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Substitute Teach in Iowa Schools

If you want to substitute teach in Iowa schools and don’t have a teaching license, you will need to obtain a Substitute Authorization License.

What is the Substitute Authorization license?
The Substitute Authorization license allows an individual with a four-year college degree who has completed the Substitute Authorization program to substitute in grades PK-12 for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment at a time.

Paraeducators who hold a Paraeducator Generalist Certificate and complete the Substitute Authorization program are authorized to substitute, but only in the special education classroom in which the individual paraeducator is employed. This applies to all grade levels, including elementary, but not preschools. A paraeducator cannot substitute in a general education classroom.

Who can earn the Substitute Authorization License?
Anyone who meets the following criteria can receive a Substitute Authorization license:

  • Has earn a four year college degree OR a Iowa Paraeducator License; and
  • Is at least 21 years old; and
  • Passes the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and National Criminal History background checks; and
  • Completes a Substitute Authorization course.
     

How to Earn the Substitute Authorization License

  • Take the Substitute Authorization course from an AEA.
    You may take the course from any AEA:
    To Register, create an account at: https://goo.gl/vHzGYw  
    cost: $140
    format: 18 hours of class time, 2+ hours of online work
    • Send your application, documentation, and fees to the BOEE:
    • Finger print cards and signed FBI background check form (provided at the first class)
    • transcript from four-year college degree
    • transcript from the AEA showing successful complete of the Substitute Authorization course
    • $85 application fee plus  $75 background check fee; total of $160


Substitute Authorization FAQs
The Substitute Authorization license allows you to substitute in grades PK-12 for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment at a time. Paraeducators who hold a Paraeducator Generalist Certificate and complete the Substitute Authorization program are authorized to substitute, but only in the special education classroom in which the individual paraeducator is employed. This applies to all grade levels, including elementary, but not preschools. A paraeducator cannot substitute in a general education classroom.

What is the difference between a Substitute Authorization and Substitute Teaching license?

  • A substitute teaching license is based on the completion of a teacher education program. The substitute teaching license authorizes the individual to substitute teach on any level, in any area for a maximum of 90 days in one assignment.
  • The substitute authorization allows a person with a baccalaureate degree to substitute in grades PK-12 for a maximum of 5 days in one assignment.
  • The substitute authorization allows a paraeducator who completes the paraeducator training to substitute only in the special education classroom where the person serves as a paraeducator for no more than 5 consecutive days, with approval of their employing district.
     

May I begin substituting while I am waiting for the training to be offered or while I am enrolled in the training program?
No, you must successfully complete the Substitute Authorization course and hold the Substitute Authorization before you can be employed as a Substitute. You may send in the background check/finger print cards in advance of completing the course. The background check takes approximately 6-8 weeks.

I am a new teacher graduate and I have not passed the required Iowa assessments. Can I sub?
You may apply for the substitute authorization until your assessments are passed. You do not need to complete the substitute authorization course. Once the substitute authorization license is issued, you may sub according to the rules of that license.

Once I receive my Substitute Authorization license, how do I make districts know I am available to substitute teach?
Once you are authorized to substitute, you should contact the districts you want to work in and apply. There is a list of school districts on the Mississippi Bend AEA website: www.mbaea.org.

How long is the license good for and how do I renew it?
The Substitute Authorization certificate is good for five years. During those five years, you need to earn two renewal credits. Renewal credits may be taken from an AEA or a college/university. It is advised to take the renewal credits take coursework throughout the five years; don’t wait until your license expires to find courses to fulfill the renewal requirements.
The renewal process will be covered in detail by the instructor of the Sub. Auth. course.

Questions?
Contact your school district human resources office or the MBAEA Staff Development Dept. at 563-344-6481., or the Board of Educational Examiners: 515-281-3245.

Information on the Board of Educational Examiner’s website: http://www.boee.iowa.gov/subrules.html and http://www.boee.iowa.gov/subfaq.html

© 2018 Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency