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Substitute Teacher Career Outlook & Job Description

A substitute teacher is an on-call teacher who substitutes for a full-time teacher, usually for a short period of time. Although this may seem difficult and even daunting, it allows flexibility; substitute teachers can choose to work on a sporadic basis or accept long-term jobs that may come by. Moreover, stints as a substitute teacher can sometimes lead to a permanent job in a school. While substitute teaching can be challenging, it is a great way to build one’s resume.

Substitute teacher jobs require that an instructor carry out the tasks of an absent teacher that he/she is substituting for. It is a temporary or long-term replacement of the full-time teacher who is absent. The substitute teacher is, thus, responsible for delivering lessons based on the lesson plans outlined by the full-time teacher.

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Substitute Teacher Requirements and Common Tasks

Substitute teacher requirements vary from state to state. School district, country and independent schools have varying requirements as well. The standard qualification requirement for most states is a bachelor’s degree. Some states offer a special substitute teaching license, while others require a full teacher’s license.

Substitute teachers are expected to fulfill all the responsibilities of a regular teacher, in that they are required to teach scheduled classes, follow the full-time teacher’s lesson plans, attend staff meetings and address student concerns. They may also be responsible for non-classroom duties as stipulated by the school, such as writing reports, maintaining records of student progress and consulting with parents.

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Substitute Teacher Salary and Job Outlook

Substitute teacher pay can vary from state to state, and can range from $20 to $190 for a day’s work, although the average substitute teacher salary amounts to about $105 per full day. Other benefits can differ as well, depending on the location of the school and the length of the assignment. Schools frequently require substitute teachers for both short term emergency assignments and longer engagements. There are more substitute teacher jobs available at certain times of the year, such as shortly after spring break.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Substitute Teacher

Question: What are the substitute teacher requirements?

Answer: Requirements for being a substitute teacher vary by state and by individual district. Some states require that substitutes have a high school diploma or a college degree. Others have no requirements and leave it to individual districts to decide. In every school, however, a substitute teacher must pass a criminal background check.