How to Become a Substitute Teacher

Being a substitute teacher is a great opportunity to obtain experience in the teaching profession. A replacement teacher is a teacher who fills in for a regular teacher. When a full-time teacher is absent due to an illness, vacation, maternity leave, or other causes, a substitute teacher is appointed. They are also equipped to work part-time. A substitute teacher has the same job and responsibilities as a full-time educator. You will learn more about substitute teaching, including its duties, requirements for employment, expected salaries, and other information, through this page.

Substitute teaching can be the perfect career for you if you're searching for a position that can offer you a flexible schedule, introduce you to a range of classrooms and subjects, and provide you with an amazing set of transferable skills.

Before committing to a school for the rest of the school year, becoming a substitute teacher might be a wise approach to determine whether you want to be a full-time teacher in your area. In addition to allowing you to network socially and possibly find a full-time job elsewhere, it can also help you transition into a teaching career in a district where there aren't any open full-time opportunities.

If full-time teaching is not your thing, substitute teaching can also be a career in and of itself. For example, retired teachers may decide to become substitute teachers in order to earn money on a flexible schedule without the responsibility and stress that constantly come with teaching full-time. This is because they are frequently not ready to completely leave the school environment. Furthermore, substitute teaching may enable parents who take time out to stay at home with their young children to later re-enter employment on a schedule that matches that of their school-age children.

What Does a Substitute Teacher Do?

When regular teachers are away, substitutes must step in and ensure that the lesson plan is followed. Most of the time, teachers have lesson plans prepared in advance. However, depending on how unexpected the absence of the classroom teacher was, replacement teachers sometimes had to develop their own lessons. The lessons will be prepared and the kids will be actively addressed by long-term replacements who have been appointed to cover a teacher on an extended holiday.

What to Expect as a Substitute Teacher

It's challenging to define what all substitute teachers should anticipate on any given day because there are so many different subjects and age groups that can be addressed. However, some districts enable substitutes to be switched to a different class or cover other courses throughout the day. In general, you will be able to accept or reject a substitute offer with knowledge of what school level and/or subject you will be teaching.

You will need to be ready to deal with kids of various ages and backgrounds, each of whom will have different requirements and educational needs. You will benefit from having patience, flexibility, and a sense of humor, especially dealing with pupils who might incorrectly believe your presence means they get a "day off" from learning.

Career Outlook and Salary for Substitute Teachers

The typical annual salary for substitute teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is $36,090. The top 90 percent of earners can take home up to $51,850 yearly. Finding subs is a consistent issue for schools and districts around the country, according to the National Education Association, even though the BLS does not track job growth for substitute teachers.

(Salary information for substitute teachers as of May 2020 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figures represent overall data, not information particular to a single school. Your local conditions could be different. Data accessed on 06 Aug 2022.)

Steps to Become a Substitute Teacher

A bachelor's degree and/or certification are required in some states and districts, whereas only a GED or high school diploma are needed in others. While background checks are mandatory worldwide, some places only demand that as a "test," while others may call for extra tests, training, and/or observing time.

State-by-State Requirements for Substitute Teachers

Now is an excellent moment to start your new career as a substitute teacher if you are interested in doing so. Many states are dealing with a shortage of replacement teachers and are searching for creative ways to lure prospective subs to their schools.

We've outlined the requirements for substitute instructors in each state around the US to help you in getting going.

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