The education field includes a range of job opportunities for people with varied qualifications, and these positions, such as becoming a substitute teacher, can provide valuable experience. How To Become a Substitute Teacher in Michigan in 8 Steps. In Michigan, there are specific requirements to satisfy to pursue this job. Learning about the qualifications and process can help you determine if this is a good career opportunity for you.
In this article, we discuss what a substitute teacher does, how to become a substitute teacher in Michigan, the benefits of this job and the salary and career outlook for this role.
What does a substitute teacher do?
A substitute teacher is a person who has the appropriate certifications to work as a temporary teacher. They work in the place of teachers who require time off for personal matters, and they may work on a daily, short-term or long-term basis. While the duties of a substitute teacher will vary based on the subject and grade level being taught, common responsibilities include:
- Take student attendance
- Follows the lesson plans outlined by the teacher
- Ensure the safety and well-being of students
- Enforce the teacher’s rules for their classroom
- Understand the protocols of each specific school
- Leave notes for the teacher about their students’ behavior
How to become a substitute teacher in Michigan
Here are the steps to follow to become a substitute teacher in Michigan:
1. Complete the education requirements
Pursue a degree at a two- or four-year university or college that has regional accreditation. Most substitute teacher permits in Michigan require you to have at least 60 semester hours of satisfactory credit, which the state defines as earning a grade of a C or better. It’s possible to combine hours from different institutions to satisfy the requirement for 60 hours. While not a requirement, it may be useful to focus your studies in an education-related field.
2. Learn about the different permits
Explore the different permits that Michigan offers for substitute teachers. Learn about the requirements and limitations of each permit, and select the permit that aligns best with what you hope to achieve in this role. Here are the four permits available in Michigan:
Daily Substitute Permit
The Daily Substitute Permit requires 60 semester hours of a college education. It allows you to complete intermittent daily substitute assignments. However, this permit only allows you to work up to 90 calendar days within a school year unless you seek a formal extension.
Full-Year Basic Substitute Permit
The Full-Year Basic Substitute Permit requires 60 semester hours of a college education. If you’re hoping to teach a core subject area, this permit also requires you to have a related degree or a passing school on a state-approved test in the area. This permit allows you to work the same teaching assignment for more than 90 days and up to a full school year.
Full-Year Shortage Substitute Permit
The Full-Year Shortage Substitute Permit requires a Michigan Professional, Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate. It allows you to teach a core subject area if you also have a relevant degree or passed a state-approved test in the specialty. However, the state limits you to teaching a maximum of three subject areas per permit.
This permit is only available to allow you to teach up to 0.5 FTE per teacher, which is half a full-time equivalency. For example, a 0.5 FTE may be one day of instruction during the week or teaching a few hours each day. This is because the goal of this permit is to hire teachers who can work to reduce the effects of shortages.
Full-Year Expert Substitute Permit
The Full-Year Expert Substitute Permit requires a demonstrated ability in the subject the substitute teacher instructions and at least five years of work experience in this subject. However, if you want to earn this permit to teach a world language, you’re able to pass a state-approved oral language exam instead of having five years of experience. Education requirements vary based on the subject you’re teaching. The requirements for this permit are:
- Core subject: At least a bachelor’s degree and a corresponding major or a passing score on a relevant state-approved test
- Non-core subject: At least a bachelor’s degree or 60 college credit hours with a relevant industry or business license
While not a requirement, the state encourages schools or districts to pair these substitute teachers with a mentor teacher. However, this permit doesn’t allow you to teach more than 0.5 FTE.
3. Review the Permit Eligibility Record
Use the Permit Eligibility Record to plan your path as a substitute teacher in Michigan. This chart outlines the requirements necessary to obtain, renew and extend each type of permit. It’s also helpful for understanding how long a permit is valid.
4. Pass a background check
Prepare to undergo a background check. This includes submitting your personal information and a scan of your fingerprints. The state completes these checks based on Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 380.1230g, which is the school code that establishes whether a person can work in a school based on their criminal history.
5. Apply for a permit
Create an account on the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS), and navigate to the permits section. Choose your desired permit, and complete your permit. This may include providing your personal information and submitting documentation. Documentation may vary based on the type of permit you’re seeking, but it may include:
- University or college transcripts
- Copies of industry or business licenses
- Information about your mentor teachers
- Proof of a formal observation
- Documentation of talent
- Scores from state-approved tests
Be sure to monitor your application status carefully. The application begins as “Pending Evaluation,” and then may advance to “Hold,” “Pending Payment” or “Denied.” If you reach “Pending Payment,” pay the fee, then continue to check until the status says “Approved.” The permit isn’t valid until your application status officially says “Approved,” and you can’t consider a permit valid retroactively.
6. Update your resume
Revise your resume to include your new permit, and look for opportunities to customize it further for substitute teaching positions. For example, update your work history to include positions related to working with children or teenagers and ensuring their safety, such as working as a babysitter, lifeguard or camp counselor. It’s also important to highlight relevant skills you have as a substitute teacher, such as:
- Classroom management
- Time management
- Interpersonal skills
- Critical thinking
7. Look for jobs
Begin searching for substitute teaching positions, and keep up with your search daily. Aside from using job posting websites, it may be useful to check school districts’ websites or contact them directly about their hiring process for substitute teachers. Many districts and schools have a call list that you can join. This list includes the contact information of qualified people who can work as substitute teachers, and they will receive a call, text message or email on mornings that a school needs a substitute teacher.
8. Maintain your permit
Review the requirements for renewing or extending your permit. Some permits, like the Daily Substitute Permit, require you to apply for a new permit each school year, and you’re only able to renew it during a school year during extenuating situations. Full-year permits, however, have renewal and extension options that allow you to keep your credential to teach within the same area for up to four years.
Benefits of being a substitute teacher
Here are some potential benefits of becoming a substitute teacher to consider:
- Having flexible schedule options to work when you want to
- Enjoying returning to the classroom as a retired teacher
- Gaining valuable classroom experience as an aspiring teacher
- Earning supplemental income on a schedule you pick
- Working closely with children, which may feel rewarding
- Experiencing new challenges at work each day
Salary for substitute teachers in Michigan
Substitute teachers typically earn a flat rate per daily assignment. While exact salaries may vary, the average daily salary for a substitute teacher in Michigan is $138 per day. Factors that may affect daily rates include location, school district and type of assignment.
Here are some of the cities in Michigan that offer the highest average daily rates for substitute teachers. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries
- Muskegon: $110 per day
- Sterling Heights: $113 per day
- Lansing: $116 per day
- Ann Arbor: $120 per day
- Adrian: $129 per day
- Swartz Creek: $151 per day
- Flint: $141 per day
- Detroit: $149 per day
- Grand Rapids: $157 per day
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