Procedures for Applying to Be a Substitute Teacher in Texas and the Requirements

When full-time instructors are unavailable, substitute teachers step in to fill the void in the educational system. They are essential members of the teaching staff. These educators strive to inform students about their assignments on time and offer support when necessary for them to finish these assignments.

Requirements to Be a Substitute Teacher in Texas1

How do you Become A Substitute Teacher in Texas?

In education, substitute teachers—those who cover for regular instructors when they are sick or otherwise unable to work—manage classes and monitor courses. While substitute teachers usually work with kids of all ages in grades K–12, permanent instructors must specialize in teaching a particular span of grades, usually either elementary or high school.

Texas now employs around 56,620 substitute teachers, compared to 247,310 primary and secondary school teachers nationwide, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some people may find substitute teaching to be an appealing alternative since it is a much simpler procedure to become a replacement teacher in Texas than it is to become a regular teacher. Substitute teaching has many obstacles, but it may also be rewarding, like all employment.

Qualifications for Substitute Teaching:

States have different standards for substitute teaching. Like many other states, Texas allows school districts to set their policies regarding substitute teachers. Unlike typical K–12 instructors, no statutory requirements are relevant to everyone. Regular teaching contracts are usually more tightly controlled than replacement teaching.

Every district will set its education standards and other ones, such as a minimum age or a background check for prospective replacements. Because substitute teachers in Texas are not required to have a license in the same manner as regular teachers, this career path may be more accessible, especially for candidates with less experience or who are younger.

Education Requirements:

To become a substitute teacher, you must complete the necessary educational prerequisites. Substitute teachers in most Texas school districts must have completed some college coursework or possess a bachelor’s degree. It is not usually required for that degree to be in the field of education. Accepted students can serve as substitute teachers for as long as they like; the state does not need an official credential or qualification to be updated.

  • Houston: 48 college hours; a bachelor’s degree is preferable; Houston Independent School District
  • Dallas: High school diploma; Dallas Independent School District; recommended 60 college hours
  • Austin: Austin Independent School District; Preferably 60 college hours; Some college experience
    Northside Independent School District in San Antonio requires 90 college hours and a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Other Requirements:

While it’s not the sole prerequisite, education is frequently crucial for becoming a substitute teacher in Texas. After fulfilling all prerequisites for schooling, prospective replacement instructors must verify the particular criteria of their district. They may use this to ensure they meet the requirements before applying for a job.

School districts frequently demand that substitute teachers submit to background checks, and to make sure they are prepared for the demands of the position, substitutes may also be asked to finish a training program. The following non-educational requirements apply to the same large school districts as previously mentioned:

  • Houston: Houston Independent School District; registration requires a fingerprint
  • Dallas: English competency; fingerprints and background check; Dallas Independent School District
  • Austin: Austin Independent School District; admission via fingerprinting
  • San Antonio: English proficiency; fingerprints and background check; Northside Independent School District.

If substitute teachers in San Antonio finish extra district-organized training courses, their salary increases. Some districts only provide prospective replacements who have begun the application process access to their criteria.

How Much Does Texas Pay a Substitute Teacher?

It is undeniable that becoming a substitute teacher is not a very profitable vocation. The BLS reports that Texas substitute teachers make an average of $35,560 annually. This is slightly less than the average salary of $42,680 for replacements nationwide. With a mean pay of $63,740, Connecticut now has the highest substitute wage. At $18,300, Alabama offers the lowest salary. These stark contrasts partially reflect the expense of life in each state.

Day rates are used to calculate substitute teacher salaries in most Texas school districts. Teachers’ experience levels, credentials, subject matter competence, and state of residence will all play a role in determining this day rate.

For instance, Texas districts may charge $80 per day for entry-level or non-degree replacements. Districts may provide up to $130 daily for people with more significant experience and certifications. Assignments for half-day substitutes often pay between $40 and $60, while some districts only pay for a full day.

