How to become a substitute teacher in Texas
What if we told you that there is a job out there that will let you:
- Set your own availability and hours.
- Earn as much as $120 per day.
- Give back to your community.
- Be yourself.
Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Then you may want to look into substitute teaching.
For those living in Texas or considering a move to the state, becoming a substitute teacher is an opportunity that not only allows you to balance your work, family and personal life, but also immediately impacts students’ lives in your community.
No matter your previous job experience or the degree programs you have pursued, it’s easy to get started as a substitute teacher and gain the freedom and professional life you want and deserve.
The substitute teaching experience, the role subs play in schools, and even the tools subs have at their disposal have evolved to reflect the current needs of subs and schools, giving you more control over your subbing career.
Ready to learn more?
You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn why you should consider becoming a substitute teacher and how Swing makes it easy from end to end.
Why should you consider becoming a substitute teacher?
Whether you’re considering a career in education, looking to give back to your community, or craving the flexibility to pursue your passions, substitute teaching should be on your short list.
In addition to being a rewarding career path that values each educator's experience, personality, and background, substitute teaching can give back to you just as much as you give to your students.
Even better, becoming a substitute teacher has never been easier or more in-demand than it is today.
When you become a substitute, you will earn more for your time, have more options for when and where you choose to substitute, and have more resources to make your experience impactful.
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What are the benefits of becoming a substitute teacher?
Whether you want to work with students one day a month, every day, or anything in between, you’ll find that being a substitute teacher comes with plenty of benefits.
For example, you will discover that you are:
- Making a difference in your community and students’ lives.
- Helping school districts who need talented people like you.
- Giving yourself the flexibility to pursue other personal or professional goals with the ability to set your own schedule and availability.
- Earning a good salary ranging from about $85 to more than $130 per day and, in some school districts, other non-cash benefits.
- Gaining valuable experience in teaching and classroom management that you can take with you, no matter your next role.
- Taking on new challenges every day, including different grade levels, schools and topic areas.
- Learning more about yourself!
No matter where your journey has taken you and where you hope to go next, substitute teaching is a flexible and rewarding full-time career or additional option for those looking to balance several part-time positions.
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What requirements do you need to meet to become a substitute teacher in Texas?
Becoming a substitute teacher in Texas mostly depends on the school district(s) you want to work in. There isn’t a permit or set of qualifications determined by the state.*
However, there are some qualifications that a substitute teacher candidate has to meet to be considered for the role. These include:
- A high school diploma or GED.
- College credit hours (requirements range from 60 credit hours to more than 90).
- Passing a fingerprint-based criminal background check completed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
- Completing a training course or attending an orientation session.
- Obtaining references or letters of recommendation.
Beyond these formal requirements, your background, age, experience and personality can also be assets. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, share your love of learning and bring your unique approach and stories to the classroom.
Swing makes it easy for substitute teacher candidates to move efficiently through the application process and access multiple schools. In fact, it takes just a couple of minutes to complete our background questionnaire, and one of our team members will then guide you through the next steps.
*To learn about those specific qualifications, we recommend finding the contact information for your target school districts via the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) School District Locator map.
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How can you stand out as a substitute teacher candidate?
So you meet all the requirements to become a substitute teacher, and you know you have the drive to make a difference in the classroom.
But you want to do more than clear the bar — you want to stand out, right?
Here are our top tips and best practices for a strong application:
Show your personality
Being a teacher is more than just following a lesson plan; it is about bringing together your personality, skills, patience and experience to make concepts come alive for your students.
Don’t be afraid to approach the role in your own way. There’s no other teacher like you.
Do your homework
There are many school districts and schools to choose from, and you are likely more drawn to one than others. Take the time to learn about the school’s administrators, recent successes and goals to demonstrate why you are a good fit.
Once you receive an assignment, it's likely you'll get lesson plans from the teacher. On the off chance you don't, it's always good to have a backup plan ready for your class if students move through the material quickly or if another approach may convey the lesson more effectively.
Demonstrate your openness to diversity
Students come from a range of educational, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Highlight your experiences working with diverse groups of students so you fit seamlessly into the classroom.
Be ready to hit the ground running
Just like any big assignment, the night before isn’t the time to prepare for your substitute teaching role. As you meet with different schools, showcase how you’ve prepared for both the academic and classroom management elements of the job so that you’re ready on day one.
Want to take it to the next level?
Ask to speak with current substitute and full-time teachers so you can get recommendations for resources and learn the school’s quirks ahead of time.
Give specific examples
During the training or screening process, you may be asked to give examples to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be a successful teacher. When you answer:
- Provide a brief description of the situation.
- Be specific about your role.
- Give concrete outcomes from your work, if you’re able.
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How does Swing Education make applying to become a substitute teacher easier?
Whether you’re getting ready for that exciting first day or you’re a seasoned sub looking for more control over your subbing experience, Swing Education makes onboarding and applying easier throughout the whole process.
Instead of looking at school district job boards, filling out duplicate copies of applications and juggling different scheduling platforms, Swing brings it all together into one intuitive application.
Streamline applications with Swing
When you’re ready to start your new career as a Swing sub, here’s how you can easily get started:
Start by completing the onboarding questionnaire, which will make its way to a Swing onboarding advisor. They will then guide you through the requirements you must meet and materials you need to complete.
During the onboarding process, you can note the Texas school districts where you want to work. Our advisors will ensure you have all the information needed to select the teaching roles you want in as little as two weeks, including public, private, and charter schools.
Get the sub jobs you want
Say goodbye to waiting until the night before to find out where and what you’ll be teaching. With Swing, we give you the tools you need to have more control over your subbing experience, all in one platform.
Once you’re on board, we:
- Take your preferences and skills into account to align you to the best-fit positions.
- Let you sort openings based on criteria such as:
- Commute time
- Grade level
- School location
- School subject
- Allow you to create saved searches and a “School Favorites” list.
- Provide access to training, resources and more throughout the year.
In other words, you can choose your assignments easier and faster, without all the paperwork, last-minute surprises or juggling of temp agencies or job boards.
We’re excited to get to know you and learn more about who you are and where you would like to teach.
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