How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Florida

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If you are interested in learning how to become a substitute teacher in Florida, the following information will help guide you through the process.

Florida Substitute Teaching Requirements

To become a substitute teacher in Florida, here's what you'll need:

  • A specific district to which you will be applying
  • A complete substitute teacher certification application
  • Either a valid Department of Education Teaching Certificate or a Substitute Teaching Endorsement.
  • A criminal background check

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Select Your District and Complete a Substitute Teacher Application

Depending on where you want to teach in Florida, the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher may differ. The Florida Department of Education has a list of Florida School Districts. Use this to select the school districts where you are interested in teaching and attain their contact information. You'll then need to visit each school's office to obtain a Substitute Teacher Application Packet or download one from their websites (if available). Application paperwork will vary by school district. For example Sarasota County Public Schools paperwork includes:

  • Annual Registration Form
  • W-4 for tax withholding
  • I-9
  • Acceptance of Copyright Guidelines
  • Payroll Deduction Authorization for Drug Screen cost
  • Retirement Clarification form
  • Social Security Exemption form
  • Oath of Loyalty
  • Code of Ethics
  • Right to Know About Toxic Substances form
  • Substitute Disclaimer.

Teacher Certification or Substitute Endorsement Program

All Florida school districts require a Substitute Teaching Endorsement or a valid Department of Education Teaching Certificate. Applicants can qualify for Teacher Certification by following the steps set forth by the Steps to Florida Substitute Teacher Certification. These are:

  1. Complete Application Package
  2. Official Statement of Status of Eligibility
  3. Employment Step
  4. Fingerprints

You may also have to complete a Substitute Teacher Endorsement Program offered by some districts.

Criminal Background Check and Fingerprint Clearance Card

All substitute teachers in Florida must submit to a criminal background check. In most cases, applicants can have fingerprints taken through the school district's personnel office for employment and certification purposes. More information on submitting fingerprints for Florida substitute teacher certification may be found on the Florida Department of Education website.

Obtain Official College Transcripts

You'll need your original college transcripts showing you have a bachelor's degree in order to receive your substitute in Florida. If you do not have a degree, you may consider getting an online bachelor's degree in education. Submit your official transcript with your substitute teacher application.

Special Training

As with all other requirements, special training for SUbstitute Teacher Endorsement is dictated by school districts. Therefore, you should check with each school district about their special trianing requirements. For example, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools district requires applicants to complete a two-day training in school safety and security procedures, educational liability laws, professional responsibilities, ethics, classroom management and instruction, while Seminole County offers a half-day class and Orange County requires a six-hour training class.

Letters of Recommendation

Many Florida school districts ask you to submit letters of recomendation with an application for substitute teaching. Many ask you for at least three references so it is probably a good idea to get 2-3 letters of recommendation, as most school districts will require these recommendations at the time of application.

Substitute Teacher Pay in Florida

Rates for substitute teaching in Florida varies by district and by education level, and type of teaching certification. Check with the specific district for specifics.

Resources for Substitute Teaching in Florida

Florida Department of Education
Bureau of Educator Certification
Suite 201 Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
(800) 445-6739

Learn how to become a substitute teacher in another state, or click on one of these neighboring states below.