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Substitute teachers fill in for regular classroom teachers when they are away. They perform most of the duties of the usual teacher, including instructing students, administering tests and giving homework, according to the regular teacher’s lesson plans. The requirements for who may substitute in a classroom are set by local school districts. With more than 340,000 active public school students as of 2011, the Miami-Dade County Public School District is one of the largest in Florida, so temporary teaching personnel are often needed.
New substitute teachers in Miami-Dade public schools must first fill out an E-Recruiting profile before being able to search and apply for jobs. The E-Recruiting page is available at the M-DPS website, in the Human Resources section. To complete their profiles, substitutes will have to submit college transcripts and complete and return a mandatory questionnaire as well.
M-DPS temporary instructors must be able to provide two professional references before working. The references must be dated within the past year and be on business letterhead. An acceptable alternative are two completed professional reference questionnaires, available from the E-Recruiting system.
Acceptable FTCE Scores
M-DPS requires all substitute teachers to take the Florida Teacher Certification Examination General Knowledge Test and obtain a passing score before being placed in a classroom. The FTCE General Knowledge exam is offered via computer at Pearson VUE testing centers throughout the state, and even in some out-of-state locations, such as Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Georgia and New York. The test has sections for reading, math and English language skills. The exam also contains an essay subtest.
Though Miami-Dade County substitutes do not need a college degree, they do need to have finished a minimum of 60 college credit hours from an accredited college or university. They must also need to have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5.
Unless they are already classroom teachers or substitutes with at least one year of experience, new subs in the M-DPS must complete a two-day training program given by Miami-Dade College. Student teachers who have completed their internship and college graduates who hold a bachelor or higher degree in education are also not exempt from the training course. The program covers educational liability laws, classroom management, security procedures, ethics, school safety and instructional strategies. Unless they are exempt, new subs must provide transcripts showing completion of this training course before being hired.
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Amber D. Walker has been writing professionally since 1989. She has had essays published in "Fort Worth Weekly," "Starsong," "Paper Bag," "Living Buddhism" and more. Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas and worked as an English teacher abroad for six years.