Job Description:

  1. Travel and Assignments: Typically, substitute instructors are given work assignments (either on the same day or several days or weeks in advance) and are not allowed to select the kind or duration of their duties. A substitute teacher may work with a class for a few hours or a whole day, or they may cover the same material for several days or weeks at a time.
    Substitutes usually do not have to take up teaching responsibilities such as lesson preparation or grading on shorter tasks. For longer projects, they might have to work after school hours planning classes, creating and marking homework, keeping track of students’ progress, etc. Specific replacements prefer shorter job assignments without these obligations.
  2. Teaching and Lessons: A thorough lesson plan and information on the class dynamics should have been given to the replacement by the regular instructor. By adhering to that lesson plan, the stand-in teacher may ensure that the pupils’ education continues as much as possible while their instructor is away.
    The regular instructor was unable to give a lesson plan in some situations. If such is the case, replacement teachers might need to improvise or have a more overseeing role in the classroom. If an average teacher’s notes are lacking, replacement teachers can assist students with reviewing their most recent course materials.
    If it’s not feasible, it can be essential to play instructional films that are relevant to the subject, motivate pupils to prepare for an impending test or assign assignments for other subjects during class. Substitute teachers should try to have some activities available to pass the time in class, especially with younger pupils.
  3. Minimum/Maximum Work Days: Substitute teachers’ schedules might vary greatly, and not all work daily. Because of this, it’s usual for districts and governments to decide against paying substitutes a regular income in favor of a day rate system.

A substitute must work a minimum number of days in most school districts to be kept on file. A substitute teacher may only work a maximum of a given district’s allotted number of days in a given academic year, consecutively in the same classroom or overall. While many opt to become career substitutes, some prefer to serve as replacements while deciding whether or not to become full-time teachers.

Excellent Substitute Teacher Qualities:

  • Adaptability: On a frequent or even daily basis, substitute teachers deal with fresh groups of students. Those pupils may be in elementary school or ready to graduate high school. It’s possible to ask substitutes to cover for a math instructor or to work with younger pupils for an entire day, teaching various courses. Class sizes, student skill levels, and behavioral norms will all differ. A competent replacement is ready to adjust to the assignment’s length, topic content, and grade level.
  • Organization: Substitute instructors must be adept at time management like regular teachers. This includes arriving at class promptly and bringing any necessary supplies. It also entails scheduling class time according to the lesson plan or notes the usual instructor provides. Substitutes must carefully return graded assignments to the appropriate student group when substituting in a different classroom or school.
  • Compassion: All educators need to work on showing their pupils compassion. Strong relationships between students and instructors can improve the learning environment in the classroom, especially for replacement teachers who need to gain the students’ respect to impart essential knowledge quickly. This quality is especially crucial for substitute teachers who work with highly young pupils or those who have difficulty understanding the course topics.
  • Good Attitude and Sense of Humor: Occasionally, a teaching day will not go as planned, even with everyone’s best efforts. For example, the lesson plan that is now available may be dreadfully inadequate. Maintaining a cheerful disposition and a sense of humor is usually beneficial for substitute instructors. This may guarantee that everyone has an excellent time even in less-than-ideal circumstances, prevent pupils from acting out, and ease tensions in the classroom.
  • High Energy: The work of substitute instructors is quite complex. It will need a lot of vigor and excitement to deal with many different pupils and constantly switch to new settings. To maintain their energy, substitutes should ensure they consume a balanced diet, stay hydrated throughout the day, get enough sleep, and take breaks as needed.
  • People Skills: Some charm and gravitas go a long way toward helping substitute instructors more readily dominate a room, just like they do for regular teachers. They gain by conversing successfully and efficiently with individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds. People skills are essential for substitute teachers, who must always be ready to make new friends among pupils and coworkers.
  • Enthusiasm: At the end of the day, working as a substitute teacher requires genuine interest and enthusiasm. The people most likely to succeed in the long run can adapt well to changing classroom assignments, genuinely appreciate the difficulties and rewards of teaching, and thrive in this type of work environment.

Teaching as a Stand-In for Regular Teaching:

Several people begin as substitute instructors to determine whether teaching is their proper career path. Those who have decided to become teachers in Texas must seek more education to get certification. In the state of Texas, standard certification and alternative certification are the two main paths for full accreditation as a teacher.

Getting a standard certification is the first step towards becoming a teacher. A bachelor’s degree from an authorized institution or university is the prerequisite for becoming a teacher. They then have to finish an educator preparation program (EPP). After that, they must pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) and TExES teacher certification tests. Lastly, before beginning their employment, prospective instructors must fulfill the criteria for student teaching.

The typical certification path is probably the easiest for substitute teachers without a bachelor’s degree to follow to become instructors in Texas. Usually, obtaining a bachelor’s degree takes four years; district-specific requirements for student teaching can involve several months or even an entire academic year. Because of the prior expertise of a previous substitute, a district could occasionally consent to eliminate or decrease the requirements for student teaching.

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