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How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Delaware

Though each school district in Delaware has its own requirements for substitute teachers, readers can learn more about the possible education and testing requirements.

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In the state of Delaware, public school districts, rather than the state Department of Education, set their own standards and requirements for substitute teacher candidates, so prospective substitute teachers should ultimately contact the specific school to which they wish to apply and learn more about their unique requirements. We discuss here some of the more common elements required by Delaware school districts, including a state certification, a teacher education program, a basic skills exam from Praxis, and an extensive background check.

Certification Requirements for Delaware Substitute Teachers

Average Salary for Delaware Substitute Teachers (2016)* $24,420
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Complete the Required Education

Some school districts in Delaware are happy to accept substitute teacher candidates who have at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university. These districts do not necessarily demand those courses be in teacher education, but they may seek a candidate who has some experience working with students in a classroom. Other districts may require applicants to hold a Delaware teaching certificate or at least a bachelor's degree. To earn teacher certification in Delaware, individuals must complete a teacher education program, whether it is in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, or special education.

Whether you wish to simply take college courses in your chosen field and apply those to the education requirements of certain school districts, or you want to work towards your Delaware teacher certification in order to be considered highly qualified to teach, it may be valuable to take at least some courses in education. These classes will expose you to topics such as: human development, cultural diversity in a classroom, curriculum development, technology as a tool for teaching, and learning assessments.

Some of these teacher education programs even offer prospective educators the chance to enter a classroom and work with an established teacher. This student teaching experience allows students to apply the instructional concepts they learned in class as they develop lesson plans, engage in classroom management, and teach at their chosen grade levels.

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Step Two: Pass the (Potentially) Required Exam

If the school district requires its substitute teachers to hold a Delaware teaching certificate, candidates will have to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) exam. To pass, examinees must earn at least a 156 on the reading subtest, a 162 on the writing section, and a 150 on the mathematics portion. To take all three subtests at once can take individuals at least four and a half hours.

The reading section is comprised of 56 questions that expand your knowledge of concepts like: finding the main ideas and supporting evidence, determining the tone of a piece of writing, and establishing the connections between two different pieces. The writing subtest is made up of 40 questions and two essay assignments. These cover topics such as: writing argumentatively, supporting claims, considering an audience, using proper grammar, and revising a piece. The final subtest focuses on math and includes 56 questions, all of which test your grasp of ratios, fractions, algebraic expressions, variables, geometry, and statistics.

Step Three: Submit to Background Checks

Because anyone who spends unsupervised time with students in a classroom must undergo a background check, Delaware school districts require future substitute teachers to submit to fingerprinting. The Delaware State Bureau of Identification will run your fingerprints for a state-level look at your criminal records, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation will run them to obtain your federal criminal records. Both must show a clean record in order to be employed at any school in Delaware.

Link for Prospective Delaware Substitute Teachers

As part of the Delaware certification some school districts require, substitute teacher candidates may have to complete the Praxis Core exam, and the link below offers study materials to make preparing for this standardized exam a bit easier.

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