Substitute teachers in Montana do not have to be licensed in order to teach, though preference is given to licensed teachers. An unlicensed teacher can work up to 35 consecutive days, but after that time, the position may be given to a licensed teacher instead.
Montana Salary Information and Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Montana (2017)*||$22,930|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Bachelor's degrees are not required for substitute teachers, but since preference is given to licensed teachers and only licensed teachers may work over 35 consecutive days, future substitutes should consider becoming licensed. Students need to enroll in an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. Depending on the age group students want to teach, there are different programs that will fit every applicant's needs. All programs will provide some basic educational courses to give students a solid background to draw from including:
- Education and Democracy
- Philosophical, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Education
- Teaching Writing
- Teaching Oral Language and Media Literacy
Each program will also include a student-teaching component. Students will also complete a course called Indian Education for All, which aims to prepare students to teach American Indian culture and heritage.
Step 2: Pass All Assessments
If a teacher wants to become licensed, the next step is to complete the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge. This assessment system is unique to the state and it evaluates students in areas including GPA, Praxis testing, and student teaching. Each area of the assessment is scored, and teachers are expected to score at least a 7 overall. For example, the Praxis testing portion of this assessment requires teachers to take all applicable content exams. Most required scores on these content exams are in the 150 range, which then translates to a score of a 3 in the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge. Together with the student teaching portion and the GPA portion, teachers should score the necessary 7 and pass the entire Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge.
Step 3: Complete the Certification Application
Finally, all teachers will turn in the applicable pieces of the certification application. Teachers who have not pursued their licenses will need to provide proof of at least three hours of training, their high school diploma, and the results from their background check. Teachers with licenses will fill out an online application with all forms attached (including a university recommendation and a notary page). All official transcripts and Praxis scores can be emailed or mailed to the state's Department of Education, and proof of completion of the Indian Education for All in Montana is also required. When all of these materials have been submitted, teachers will be ready to find a substitute position.
Study Resources for Future Montana Teachers
If you do decide to get licensed before applying for substitute positions, there are many tools to help you prepare for the Praxis exams. Check out the links below for some sample guides and practice problems.