Becoming a substitute teacher is a great way to begin a career as an educator. It gives you the opportunity to teach in
schools and learn the ropes before making the commitment to becoming a full-time teacher.
Substitute teacher requirements differ from state to state. Typically, there are two requirements to become a substitute
teacher: a college degree and the successful completion of a competency test. However, not all states require these—but
on the other hand, some require teacher certification. Click on the states below to find out how to begin substitute
teaching in your area.
Your goal as a substitute teacher is to create a positive classroom environment so that you can complete the lesson
plans the primary teacher wants you to cover. Substitute teachers need to motivate students to learn, but also must maintain
discipline and insist that students respect one another.
Every substitute teaching job is different. As a daily substitute, some days will be challenging and others will be easier.
Sometimes your assignment will only last one day, but other times you'll work in the same school for a week or more. You may
be lucky and land a substitute teaching job for a teacher on maternity leave. Sometimes you'll just look after a class while the
students complete an assignment that their teacher left. Other times you will do a significant amount of teaching and follow
detailed lesson plans. But whatever your experience, once you become a substitute teacher, you'll get a taste for teaching and
be able to decide whether you want to become a full-time teacher and get a class of your own.