Hi Mike. This is actually my first post here and I think I can offer you some insight. I started my teaching career as a sub at a small rural elementary school with ~200 kids total. I worked there for 3 school years and being such a small community I worked a LOT. After all that time, I knew every child in the school by name and they all knew me since I’d taught in every single classroom in every grade level at least a few times. It was very rewarding and a lot of fun, really! I was sad to leave there, but I gained a lot of good practical experience, not only with the kids but also with the ins and outs of a school’s bureaucracy and various procedures.
I’d very much recommend subbing to gain classroom experience. In fact, I wish every teacher was *required* to sub for a while, at least to see what it’s like. After being a sub for a while, you may actually find teaching in a classroom of your own to be easier (I certainly did).
If you’d like something more stable that will still get you a lot of good experience in the classroom, it’s not hard to become a paraprofessional and work as a teacher’s assistant for a year.