How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019

Substitute teaching can be a hectic job, but the value of a substitute teacher cannot be understated. Discover what you need to do to substitute teach in Massachusetts, including educational requirements and the potential need for a license.

Substitute teachers are considered short-term employees in Massachusetts if they are employed for a period of less than 90 days. Job requirements will vary depending on the school district and educational agency.

Requirements for Substitute Teachers in Massachusetts

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers in Massachusetts (2017)* $32,020
Required Degree No requirements for substitute teachers
Degree Field N/A
Testing Requirements No exams required for substitute teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Get a Basic Education

At this time, there are no formal educational requirements to work as a substitute teacher in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. As with any department, it will benefit you to check with each individual school district or educational agency to find out specific requirements. If you are considering a career as a full-time educator, you might consider starting with an associate degree, which only takes two years and can give you an idea of what to expect out of a four-year program. For example, an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts: Elementary Education can offer a wide assortment of courses, including education in American society, child development, and children's literature. Later, an associate degree's credits can be applied toward most accredited four-year degrees. A Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education includes upper-level courses such as classroom management, principles of teaching and learning, and elementary curriculum and instruction. Four-year programs will include a teacher education practicum, allowing you to experience life as a student teacher on your way to earning a teacher's license.

Step 2: Search for a Job

Substitute teachers are typically called on short notice. To maximize your availability, you could branch out and find contact information for each local educational agency (LEA) or school district within the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The human resources section for each school district is a great place to start, as is any recruitment portals found on the department website. Ensure that your resume is updated with any new education info and work experience that may be beneficial to your potential employment. If you decide to enter a degree program in the education field, working as a short-term substitute teacher may boost your resume for future job opportunities.

Step 3: Get Your License and Pass MTLE Exams

Substitute teachers working longer than a period of 90 days are required to hold a license or obtain a hardship waiver. Massachusetts offers a provisional license to educators who hold a bachelor's degree and have passed any necessary Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs). This license is valid for five years and cannot be renewed. If a teacher holds a provisional license but has not chosen a subject matter knowledge MTEL, they must complete a competency review form, available on the Massachusetts website. Holding a Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement is not necessary for the provisional license.

Additional Resources for Substitute Teachers in Massachusetts

If you are called in to be a substitute teacher, has the tools you need to brush up on your knowledge of the classes you will be teaching, as well as resources for lesson plans and classroom activities. Check out some examples on the list below:

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