Schools across the country are facing some of the toughest staffing challenges in recent memory. To that affect, more and more stand-ins, helpers, and substitutes are needed to fill-in for sick days, vacations, and emergencies. And, if you are qualified, you could be one of those substitutes! New laws have made it easier for people to become subs based on education, and now based on experience in the classroom.

For those who do wish to substitute teach in Iowa schools, but currently don't hold a teaching license, a substitute authorization is currently available and allows you to substitute at an educational institution, K-12, with some limitations. To be considered eligible for a substitute authorization certificate, you must have a 4-year college or university degree, be at least 21 years old, pass a criminal background check, and  complete the Substitute Authorization Program from an Area Education Agency or AEA. In addition, as of February 15th of 2022, paraeducators are now qualified to become short-term substitutes.

According to the Iowa department of Educations website, "The Board of Educational Examiners established an emergency rule to allow paraeducators employed in an Iowa public school district or non-public school who hold a paraeducator certificate with a substitute authorization as an area of concentration to be allowed to substitute outside their assigned special education classroom IF permission is granted. This permission is not intended for long-term subbing."

Substitute teaching in Iowa can be a fulfilling and flexible career option! And courses for those interested are not to difficult to find. Grant Wood Area Education Agency currently holds a course designed to meet the requirements for substitute authorization. All sessions offered are currently virtual, via Zoom and online modules.

The course at Grant Wood for example, is designed to focus on the four components required by the Board of Educational Examiners which includes; classroom management, diversity, ethics, and strategies for learning. Successful certification requires full attendance, completion of all assignments, and five hours of online instruction. Additional fees for licensure application and a background check will be required when application is made to the Board of Educational Examiners.

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