Substitute teaching is a flexible and rewarding career option for anyone looking to make a difference in the education system without fully committing all their time. It comes with a flexible schedule and the opportunity to choose when and where to work.
Additionally, substitute teaching provides valuable experience in education and can serve as a stepping stone if you’d like to pursue a full-time teaching career. In Florida, the process of becoming a substitute teacher involves fulfilling the set requirements by school districts and obtaining certification.
Becoming a substitute teacher in Florida provides job security because there is always a demand for qualified substitute teachers in the state.
From obtaining the necessary education to getting a substitute teaching certificate, we’ll guide you through the steps required to become a substitute teacher in Florida.
Whether you are a high school or college graduate, or just an individual who is passionate about teaching, substitute teaching can provide you with an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of students while gaining valuable experience in the field of education.
What Is a Substitute Teacher?
A substitute teacher, also known as a sub, is a trained and certified professional educator who’s on-call to replace a regular classroom teacher for a short period when they take a leave of absence.
The time a substitute teacher works in a classroom can range from a single day to several weeks or months, depending on the reason for the regular teacher’s absence. For instance, due to illness, medical leave, or family emergencies.
Long-term substitutes require a higher level of training in the classes they cover than short-term substitutes.
Substitute teachers work in diverse school settings, so their daily tasks may vary from one school to another.
They work closely with school administrators and other staff to ensure that students continue to receive a high-quality education while their primary teacher is absent.
Responsibilities of a Substitute Teacher
Substitute teachers must be able to adapt quickly to new learning environments and work effectively with students, regardless of their individual learning styles or needs.
The responsibilities of a substitute teacher include the following:
- Following the primary teacher’s lesson plans to adhere to the course curriculum
- Upholding classroom rules, guidelines, and policies to manage student behavior
- Overseeing students during class time to ensure they complete assigned work and follow classroom expectations
- Maintain classroom cleanliness and a safe and orderly learning environment:
- Complying with school regulations and rules, managing student behavior, and addressing any disruptions that may occur in the classroom.
- Taking attendance and keeping notes regarding student behavior
- Creating reports for the primary teacher to review on their return
- Perform teaching duties on the primary teacher’s behalf during an extended absence
- Composing and delivering lesson plans as needed during the primary teacher’s absence
- Assigning homework to students and supervising them while completing work in class
- Communicating with the regular teacher to gather additional information about the curriculum or to share information about the class or students.
- Communicating with school administrators about any issues or concerns that arise in the classroom.
- Providing feedback and support and grading or evaluating student assignments.
Required Skills for a Substitute Teacher
You should have certain skills before applying as a substitute teacher in Florida. We’ll briefly explore the skills and how they will likely impact your job.
Good Communication Skills
Good communication skills are essential for you to become a substitute teacher. They’ll help you establish a positive and professional relationship with students. This is important for maintaining a safe and productive learning environment.
You’ll also be able to deliver effective lessons and instructions clearly. Therefore, ensuring that students understand the material and can complete their assignments.
Good communication skills come in handy when addressing student behavior and resolving conflicts in the classroom. As a substitute teacher, you must be able to assert expectations and consequences clearly.
Substitute teachers must communicate effectively with school administrators, other teachers, and support staff to ensure a seamless educational experience for students.
Good communication skills are also important for keeping parents informed about their child’s progress and any issues that may arise in the classroom.
Flexibility for a substitute teacher is essential as it allows you to adapt to different schools and classroom settings fast and effectively.
Adapting fast will enable you to work with and meet the learning needs of different students with different learning needs.
Substitute teachers must be able to handle unexpected changes and challenges in the classroom. For instance, changes in the lesson plan or disruptive behavior from students.
Substitute teachers must be able to adapt their teaching style and approach to meet the needs of diverse learners, including students with disabilities, English language learners, and students with different learning styles.
To be successful as a substitute teacher, you must have classroom management skills. These skills will help you maintain a positive and productive learning environment.
Effective classroom management can help:
- Prevent disruptive behavior in the classroom
- Ensure smooth transitions between activities
- foster a sense of structure and order helping students feel safe and confident
Good classroom management skills also allow you to create an atmosphere where students can learn, participate, and engage with each other.
Time management skills are crucial if you’re to become a substitute teacher. This is because you must balance multiple responsibilities in a limited amount of time.
Effective time management will allow you to plan and organize your day, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
Good time management skills also allow you to manage your instructional time, ensuring you cover the necessary learning material and maintain a consistent pace throughout the day.
By effectively managing your time, you can make the most of your time in the classroom and provide students with a positive and productive learning experience.
As a substitute teacher, you’ll move to various different schools throughout the school year. Problem-solving skills are critical as you may encounter a wide range of challenges and difficulties in various classrooms.
Effective problem-solving skills allow you to identify and analyze issues, consider various options, and confidently develop and implement effective solutions. This way, you can manage unexpected events and respond to student behavior issues constructively and effectively.
Likewise, good problem-solving skills will help you address academic challenges, such as helping students who are struggling with a particular concept. By solving problems effectively, you can maintain a positive learning environment and ensure you’re productive without needing much assistance.
Benefits of Being a Substitute Teacher in Florida
There are many benefits of becoming a substitute teacher in Florida. It’s a great job for someone looking for a day job that doesn’t require a lot of commitment.
Florida has a strong and growing economy, which can lead to job security and stability for teachers. Many school districts in Florida offer paid vacation, sick leave, and 401k contributions. There is also the chance that you will be required to serve as a substitute several times during your career.
