How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Virginia

Jan 02, 2019

Substitute teachers are an important part of keeping a school running smoothly, even when a traditional teacher cannot make it in. If you'd like to be one of these helpers that allow the school to keep running during emergencies, look at the article below for tips.

In 2017, Virginia employed roughly 27,870 substitute teachers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of June 2018, there was no Virginia state licensing for substitute teachers. Here, we'll discuss the requirements necessary to become a substitute teacher in Virginia.

Requirements for Virginia Substitute Teachers

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers in U.S. (2017)* $31,510
Required Degree High School Diploma
Required Field N/A
Testing Requirements None

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Meet Age Requirements

In order to be a substitute teacher, you must meet very few requirements according to the state. One of the only state-required prerequisites is that you be over the age of 18. This is likely to guarantee that teachers will not be teaching fellow classmates, and to guarantee they have completed at least some sort of education requirement. In the next section, we'll look at the only other state requirement.

Step 2: Complete Education Requirements

Every school district in Virginia must decide what they want their requirements to be for teachers. The different localities of Virginia do vary greatly, so the most important thing to remember is that you must check with the school district you are applying to. Virginia Department of Education does require you to have completed a high school program prior to applying as a substitute teacher. This guarantees basic knowledge and shows that you can follow instructions from supervising teachers and administration.

Since all school districts make their own criteria, it may be a good idea to continue your education. Many schools prefer to see some college completed, while other districts may ask for an associate's degree or even a bachelor's degree. If possible, try to take a college-level course in classroom technology, as this is often a helpful skill to have and is a requirement for professional teacher licensure.

Step 3: Complete Other Required Training

Again, there are no specific training areas for the state as a whole. Each locality and school district are in charge of their requirements. However, you can better prepare yourself by following the guidelines that professional teachers seeking licensing do. Depending on your school district's criteria, one of the following training programs may be required. These are the training that all teachers in Virginia must complete:

  • Certification in CPR/AED/first aid
  • Child abuse and neglect recognition training (CANT) offered for free online by the Department of Social Services
  • Dyslexia awareness training offered for free by the Department of Education.

Certification Resources for Virginia Substitute Teachers

Becoming a substitute teacher does not mean you are exempt from exams. You may find you want to take some of the exams other teachers do if at some point you want to seek professional teaching licensure. If you want practice with some of the important Virginia Praxis exams, this list of links can help you.

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