How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Michigan


No matter where you work, being a substitute teacher requires you to be an organized, positive person who enjoys working with kids and has good communication skills. In the state of Michigan, each district has its own hiring and screening policies. In general, though, the process involves demonstrating you meet the minimum education requirements and have a clean background.

The Certification Process

  • To become a substitute teacher in Michigan, you have to apply directly to the school or school district in which you want to work. Once you've gone through the district's application process, district officials will apply for a permit on your behalf through the Michigan Department of Education. You'll need to have your permit approved before you can start working as a substitute. The permit will be valid only for the current school year and only for that one particular school district. If you want to work in more than one district, you'll have to apply in each district individually.

Education Requirements

  • While hiring is at the discretion of each individual school district, the state of Michigan does have its own minimum requirements for substitute teachers. To qualify, you'll need to have completed at least 90 semester hours of college courses at an accredited four-year university or college. You'll also need to have maintained a grade point average of at least 2.0. When you apply, the district will likely ask for a copy of your college transcript in order to verify that you meet this requirement. Those with valid Michigan teaching certifications, also qualify for substitute teaching work.

Background Checks

  • A background check is another important part of the application process. This verifies that you haven't been involved in any criminal acts. When you apply with the district, you'll get information about vendors you can work with to take your fingerprints and conduct your background check. The fee for this service is about $55 to $70 as of 2015, according to PCMI Staffing Services, a company processing substitute teacher applications in Michigan.

Finding Openings

  • To get started working as a substitute teacher in Michigan, visit the website of the school district where you want to work and follow its instructions for completing your application. This typically involves filling out an application, paying an application fee, and submitting your information for a background check.

    Some districts have an open application process, allowing you to apply as a sub anytime. Others already have a full roster of substitutes and only accept substitutes in certain subject areas. Detroit Public Schools, for example, was only hiring subs in the area of bilingual education as of April 2015. Garden City Public Schools, on the other hand, has an open application, using the staffing firm EduStaff to process its applications. Numerous districts use a third-party staffing firm that allows you to indicate all of the districts where you want to apply, and have the service help you apply for all of them at once.

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