How To Be a Substitute Teacher

If you want to start a career in teaching, but do not want to do it full-time, or if you're also involved in other occupations, you might want to consider being a substitute teacher. Unlike regular teachers, you won't have to go to school every day for fixed hours. Moreover, you will be handling different subjects and classes every time you substitute for someone, which makes the task of teaching much more exciting. However, you should be aware that being a substitute teacher does not pay much, so it will be good if you have other sources of income as well.

Most substitute teachers are hired when a regular teacher is absent from class. To let people know that you are willing to be a substitute teacher, get in touch with your local school district and let them know that you are offering this kind of service. Try to be specific in pointing out what subject areas you want to be a substitute teacher in. You must have the necessary qualifications, of course.

The requirements vary from state to state, and even within states they differ among the local school districts. A high school diploma is a necessary requirement for all states. Passing the General Educational Development (GED) is an accepted alternative to a high school diploma.

Some states are more meticulous and would require you to have a bachelor's degree, although not necessarily in Education. Those with a bachelor's degree are at an advantage over those who do not in terms of salary, they usually get higher pay. Some states even require that you get additional course units in a state-accredited institution. 

Expect to undergo a medical test. Your state might also do a background investigation.

Contact your local school district to find out what you need to comply with in order to be certified or licensed as a substitute teacher. Ask them if they have an instructional manual for substitute teachers, and acquaint yourself with the contents thereof. Get a copy of trainings for substitute teachers that are being offered, and try to participate in these trainings.

When you have complied with all of these requirements, then you're all set to be a substitute teacher. Once you're hired, find out right away what subjects you're going to teach, so you'll be able to gather all the necessary materials. Make a lesson plan for the day, even if it's just a short one - you must have some sort of guide, one way or another. Be sure to be at the school way ahead of time, so you'll have enough time to prepare.

Confirm the subjects and classes assigned to you. Know the directions to the classrooms beforehand, so you won't waste precious time looking for them later in the day. You must be flexible enough to deal with unexpected changes in subject assignments. Establish rapport with the students before starting with the day's lessons. After your task is done, write a short report on what transpired during the day, so you can give it to the regular teacher.

These are just some of the tips you can do to become a substitute teacher, but as long you prepare well for each assignment, you're sure to be one of the most sought-after substitute teachers in your local school district.


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