Michelle --- being a teacher assistant
Michelle --- being a teacher assistant, a substitute teacher, a long-term sub, a teacher's aide, etc. are all good alternatives to full-time teaching, if you can survive financially. Your academic achievements and volunteer experiences are excellent building blocks, but subbing, etc. places you directly in a public school classroom environment with 20-30 kids, other teachers, and administrators. So, the comparability to a full-time teaching position is very close. It is your job never to let someone make you feel like a second-class citizen. When you are serving in these alternative titles, the district depends upon your commitment and excellence just as much as if you were the full-time teacher. Try to meet the principal, the other teachers, the school secretary, and others who can remember you and your availability. Working only in one district allows you to deepen these contacts; however, it will limit your range of opportunities, so I would always suggest diversifying among at least 2 or 3 districts.