Becoming a substitute teacher in Florida also means that you get the opportunity to work in a warm and sunny climate
Florida has a diverse student population, offering teachers the opportunity to work with students from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Florida has a growing population, so there’s an increased demand for teachers and, therefore, more job opportunities for substitute teachers.
Steps to Becoming a Substitute Teacher in Florida
To become a substitute teacher in Florida, you must follow certain mandatory steps before being certified.
We’ll now look at each step and the relevant information you need to accomplish it.
1. Determine the Type of Substitute.
To determine which type of substitute teacher you want to be, you must consider different factors that best suit your goals and preferences.
These factors include:
- Your desired schedule: Whether you prefer to work full-time or part-time, on a regular basis or on an as-needed basis.
- Subject area expertise: For instance, if you have a background or experience in a particular subject, such as math, science, or language arts.
- Your preferred teaching setting: Whether you prefer to work in a traditional classroom, special education or bilingual classroom, or a virtual classroom.
- Geographic Location: Your preferred geographic location if you want to work in a specific school district, city, or state.
Based on your personal career goals, consider whether you want to gain experience as a substitute teacher while pursuing a full-time teaching position or whether you want to serve as a long-term substitute teacher.
2. Polish Your Skills and Credentials.
To become a substitute teacher in Florida, you need to polish all of the skills highlighted above, such as time management and communication. Additional professional development courses may be recommended to enhance your skills and knowledge as a substitute teacher.
For instance, the school district may provide you with classroom management and instructional training. Other requirements may be certification in CPR and first aid.
You must also pass a background check before you’re allowed to officially teach. By meeting these credentials, you’re eligible for certification as a substitute teacher in Florida.
3. Get Certified.
If you meet all the following requirements, you can apply for a substitute teaching certificate through the Florida Department of Education (FDOE):
- Bachelor’s degree or high school diploma, depending on the state
- Passed a level 2 background check
- Completed an FDOE-approved substitute teacher preparation program.
Submit an online application and provide the required documents, such as transcripts, proof of completion of the substitute teacher preparation program, and a background check.
Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will receive a substitute teaching certificate from the FDOE.
4. Apply for Substitute Teaching Jobs.
Once you have all your substitute teacher documents and certification, you can start applying for substitute teaching jobs in Florida.
Contact your local school district and inquire about substitute teaching opportunities. You can also check the school district website for open substitute teacher positions.
Online Job Boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn have job listings for substitute teacher positions in Florida. Create a profile, upload your resume, and apply for available substitute teaching positions.
You can also work with teacher placement agencies in Florida that help school districts to locate substitute teachers. You can submit an application to these agencies, who will then place you in available substitute teaching positions.
Degree Requirements for Substitute Teachers in Florida
There are no state-level requirements for substitute teachers in Florida. They vary from one county to the other. Most school districts require at least a high school diploma. In some districts, you may require additional training or a college diploma.
For instance, in Seminole county, substitute teachers must be at least 18 years old and must hold an FLDOE certificate. They must also complete an online training course that’s part of the onboarding process.
In Orange County, substitute teachers are hired through a placement agency known as Kelly Services. They undergo thorough training and background checks before they’re placed in a classroom setting.
In Osceola County, substitute teachers must have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. They also undergo a level 2 background check and a check to ensure they’re not predators.
The training for substitute teachers in Osceola county includes safety procedures and professional responsibilities, and ethics.
The process makes it simple for those without a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field, as they can also become substitute teachers if they pass the certification criteria.
Substitute Teaching Certificate
The Florida Department of Education does not issue certificates or special permits for substitute teachers. The certification program, however, needs to be FLDOE accredited.
A substitute teacher shall be eligible for or hold a Seminole county or a Florida educator’s certificate and have it registered at the District office.
All the ongoing training and professional development that’s available for certified teachers must be availed for substitute teachers.
There are four steps you must follow for certification as a substitute teacher in Florida namely:
- Completing Your Initial Package: This step involves submitting an online application through the FLDOE website. Provide all the required documents and transcripts. You’ll also need to pay the fee for the substitute teaching certificate.
- The Official Statement of Status of Eligibility: This document shows whether you’re eligible or not eligible for the certificate to teach in Florida. It’s valid for three years.
- Employment in a Florida elementary or secondary school: If your Status of Eligibility states that you’re eligible for employment in Florida, you’re offered a temporary certificate that allows you to look for substitute jobs in the state.
- Submitting fingerprints for certification: All Florida public and charter school employees must be screened and fingerprinted at the district’s personnel office for employment. You’ll receive your certificate once you’re cleared of any disqualifying offense.
There are two rates for the certification fee; the full-day at $105 and the half-day rate, which is $62.
Salary Expectations for Substitute Teachers in Florida
The average substitute teacher salary in Florida is $115. This translates to $33,812 annually. The highest-earning substitute earns $46,865 per year.
The varying wages depend on the school district, subject of specialization, and years of experience as a substitute teacher.
Take the Next Step to Become a Substitute Teacher
Substitute teaching is a rewarding career option allowing you to make a positive impact on the education system.
By fulfilling the requirements and obtaining the certification we’ve discussed, you too can become a substitute teacher in Florida.
You’ll get to enjoy the amazing weather, job security, and competitive pay.
If you want to make a difference in students’ lives as a substitute teacher, consider looking at the certification options and ready yourself to teach in Florida.