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How to become a substitute teacher in Washington, D.C.


Are you interested in full or part-time work that allows you to:

  • Take control of your work schedule
  • Earn as much as $213 per day
  • Give back to your community
  • Find your passion 

If we’ve gotten your attention, then we recommend finding how to become a substitute teacher in Washington, D.C.

As the capital of the United States and a cultural center for the country, Washington, D.C. is home to many schools that serve the children of government officials and local residents. Like most of the country, the city has a high demand for substitute teachers to cover expected and unexpected classroom vacancies. 

If you live in Washington, D.C., substitute teaching is a great way to get involved in your local community, balance professional and personal interests, and supplement your income.  

Ready to learn more? You’ve come to the right place. Find out why you should consider becoming a substitute teacher and how Swing helps you every step of the way. 

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Chapter 1

Why should you become a substitute teacher?

Substitute teaching can be a rewarding and fulfilling career for a variety of reasons. First, it allows you to work with children and help them learn and grow. You can make a positive impact on their lives and help them succeed in school. 

Second, substitute teaching can provide flexibility in your work schedule. You can choose when and where you want to work, allowing you to balance your work and personal life. 

Third, substitute teaching can be a great way to gain experience in education if you are considering becoming a teacher or pursuing a related career.

Finally, becoming a substitute teacher has never been easier or and there has never been a greater need for the role than there is today. 

When you become a substitute, you control how much you make by choosing how often you work, you can pick where and when you sub, and you have access to resources to make your experience as successful and rewarding as possible.


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The complete guide to becoming a substitute teacher in Washington, D.C.

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Chapter 2

What are the benefits of becoming a substitute teacher?

Whether you want to work with students on a regular basis or a few times a month, becoming a substitute teacher in Washington, D.C. comes with several benefits.

Here are just a few of the ways being a substitute teacher can positively impact your life:

  • Competitive pay: Substitute teachers in D.C. can earn between $69 and $213 per day, depending on their level of education and experience.
  • Flexible schedule: Substitute teachers have the option to choose when and where they work, allowing them to work around their personal schedule.
  • Valuable experience: Substitute teaching can provide you with valuable experience in the education field, which can be helpful if you are considering pursuing a career in education.
  • Opportunity for growth: Substitute teachers can develop new skills and knowledge through working in different schools and with different age groups.
  • Community Impact: You’re helping solve a nation-wide teacher staffing shortage.

Substitute teaching is a flexible and rewarding career. Whether you are looking for full-time or part-time work and have career goals beyond the classroom, substitute teaching can be a valuable milestone in your career trajectory.


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Substitute teacher requirements in Washington, D.C. with capital building in background

Chapter 3

What are the requirements to become a substitute teacher in Washington, D.C.?

To substitute teach in Washington D.C., you do not need a specific substitute teacher permit, and a teaching certificate is also not required.

Here are the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher in Washington, D.C.

  • 60 credit hours or more in lieu of a conferred degree,
  • 1-2 years’ experience working with students in a classroom setting, or
  • Experience as a retired teacher in DCPS and other U.S. school districts, or
  • A professional reference letter if you have less than 1 year work experience,
  • A fingerprint-based FBI/DOJ background check, and
  • An application to substitute teach

If you choose to become a substitute teacher with Swing, we make 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.


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Chapter 4

How can you get hired as a substitute teacher?

If you meet the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher and you are ready to apply for jobs, here are a few things to keep in mind so you stand out as a strong candidate.

Show your individuality

Teaching is about more than following a lesson plan.

Success in the classroom is about bringing together your personality, your background experience, and an endless well of patience to bring concepts to life for your students.

Feel empowered to approach the role in your own way. Expressing yourself in the classroom and being a successful substitute teacher are not mutually exclusive.

Research ahead of time

Do you want to teach at a charter school or a large metropolitan school district? What about high schoolers or elementary school students? These are all good things to know before applying for substitute teaching jobs.

Do your research and determine what school setting aligns best with your interests or skills. It’s also worth researching individual schools in your community: knowing about their administrators, recent successes, and initiatives can help you start off on the right foot.

Once you receive your first sub assignment, here’s what you can expect on your first day as a substitute teacher. It’s likely that you will get lesson plans from the teacher who is out, but if you need a backup plan, here are some activities to keep students on task and engaged.

Honor the diverse students in your classroom

Students come from a range of educational, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Just like you have your own background and experiences that you bring to the classroom, it’s important to recognize and honor that your students bring their own unique identities to the classroom as well.

Be prepared from the start

Before you start substitute teaching, it helps to know what you might encounter on the other side of the classroom door.

Brush up on your classroom management skills and get a sense of what a typical day looks like for substitute teachers.

If you want even more information, you can request to speak with current substitute or full-time teachers or even join an online community for substitute teachers.

Draw from past experience

During the interview and training process, you may be asked to use examples from your previous work experiences to demonstrate your success as a substitute teacher. When you answer:

  • Briefly describe the project or situation
  • Be specific about your role and contributions
  • Site concrete examples and outcomes


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Chapter 5

How does Swing Education make it easy to become a substitute teacher?

Whether you’re preparing for your first day as a substitute teacher or you’re a seasoned sub looking for more flexibility and control over your career as a sub, Swing Education makes makes the process of becoming a substitute teacher easier, from onboarding to finding substitute assignments.

Instead of looking for jobs at individual schools or districts, filling out duplicate copies of applications and juggling different schools schedules and assignments, Swing brings it all together on one intuitive platform.

Streamline applications with Swing

When you’re ready to substitute teach with Swing, here’s how to get started: complete the onboarding questionnaire, which will make its way to a Swing onboarding advisor. They will then guide you through the requirements and application process.

During the onboarding process, 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:
    • Location
    • 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.

Ready to become a Swing sub?

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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