Summary: A substitute teacher is a person who teaches class in a school in the absence of the regular teacher. Substitute teachers have no permanent or full-time jobs; they just fill in for teachers who are not able to attend class due to various reasons. Their lesson plan may often slightly differ from the regular teachers, but substitute teachers usually stick to the plan based on the level they are teaching. With the same tasks as the regular teacher, a substitute teacher can give assignments and quizzes, look after the safety of students, enforce discipline in class and monitor students during recess periods.
Duties: The substitute teacher needs to follow the regular lesson plan of the absent teacher; she meets with the principal and staff regarding any questions and concerns about the lesson plan or rules and regulations of the school. The substitute teacher complies with all building procedures and schedules; prepares and submits a summary her work; updates the regular teacher of situations or problems encountered; adheres to school and administrative procedures; implements effective pupil handling; maintains high standards of education; provides guidance and advise to students, shows interest in a student’s progress; and encourages critical-thinking, analytical and creativity skills. Substitute teachers also work with other teachers; update records and promptly submit reports; respect personal privacy and maintain confidentiality regarding her students and consult with parents. A substitute teacher does not leave students unsupervised; monitors behavior of students and reports to the principal any flagrant issues or problems; reports evidence of suspected child abuse to authorities and supervises non-classroom activities and when assigned.
Education and Training Requirements: A bachelor’s degree is required in any course is required for substitute teachers. Some may hold master’s degrees in teaching or education. A bachelor’s degree, background check and an evaluation are needed to be a certified substitute teacher.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: A substitute teacher needs to be patient, kind and fair to her students. A good sense of humor helps a lot especially when dealing with teens. She needs to be flexible and consistent to the needs and personality of the student.
Working Conditions: Working conditions vary per school since the substitute teacher doesn’t have a regular school to teach. Generally the teacher works in the classroom on a well lighted quiet and comfortable environment. On duty, she follows a regular work schedule. She sometimes attends meetings and cooperates with other teachers on special occasions.
Salary: A substitute teacher makes $38,000 annually on average. Factors like size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may cause salaries to vary considerably amongst substitute teachers.