Questions About Substitute Teaching ...
Are there any classes available to help me be a
successful substitute teacher?
After I substitute for awhile, can I change the schools
and subjects taught?
What should substitute teachers do if they have to
cancel a job they have already accepted?
Since one of the basic assumptions schools have for
substitute teachers is that they will follow the
teachers’ lesson plans, what do subs do if the teacher
has left no lesson plans for the substitute?
On rare occasions, a teacher may not have time to
leave lesson plans or the teacher may leave plans
that are inadequate for a substitute to carry out as
a guest teacher. If this happens, the sub should
immediately SEEK HELP. Other teachers who teach the
same grade level of subject matter will be able to
assist the sub. At the Elementary schools, grade
level teachers can assist. At the Middle School and
High School, a department chairperson is always
available for help. In the unlikely event that no
staff member is available, the substitute should
seek help from the office.
How do substitutes prepare for the beginning of the day,
and what do they do when the students arrive in the
Every successful substitute teacher will say that
the key to effective substitute teaching is to
arrive early. In addition to an early arrival, there
are numerous steps the substitute should take to
prepare for a successful day. This information is
provided both in the Bandera ISD training and the
BISD Substitute Manual.
When substitute teachers have difficulty carrying out
their duties, whether because of poor lesson plans or
severe discipline problems, to whom can they turn for
Should substitutes allow students to visit the school
nurse every time they ask to do so? What if they are
faking an illness to get out of class?
What about bathroom passes? Should substitutes let
students go to the bathroom every time they say they
If a child expresses a need to go to the bathroom at
times outside of the established routine, subs
should not deny them their requests. Please leave a
note for the teacher regarding the requests. The
teacher can follow up with the student later to
determine whether or not the unusual requests
suggest a medical or behavioral problem.
I didn’t sign up to substitute in a special education
classroom. Why are there special education students in
the regular classrooms?
What is the legal liability of substitute teachers?
As long as substitute teachers are using discretion
and good judgment in carrying out the duties and
responsibilities assigned to them, and do not use
unnecessary force in disciplining students,
substitute teachers enjoy the same qualified
(limited) immunity from legal liability afforded the
regular classroom teacher under State statute.
However, this immunity from legal liability does not
extend to injuries involving motor vehicles nor to
violations of a student’s constitutionally protected
Can substitute teachers share their religious beliefs
with students in the classroom?
Like other employees of the district, substitutes
must maintain a posture of “neutrality” regarding
religion in the classroom and in other activities
and areas of the school. Substitutes are acting as
“agents of the state” when carrying out their duties
and are prohibited from advancing their own
religious beliefs in the school.
How do I continue
working as a substitute from year to year?
When are my transcripts required to be turned in?
Substitutes who have college hours, are degreed, or
are a certified teacher - are required to provide
the personnel/payroll department an unofficial
transcript prior to their assigned amount of pay.
Substitutes are paid the entry substitute pay until
the transcript by the district.
Who do I contact for information about my paycheck?
Where can I get additional information on becoming a
full time, certified teacher?
The teacher career exploration site at the Education
Service Center Region 20 is very helpful. Another
excellent source of information is the State Board
of Education Certification (SBEC) which has an
extensive list of questions and answers at “How to
Become a Teacher in Texas” In addition, you can
contact your local college or university to get
additional information on their programs of teacher
Who do I contact for information about a 403(B)