How to Become a New York State Substitute Teacher

Discover how to become a substitute teacher in the state of New York. Learn about the requirements, application process, and alternative pathways, as well as salary information. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for Substitute Teachers in New York

Those looking to substitute teach should hold state teacher certification or evidence of study towards one to be able to teach in any capacity. Those without a background in teaching can still substitute but can't work more than 40 days per year in the same school district. In New York City, substitutes have a different set of rules.

General State Requirements Hold a New York State teaching certificate or in the process of working towards a certificate
Alternative Limitations 40 days
Renewal Requirements None
New York Average Annual Salary (2018)* $40,360 for substitute teachers
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% for all teacher assistants nationwide

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

General Conditions for Substitute Teaching in New York

Most school districts in New York do not require an exclusive license to become a substitute teacher. Those with a teaching certificate or working towards a certificate can serve as short-term or long-term subs. They can apply to the school directly, and each school may have its own additional local requirements.

Evidence of Study Towards Certification

Substitute teaching applicants in the state of New York who fall under the category of 'working towards certification' must provide evidence of study in a state-approved teacher preparation program. Such programs are designed to equip aspiring teachers with the right knowledge, practices, and mentorship to teach in the subject area of their choice. These programs are available as undergraduate and graduate degrees, and students are recommended for certification by their college or university upon completion of their degree. Graduates can then go on obtain an initial or professional teaching license.

A complete list of state-approved teacher preparation programs can be found in the Inventory of Registered Programs, accessed via the New York State Education Department's website.

Alternative Pathways

Those who neither hold a New York State teaching certificate nor are working towards one may still be employed as a substitute teacher, in any capacity and in any number of school districts. However, these roles are limited to a maximum of 40 days in a single school district.

In the case of urgent circumstances, a substitute teacher without the standard eligibility requirements may extend their role for up to an additional 50 days (totaling to 90 days in a school year).

Substitute Teaching in New York City

To apply for a substitute teaching position in New York City, you must be nominated by the school's principal and hold a substitute license. To achieve this, you must contact your chosen school(s) directly, scheduling an appropriate interview. Candidates for such roles are chosen based on the subject area, special requirements involved (i.e. foreign language proficiency), location, schedule, and number of vacancies. Once nominated, you will receive an email from the New York Department of Education with instructions on completing the online application. You will then receive another e-mail detailing the next steps to acquiring your new role - including completing the necessary employment forms, background checks and other legislative requirements.

Renewing Your Substitute Status

There are no stipulations for renewal in most New York State districts, but in New York City, one must provide proof of at least 20 days of service in their role during the school year to renew their status as a substitute teacher for the next school year. A 'satisfactory' rating from the schools they work in must also be maintained, as well as evidence of good standing. If you're working towards your teacher certification and work more than 40 days, you must alternatively provide proof of your teacher education courses, totaling at least 6 credits during the year or a maximum of 21 credits.

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