During a teacher shortage, qualified substitutes are tasked to fill classroom vacancies. In a stretch, this can include substitutes who hold a college degree unrelated to education. Through a limited licensure or emergency certification program, these degreed individuals may help to fill the void left by teacher vacancies, further depleting the number of individuals available to substitute. So if there is such a high demand, should you consider hiring a substitute teacher without a degree? Let’s take a look at this timely question.
The Variable Qualifications for Substitute Teachers
Each district sets the qualifications for substitute teachers based on state laws and district-wide preferences. One of the first and most important qualifications is the educational requirement, which can vary widely. Some districts only require a high school diploma or GED, while other districts require an education degree and teaching certificate. In between are the districts that accept an unrelated bachelor’s degree, or those that require the completion of a minimum of 60 to 90 college credits.
Certification or licensure is required for substitutes in some districts, while others have no such requirement. Still others have special requirements for long-term substitutes, including the completion of education courses or a degree and/or certification in the subject area to be taught. Meanwhile, criminal background checks are universal, though each state dictates how these are conducted. And some states add TB testing or a drug screen to the list of prerequisites.
On top of all of this, district qualifications for substitutes are constantly being changed and adapted, so what was true last year for the recruiting process may no longer be the case. Should you hire a substitute teacher without a degree? Even if you could last year, you might not be able to now (conversely, that requirement may have been lifted since you last checked, broadening your potential pool of substitutes). To simplify the recruiting process and make sure you are always remaining compliant with your district requirements and maintaining access to highly qualified staff, it’s best to use the help of an educational staffing agency.
How an Educational Staffing Agency Can Help to Simplify the Process
Regardless of your district’s requirements, contracting the services of a substitute teacher staffing agency will help conserve time and money while filling empty classrooms. A quality agency will be knowledgeable of the up-to-date district and state educational requirements for substitutes, no matter where in the country you are located. They should also have the recruiting process down to a science with staff and processes dedicated to enlisting candidates with the necessary qualifications.
Besides recruitment, another strength in partnering with an educational management agency is the induction and orientation process. Regardless of whether your district requires substitute teachers to have earned an education degree, an unrelated degree, or something less than a college degree, all substitute teachers benefit from training that orients them to the district where they will be teaching. A good education-exclusive staffing agency assumes responsibility for this task, training new recruits before releasing them for their first assignment.
Whether your state requires substitute teacher candidates to have earned an education degree or not, the onboarding process is critically important. Through targeted recruitment and finely-tuned training, an effective staffing agency will cultivate a pool of substitute teachers armed with the knowledge and skills they need to establish effective classroom management and support continuity of instruction.
Contact ESS for help cutting through the red tape when it comes to substitute teacher requirements. With abundant experience in K-12 staffing and mindful of the requirements in your district, we recruit and train professional substitute teachers that meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
Phil has been supporting school districts across the country for more than 12 years. He works hands-on with districts implementing customized solutions to improve their substitute teacher and support staff programs. When he’s not increasing districts’ fill rates, Phil can be found swinging his clubs on a golf course.