Requirements for Becoming a Substitute Teacher in Georgia

Substitute teachers fill the role of the regular teacher while the teacher is absent or in cases where a class does not have a regular teacher. Read on for the requirements to become a substitute teacher in Georgia. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Georgia Substitute Teacher Requirements

Substitute teachers in Georgia don't need certification. However, varying degrees of education and/or training are required, with priority being given to the most highly qualified. Individuals with qualifications lower down the priority list may still be employed if they have previously demonstrated a high-quality of service and/or have the relevant field experience.

Education/Experience Required Minimum high school diploma or GED certificate; priority given to individuals with valid or expired teaching certificates
Other requirements Background check (fingerprinting)
Mean Salary (2018) $25,200*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 10% (for teachers and instructors, all other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

Substitute teachers are employed to take over teaching a class when the regular teacher is absent. They may also be hired for a temporary period when a class does not have a regular, permanent teacher. In Georgia, anyone wishing to be placed on the substitute teacher list must first be approved by a local education agency. The specific duties of a substitute teacher will vary according to the needs of the school and class that they are taking over for but may include providing instruction, reinforcing classroom rules, monitoring student behavior and communicating with parents. In short, they are responsible for ensuring the continuity of education and maintaining the regular schedule and routine of a school. Substitute teaching is an on-call position.

Education Requirements

In Georgia, substitute teachers do not need to hold a state certification. However, there are educational requirements. At minimum, substitute teachers must hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent. In addition, anyone who has not held a Georgia professional teaching or paraprofessional certificate must receive four hours' worth of substitute teacher training from the local school district where they will be employed. However, priority will be given to those with the highest qualifications.

The top-ranked qualifications are as follows:

  • An initial or professional teaching certificate (both valid and expired certificates are accepted)
  • Eligibility for either of the certificates listed above, plus a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • A valid Georgia Retired Educator certificate

If substitute teacher applicants do not possess any of the above, priority will then be given first to individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution and then to those with at least one year of postsecondary training, a high school diploma, and finally a GED, in that order.

Teaching Restrictions

If a substitute teacher in Georgia only holds a high school diploma or GED certificate, he or she will not be eligible to work in the same classroom for more than 10 days in a row. In addition, if the regular teacher is absent for 46 consecutive days or more in a school year, only a teacher certified to teach in that field can take on the role.

Background Checks

In order to be professionally employed in a Georgia school, an FBI background check with fingerprinting is required. This applies to individuals working in public and private schools as well as charter schools and systems. Applicants may receive instructions for completing this process once their application has been approved by a local school or district.

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