Inside: Learn how to get a job as a substitute teacher! (Also known as a sub, guest teacher, or supply teacher!)
So you want to become a substitute teacher? Substitute teaching can be a rewarding and flexible career once you know how to get started. Follow these steps to learn how to become a substitute teacher.
Check state requirements for substitute teachers.
If you want to learn how to become a substitute teacher, you need to know your state’s requirements. Each state has its own set of rules and requirements for substitute teachers. Many require a teaching certificate while others allow a bachelor’s certificate or a minimum number of college credits. Some states may have less stringent requirements, so check on your state before you apply to a specific district.
Research school district options and requirements to become a substitute teacher.
After you review the state requirements, check on the requirements for specific districts you want to teach in. Certain districts may have stricter requirements than the state when it comes to education. In addition to requirements, you’ll want to check out which district is best for you! Districts may offer different rates of pay, so it’s worth comparing benefits throughout the districts in your area. This is important to know before you get a job as a substitute teacher.
Choose which districts to apply to.
Along with pay, you will want to decide which districts suit your career needs. In your research, you will want to come up with a set of questions to help you decide where to apply. How many hours does each district allow? Some districts set limits on the number of days or hours you may sub in a school or for a certain teacher. Depending on the number of hours you want, this could be a factor in your decision. Are there sub shortages, or is it competitive? If you are hoping to sub daily or multiple days per week, check out districts that are in need of qualified substitutes. Where are the schools in the district located? Some larger districts may be spread throughout the city, so make sure the districts you apply to are accessible with your transportation arrangements and time for travel. You may also want to consider subbing in your own children’s school district or districts so you can have a similar schedule. These are all important things to consider before you become a substitute teacher.
Apply for districts.
Districts accept applications directly on their websites. If you know a teacher, staff member, or administrator in the district in which you’re applying, you may want to consider asking them for a reference. Some application processes ask for the emails and phone numbers of your references. Make sure to contact your reference before giving out their information. If you are currently employed, you may want to let your boss know that you are applying for a position as a substitute teacher should your current employer contact them.
Fill out paperwork and get background checks.
Once you are accepted, the district will contact you to fill out additional paperwork. This may also include a background check. Making sure to fill out all paperwork and bring the necessary materials to prevent any delays in employment.
Viola! You are a substitute teacher.
Now that you are hired, keep the jobs coming! Knowing how to manage a classroom, be on a preferred sub list, be prepared for any class, and gain respect are all important for being a substitute teacher that teachers call time and time again. Check out these tips for substitute teachers to keep your teacher game strong!
Get sub plan freebies!
Many teachers will have explicit plans for you to teach, but there are times you’ll go to a class where the teacher isn’t prepared because of last-minute illness or long term needs. Sign up to get access to our free resource library!
The Substitute Teacher Resource Binder
Once you start subbing, I highly recommend getting the substitute teacher resource binder. This binder comes with a FULL day of sub plans for Kindergarten through 6th grades. Why would you need that as the sub, you may ask? Well, as a veteran sub I will tell you that there will be MANY times that you will be left with no plans at all- or at least, very little. Using a sub binder will help you stay prepared, and teachers will love your organization! It also comes with a planner to keep track of your sub days and an info sheet to give to teachers to keep the jobs coming.
You are going to be a great substitute teacher! Use these tips to learn how to become a substitute teacher, so teachers will keep asking you back to teach in their classrooms.