A Profession with Purpose

A Profession with Purpose

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All aspects of education are valued in your community. Educators are proud to tell others what they do. As a substitute, you are a valued member of this group. With over 50,000 teachers in Arizona, you’ll probably run into one while waiting in line, at the store, or at a party.

Teachers and school administrators love substitutes. Without you, when a teacher is absent, often classrooms get split where each half goes into another class. For that entire day, the other teachers’ classes are overburdened, and the students suffer. Since each student spends one full year of their entire K-12 year with a substitute, your role is vitally important.

In fact, many former educators and administrators become substitutes after they retire. They often remark that they enjoy substituting more than any other position in education because they get all the student interaction without the burdens of testing and lesson planning. Blanca Kabeary and Manuel Quintanar are two of ESI’s substitutes who had long careers and found this to be true. You can learn more about Blanca  and Manuel.

Most of all, as a substitute, your work has purpose. You can see the progress in students each day and know you are making a difference. Dawnette Turner is one of ESI’s long-term substitutes. You can hear more about her here. She makes it clear the kind of impact substituting can have.

Get ready for your life to change! The next time someone asks you, “so what do you do?”, you can be proud to say you are an educator. With each assignment you take, you are helping Arizona’s teachers and improving students’ lives. If this sounds good to you, reach apply to start your amazing journey.


A Day In the Life of a Substitute

To begin, most substitutes browse open assignments on a web-based absence management system. This is where the classroom teacher absences are tracked and substitutes can see what is available. Substitutes pick between grade levels, subjects, school sites, and which days they want to work.

Most schools pay about $100 - $150 per daily assignment, with additional pay for longer-term assignments.

On the day of their assignment, substitutes usually get to the school site about a half hour or so prior to the start time to check in at the front office. Often, a quick briefing about procedures and any special activities of the day is given by the school staff member before the sub is shown to the classroom. Many schools also introduce the substitute to neighboring teachers who are a source of support.

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teacher timeline
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Your primary goal is to keep the class safe and help them continue learning in the absence of their teacher. You'll usually be following a lesson plan left by the teacher, along with some guidelines to follow that are specific to your class and school site.

The rest of the day is as varied as the assignments available! You could be guiding a class of 10th graders on a physics lab, helping 3rd graders learn to read or creating art projects with a middle school class. Most school days are about 6 to 7½ hours long, with time for lunch and often an open period. No matter what, you'll always have a story to tell from a memorable moment of the day.

Most school days are about 6 to 7½ hours long, with time for lunch and often an open period. No matter what, you'll always have a story to tell from a memorable moment of the day.

Requirements to Substitute in Arizona

Here in Arizona, you must have (3) things to substitute with ESI:

A Substitute Teaching Certificate or Teacher Certificate from the Arizona Department of Education

An Identity Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint card from Arizona Department of Public Safety 

Proof of Immunity for rubeola (measles), rubella (German measles), or proof of MMR immunization (may waive)

All applicants must also pass a mandatory criminal background check.

While this all sounds complicated, ESI is here to help guide you through the process. While you must hold a bachelor’s degree to get a substitute teaching certificate, the process to apply is straightforward. Likewise, Arizona Department of Public Safety makes the IVP card easier to get by partnering with a vendor to get your fingerprints taken electronically.

One more important point – some of our districts are seeking Paraprofessionals. These special positions do not require a degree and have special requirements. They are often unique opportunities to help teachers in special education classrooms or other critical assignments. Kathy Ibarra, one of ESI’s substitutes, started her career as a Paraprofessional before moving on to teach and substitute. You can learn her story here.

Simply apply now, even if you don’t have all of your requirements, and we’ll be happy to get you started in the process.


Apply Today