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What Are The Requirements To Become A Supply Teacher?

  • Publish Date: Posted 5 months ago
  • Author: Joe Shipton

Are you interested in becoming a supply teacher? Supply teachers play a vital role in the education system, filling in for regular teachers when needed. They ensure that students' learning continues uninterrupted. 

However, in this post, we'll understand the essential requirements for stepping into this vital role. From educational qualifications to specific skills, we'll cover what you need to know to start your journey as a supply teacher. 

So, let’s get in!

Educational Qualifications

  1. Required Degrees

To become a supply teacher, you must first have a relevant degree. Typically, this means a bachelor's degree in education. If you specialize in a particular subject, such as mathematics or history, a degree in that field can also be valuable. In some cases, an advanced degree might give you an edge, but it's not always necessary.

  1. Specialized Training

Apart from your degree, specialized training in teaching methods is essential. This training often includes courses on child development, curriculum planning, and instructional strategies. It equips you with the necessary tools to handle diverse classroom settings effectively. 

  1. Regional Variations

Remember that requirements can vary depending on where you plan to teach. Some regions might require additional coursework or specific subject matter expertise. 

It's important to research the specific requirements in the area you wish to work to ensure you meet all the necessary criteria. 

Certification and Licensing

  1. Obtaining Teaching Certification

To become a supply teacher, you must first secure a teaching certification. This process typically involves completing an accredited teacher education program. After finishing this program, you will need to pass a certification exam. 

This exam tests your knowledge and teaching skills. The requirements for the exam can vary depending on where you plan to teach.

  1. Licensing for Specific Grades or Subjects

Some regions require additional licenses, especially if you aim to teach specific grades or subjects. For instance, teaching high school science may need a license different from that for elementary education. 

It's essential to research and understand these requirements in your area.

  1. Renewing Your License

Remember, a teaching license is only for a while. You will need to renew it periodically. Renewal usually involves ongoing education or professional development courses. 

Staying updated with the latest teaching methods and educational trends is crucial for maintaining your license and effectiveness as a teacher.

Experience and Skills

Gaining experience is important for good supply teachers. Start by assisting in classrooms or volunteering at local schools. This hands-on approach builds essential skills like effective communication and classroom management. 

Key Skills for Success

Beyond experience, certain skills are vital. 

Adaptability is key, as supply teachers often transition between different classes and teaching environments. Moreover, strong communication skills help in conveying lessons effectively and interacting with staff and students. 

Also, good classroom management ensures a productive learning environment, which is essential for short-term teaching roles. These skills, combined with practical experience, prepare you for a successful career as a supply teacher.

Background Checks and Legal Requirements

To become a supply teacher, a thorough background check is essential. This includes a criminal record review to ensure safety in the classroom. 

Teachers often need a valid work permit, especially if teaching in a foreign country. It's also important to stay updated with new teaching methods and policies. Regular professional development courses are usually required to maintain teaching credentials. 

This ongoing education helps supply teachers stay effective and knowledgeable in their roles.


In summary, becoming a supply teacher involves meeting specific educational and certification standards, demonstrating key skills, and fulfilling legal criteria. It's a career path filled with diverse experiences and opportunities to positively impact students' lives, offering a unique and fulfilling professional journey.