How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Wisconsin

Read about the different permits available for future substitute teachers. Find out what it takes to earn a Three-Year or a Five-Year permit and discover more about substitute teaching in Wisconsin.

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The state of Wisconsin grants Three-Year permits and Five-Year Permits to substitute teachers. These permits have different requirements and result in different career trajectories as explained below.

Wisconsin Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Wisconsin (2017)* $33,830
Required Degree Bachelor's or Associate's degree
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements edTPA
Praxis content exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

The two types of substitute permits in Wisconsin enable teachers to do slightly different things. Three-Year Permits are the right fit for anyone who has yet to complete an approved, accredited teacher-preparation program but has completed a degree program. However, teachers with Three-Year Permits can only complete assignments up to 45 days in length.

Students aiming to pursue Five-Year Permits will need to graduate with a degree and complete a teacher-preparation program. Five-Year Permits allow substitutes to stay on with a particular assignment beyond 45 days. There are multiple options available in-state, and most programs will offer pedagogical courses to help give students a better understanding of teaching. Some courses might be:

  • Introduction to Schooling in a Diverse Society
  • Theory of Ethics
  • Instructional Technologies
  • Teaching Methods for Diverse Learners

Students who complete teacher preparation programs will also complete student-teaching before graduation.

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Step 2: Take All Required Tests

For teachers pursuing the Five-Year Permit, the next step is to complete all required tests. The list of tests varies slightly depending on the age group one hopes to teach, but the following exams are required for everyone. Firstly, the edTPA is mandatory. This assessment takes the form of a portfolio and it evaluates educators on their student-teaching work. It currently costs $300.

Next, depending on the requirements of the preparation program in question, teachers may be required to take Praxis content exams, create a content portfolio, or demonstrate a GPA of at least 3.0 in the content area in which they hope to teach. Specific requirements vary by program, so it is important to check with an advisor before making any decisions.

Step 3: Turn in the Application

After teachers have completed all educational requirements for the permit they hope to earn, they will be ready to begin the application process. Regardless of the permit in question, all applicants will complete a background check and fill out the application online through Wisconsin's ELO system. Applicants will be prompted to fill out a Conduct and Competency questionnaire, upload specific documents, and pay the appropriate application fee. Once the application is submitted, teachers are qualified to search for positions in the state.

Study Resources for Future Wisconsin Substitutes

If you decide to enroll in a teacher preparation program and take the applicable tests, it is important to begin studying early. Take a look at some of the links below for more information on Praxis exams and practice questions.

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