To become a substitute teacher in Florida you need:
- A complete substitute teacher certification application
- Either a valid Department of Education Teaching Certificate or a Substitute Teaching Endorsement.
- A criminal background check
Complete a Substitute Teacher Application
Depending on what district you want to teach in, the requirements may differ. The Florida Department of Education has a list of Florida School Districts. Use this to obtain the contact information for the school districts where you are interested in teaching. You then need to visit each school’s office to obtain a Substitute Teacher Application Packet or download one from their website. As an example Sarasota County Public Schools paperwork includes:
- Annual Registration Form
- W-4 for tax withholding
- 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:
- Complete Application Package
- Official Statement of Status of Eligibility
You may also have to complete a Substitute Teacher Endorsement Program offered by some districts.
Criminal Background Check and Fingerprint Clearance Card
To begin substitute teaching in Florida you 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
Next collect your original college transcripts showing you have a bachelor’s degree. Submit your official transcripts with your substitute teacher application.
Special training for your substitute teacher endorsement is dictated by school district. When you contact your school districts be sure to ask about their special training 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. Seminole County offers a half-day class and Orange County only requires a six-hour training class.
Letters of Recommendation
Many Florida school districts ask you to submit letters of recommendation along with your application for substitute teaching. It is a good idea to get 2-3 letters of recommendation for professionalism and because most school districts will require these recommendations at the time of application.
Substitute Teacher Pay in Florida
Rates for substitute teaching in Florida vary by district and by education level, and type of teaching certification. As an example, Seminole county Florida pay starts at $55 a day for just a certificate and goes up to $85 for retired teachers or teachers currently on leave. 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