How to become a substitute teacher
- What is a substitute teacher?
- Substitute teacher job responsibilities
- Substitute teacher skills and experience requirements
- Substitute teacher salaries and employment rates
- What should a substitute teacher put on his/her resume?
- Substitute teaching jobs hiring now
- Take up substitute teacher job responsibilities and start a fruitful career
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a substitute teacher?
Substitute teaching can be an amazing opportunity for part-time and even full-time employment.
But can just anyone become a substitute teacher? What responsibilities are involved? And how do you even begin to craft a resume that will help you stand out from other substitute teaching applicants?
Let’s uncover substitute teacher job responsibilities, what salary you can expect, which qualifications you need, and how to write a great resume to increase your chances of getting the job!
What is a substitute teacher?
Substitute teachers are the individuals who manage a classroom and provide instructions while the regular teacher is absent.
Typically, a substitute teacher will need to perform the same duties as the teacher for whom they are subbing. When you work as a substitute teacher, you’ll report to the principal of the school at which you work.
Substitute teachers often replace a teacher for a single day, but sometimes, it can be for a week, a month, or even for an entire school year. It all depends on the needs of the school and the length of absence of the regular teacher.
Substitute teacher job responsibilities
When you work as a substitute teacher, you’ll have similar responsibilities to the teacher you’re replacing. You’ll be responsible for the learning environment and the students in it.
Those responsibilities will vary depending on the length of the replacement and the instructions he/she provides. A long-term substitute will naturally have more responsibilities. For example, if you're replacing for an entire year, your substitute teacher job responsibilities may include grading students’ work, meeting with parents, etc.
No matter the length of the replacement, you’ll have the following responsibilities:
Follow the regular teacher’s lesson plans, curriculum, and classroom activities, and teach as instructed
Prepare educational materials when they aren’t already prepared
Keep the classroom tidy and clean
Handle classroom management and maintain order and respect in the classroom
Follow usual classroom and school procedures
Consult with the principal as needed if more support is required
Record all student attendances, but also keep track of accidents or incidents
Leave detailed notes for the regular teacher once you're done for the day
Protect the students, but also the equipment, materials, and school facilities by maintaining a safe classroom environment
Occasional other responsibilities such as lunch or recess duty may occur in elementary schools where you support another teacher in protecting the students.
When you show up to teach as a substitute, you'll also be required to maintain a professional appearance and demeanor.
Substitute teacher skills and experience requirements
The skills and experience you need to become a substitute classroom teacher depend on which state you want to teach in. Some states, like Arizona, California, and Ohio, require a bachelor’s degree for you to become a substitute teacher.
For other states, like Colorado and Utah, only a high school diploma, GED, or an equivalent is required.
Several states — 27 in total — require a license, permit, or teaching certificate before you can start teaching.
Most states will also require a background check, which can include fingerprinting, criminal background checks, and drug screens.
In addition to these requirements, here are some of the soft skills you should focus on if you want to become a substitute teacher:
The ability to remain calm but commanding
Substitute teacher salaries and employment rates
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for a substitute teacher is $17.35. The average annual wage is $36,090.
In 2020, 512,030 substitute teachers were employed in the US.
Most substitute educators get employed in elementary and secondary schools, but some also get employed in:
Child care services
Educational support services
The top-paying industries for substitute teachers are:
Computer management training
Technical and trade schools
Colleges, universities, and professional schools
Residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health, and substance abuse facilities
However, most of these industries have more requirements than at the elementary and high school levels.
What should a substitute teacher put on his/her resume?
Interested in taking on substitute teacher job responsibilities? Here are four tips to help you craft an effective resume to increase your chances of getting the job.
1. Show how adaptable you are
Substitute school teachers need to be adaptable people. Unlike a regular teacher who will teach the same classroom for a year (and perhaps more), substitute teachers could end up in any classroom on a daily basis. You will be expected to lead the classroom with the teacher's plans and keep your class in order.
You’ll also have to deal with a variety of students whose needs are vastly different from each other. Because of this, your resume needs to show that you’re capable of adapting to any teaching situation. If you don’t have experience as a substitute teacher, use some of your other work experiences to showcase your adaptability.
2. Include key skills that are important for teaching
While you should include the required education, you should also add skills that are crucial for teaching.
These can include:
Strong communication skills
Strong organizational skills
Tolerance and patience
These skills will give you a competitive edge over other entry-level substitute teachers who don’t have them.
3. Add your technology skills
Schools will also be interested in how you implement technology in the classroom. If you have experience with technology, make sure to include it in your resume.
In addition to writing down those skills, you can quickly explain how you used this technology to help your students learn to support your skills. For example, you can create multimedia lessons and presentations to fit a wider range of learning styles.
4. Show interest in professional development
Teachers need to constantly develop themselves and pursue lifelong learning. As a teacher, the learning NEVER stops.
As a substitute teacher, you should show interest in doing the same. Schools want someone dependable on whom they can rely for a long period of time. They can count on more than you showing up, but to do a great job.
If you show your interest in professional development and lifelong learning, you’ll indicate that you care about education and that you don’t see this work opportunity as a one-time way to make a quick buck.
Substitute teaching jobs hiring now
Substitute teaching opportunities pop up all the time on Jobcase. Check out all the available substitute teacher jobs near you so you can start applying quickly. However, before you do so always make sure to check with your state's department of education to look for any specific requirements they may have before you begin.
Take up substitute teacher job responsibilities and start a fruitful career
Becoming a substitute teacher can be a fulfilling job for those who enjoy helping kids learn and develop themselves. But if you’re interested in becoming a full-time teacher, becoming a substitute teacher is a great starting point that can evolve into a fruitful career with the proper education and certifications.
Would you consider becoming a substitute teacher?
excellent. I need the certificate though