How to Become a Substitute Teacher in West Virginia

Jan 02, 2019

If you have any interest in taking over for teachers who may need to take a leave of absence or need to tend to a family emergency, become a substitute. Consider the following article to help you understand the difference between substitute permits in West Virginia.

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In 2017, there were 3,190 employed substitute teachers in West Virginia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read the following article if you'd like to learn how to take that career path.

Requirements for West Virginia Substitute Teachers

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers in West Virginia (2017)* $36,430
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements None

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Understand the Substitute Positions

There are two types of substitute positions available in West Virginia, short term and long term. It's important to be aware of these two types, since they have different requirements. Also, you should be aware that there is no certification in West Virginia like there is in some other states. Instead, you will receive a permit that is valid for three years at a time. The short-term substitute permit allows you to work in a single classroom for no more than 30 consecutive days, while a long term is for those who will teach for longer than 30 consecutive days. Let's take a closer look at the requirements for each of these permits.

Short-Term Substitute Teaching Permit Requirement

West Virginia asks that any substitute teachers have completed a bachelor's degree. There is no specific area that you need to study if you want to be a short-term sub. Education will give you the basic classroom understanding needed to successfully manage a classroom of strangers. This could also set you on another path toward full-time licensure at some point. In order to eligible to work with students, you must have a GPA of no less than 2.0 throughout your education program.

You will apply with each school district to obtain a short-term sub position. You will also need to complete the initial substitute teacher training available online through the West Virginia Department of Education prior to taking on a position.

Long-Term Substitute Teaching Permit Requirement

It is important to understand that a long-term substitute permit asks for the same requirements as a short-term sub permit. That means you'll need a bachelor's degree with a GPA of no less than 2.0 and completion of the initial substitute teacher training through WVDE website. However, in order to work long-term in a classroom, you must have more experience with the subject you wish to teach. For this reason, you'll need to align your education and position applications.

You must have at least 12 credit hours in the subject/grade you plan to teach. If you want to sub for a chemistry teacher who is going out for knee surgery, you better have 12 or more credits of chemistry-based courses within your bachelor's degree program. These credits must also be over a 2.0 GPA. However, if you want to sub for an elementary teacher who is going on maternity leave, you will need very specific course requirements. Those 12 credit hours must include at least one math course, with the rest consisting of English, science, and social studies classes.

Step 2: Fingerprint and Background Check

West Virginia requires all first-time applicants - including permit applicants - to be fingerprinted and have a background check completed. Fill out Form 7 to give consent for the FBI and state police in West Virginia to run a background check. You'll then find a local MorphoTrust LiveScan center to be fingerprinted.

West Virginia Substitute Teacher Certification Resources

Though substitute teachers are not required to take any exams for proof of knowledge, having resources available are helpful. Should you choose to continue down that alternative path for full-time licensing, you may need these resources.

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