Getting Started [Substitute Survival]

classroom-300x200[This post is part of a series on Substitute Survival]

So you want to start substitute teaching? The first thing you will need to do is contact your local board of education. Contact information for your local school board may be found through your county or city government’s website. Alternatively, if you know someone already employed for the school system in which you wish to substitute, you could ask him or her for a referral to the appropriate contact person. Policies on hiring substitute teachers vary greatly from state to state and district to district. Please use the below information as a guideline only. The following may be prerequisites to becoming a substitute teacher:

  • Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent certificate
  • Attendance at a substitute teaching orientation class
  • Passing a content knowledge or school policies test
  • Completion of a pre-employment physical and/or drug screening

After you complete all necessary steps to become certified as a substitute teacher in your district, it would be wise to contact each school individually to let them know you are available to substitute for them. If possible, try to introduce yourself in person at each school. It is always nice to meet the principal, but the principal is rarely the person who schedules substitute teachers. This task is usually delegated to a secretary, bookkeeper, or other administrative assistant. These folks are the gatekeepers to your subbing opportunities, so making a good impression with them can mean the difference between frequent calls or no calls. Have something professional to leave behind with your name, contact phone number, and email address so they can have it handy when they need it. A resume is a bit too formal, and a scrap of paper is a bit too informal. A business card is just right. You can print some at home, at your local office supply store, or order some very inexpensive professional cards from VistaPrint.

[This post is part of a series on Substitute Survival]

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