How to Land a Substitute Teacher Job

We want to help you land that perfect substitute teacher job. Whether you’re exploring teaching as a career, a retired teacher not quite ready to hang up the chalk, or anything in between, substitute teaching can be a rewarding part-time job. 

Substitute teaching is a great opportunity to positively impact your community while maintaining a flexible schedule. Now that you’ve decided substitute teaching is right for you, let’s walk through our top 5 tips for landing that substitute teaching gig.

Identify city and state requirements for substitute teachers

Every state has different requirements to become a substitute teacher, and there may be additional nuances within a district or city. Minimum education requirements may vary, as well as the need for certification, background checks, or clearances. For example, some cities require a bachelor’s degree, while many others only require a high school diploma, associate’s degree or credit hours. 

You may also be surprised to see that many cities do not require a teaching license. Often they just want to see examples of working with youth and a cleared background check. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the current requirements, and feel clear on how to complete them through the process. 

At Kokua, we will walk you through each step of this process during onboarding, and are always here for questions along the way. Through our wide network of school partnerships and over 10 years of serving local communities, we are tuned into each layer of the process. It can be tricky to keep track of every requirement, so we’ll make sure you are classroom ready as quickly as possible.

Search for the right substitute teacher job openings

It’s no secret that educators are in high demand. Whether you’re looking for general K-12 substitute teaching opportunities or something more specialized (special education, English as a second language (ESL), STEM, etc.), there are likely open roles that suit your preferences. Take the time to read the job descriptions and determine whether that role fits into your lifestyle, skillset, and interests before applying.

You can search for positions and apply to a district directly. However, here at Kokua, we take the difficult and time consuming process of searching for a position off your plate. We have a growing network of partner schools with open positions readily available. Our partner schools have ongoing, diverse hiring needs throughout the school year, and we will make sure you are placed in the right position right away.

Update your resume

Most districts or employers require a resume as part of the hiring process. Be prepared to put your best foot forward. Make sure your resume reflects any experience you have working with youth – whether that be through classroom teaching, volunteer work, mentorship, or leading youth programs. This experience will make you stand out. It will show schools that you’re capable of managing their classrooms effectively.

Prepare your references in advance

Many substitute teaching jobs will request references to better understand your skills and character. To keep the process running smoothly, identify the professionals in your network who will represent you best. Have their contact information ready to share. Think through colleagues who can positively speak to your work ethic, professionalism, and reliability.

Clearly communicate why you want to become a substitute teacher

Employers will want to know why you’re pursuing substitute teaching above other part-time jobs. Substitute teachers have the power to become positive role models for their students, and help them take advantage of every learning opportunity. Schools want to be confident that you care about their students’ success. You may be asked to communicate this during any phase of the application or hiring process. Be ready to explain why becoming a substitute teacher is important to you.

Are you ready to become a substitute teacher? Apply below to get started.

Want to learn more about why you should become a substitute teacher? Check out our top 7 reasons to become a substitute teacher.