Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: Most schools don’t require prior teaching experience or a teaching degree to be a substitute teacher.

Amava Take: Want to be part of the solution and get paid for your time? Substitute teachers are in short supply all over the United States. You can make a difference meeting and sharing your wisdom with the next generation. Plus, you might mix it up with some rockstar veteran teachers who are fighting the good fight every day. If you enjoy kids and want to pour some positive energy into your local community, substitute teaching is an excellent and flexible option. The entry requirements vary greatly from state to state—some require a college degree and/or a qualification exam, some don’t. Checking it out with your local school district is easy and you might find yourself taking attendance before you can say “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

People who care about education and want to help students succeed.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Ask other teachers at the school for any tips they have to offer and review lessons plans in advance.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

That’s an easy one! Be in your seat before the bell rings!

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Meeting earnest students and discussing interesting ideas with them.

How would you describe the hard parts?

Establishing respect and a good rapport if there are students who are looking to take advantage of the fact that they might know more about the way the classroom runs than you do.

Have students ever played a prank on you?

Yes! It was fairly innocent. They just sat in seats other than the ones assigned to them on the seating chart. I was confused at first when they didn’t answer to what I thought were their names, but I caught on!

Special RequirementsThese vary by state and school. Here’s information about being a substitute teacher in different states to get you started.

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Finding a Position: Contact the hiring person in your local school district office (or the hiring office in a private school), to learn about available positions. You can look on education job boards and search substitute teacher in districts that interest you. Some states, like Pennsylvania, organize statewide listings for substitute teacher positions.