Swing Education website and signed up. It only took me 11 days to finish the whole onboarding process. And then I started receiving the teaching requests through text messages on my phone. I was excited and told my friends to sign up also.
I receive a lot of teaching requests from Swing, and some are a little too far from me. But I did find a private school which is close to my home and like the time I spend with the students there.
I think the best parts about Swing Education are the easy hiring process and the flexibility it gives teachers to find the right school and right teaching schedule. The training videos are very helpful for people who have not taught in a K-12 education environment in America. The best tips I learned are building relationships with students and classroom management.