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Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher in Texas

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Since Texas has a decentralized school system, counties and large metropolitan areas dictate substitute teaching qualifications according to individual school boards instead of the state or federal government doing so. Private schools follow the same procedure. In addition to universal qualifications such as a desire to teach, a detail-oriented personality, an ability to instruct on sometimes challenging subjects and strong communication skills, consult the local district's human resources department to see whether you meet its standards.

Houston Independent School System

The Houston Independent School System refers to substitute teachers as associate teachers. The district requires you to have completed a minimum of 60 semester college hours or have earned an associate degree from an accredited school. Bring a cover letter that outlines your philosophy of education. All candidates must also pass a criminal background check. To finalize the hiring process, bring your Social Security card, a copy of your teaching certification if applicable, college transcripts, a blank check to use for your payroll direct deposit, and letters of referral from former employers or teaching supervisors.

San Antonio

San Antonio has two primary school districts with differing qualifications. The San Antonio Independent School District requires substitute teachers to have either a high school diploma or GED and to pass a criminal background check. You must be flexible, detail-oriented, able to manage a group of students and work as a team with your co-workers. You must be able to remain calm in stressful circumstances and must be punctual and dependable. The Northside Independent School District requires either an approved teacher’s certificate or at least 90 semester hours from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.5. You are expected to be prompt, and to communicate a lesson plan effectively while managing the behavior of your classroom. In addition to passing a background check, you will provide a copy of your transcripts, your teaching certification if applicable, and your Social Security card. You must also complete an eight-hour training session.


The Dallas Independent School District requires that you have a high school diploma or GED and pass a criminal background check. Your pay is determined by the amount of college or experience that you possess. Degreed or retired teacher applicants must submit a copy of college transcripts and an approved teaching certification. You must possess experience in instruction, classroom management and organization. You must also be willing to comply with all of the rules in the Substitute Teacher Handbook.


The Austin Independent School District requires a high school diploma or valid GED or 60 hours of college from an accredited college and a completed criminal background check. You will also be required to attend orientation. Substitutes should possess the ability to teach, manage a classroom and communicate with students and staff. Due to the diverse nature of the school district, knowing Spanish would be helpful. Effective substitutes should be flexible, cool under pressure and strong record keepers.

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