Tennessee Substitute Teaching License

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Substitute teachers are not licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education but rather, hired by each individual school district in the state.

The Department has issued guidelines for substitute teachers as described below.

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Education Requirements

If you do not have a teaching license, you may only substitute up to 20 consecutive days for the same teacher. After 20 days, a licensed teacher must fill the vacancy.

Want to learn how to earn a professional teaching certification? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Tennessee.

Various school districts have their own requirements for education for substitutes. Most require that you have completed some college coursework, while others require a bachelor’s degree. Check with your school district for details.

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Experience

No experience is required to become a substitute teacher in Tennessee. However, some schools may hire those experienced in working with children over those with no experience. Check with your school district for details.

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Criminal History Background Check

You must undergo a criminal history background check, including fingerprinting, prior to substitute teaching in any Tennessee school. Make an appointment with Cogent Systems to have your fingerprints taken. These will be processed for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), who will send the results to the Tennessee Department of Education. The Department will report these results to your local school district, letting them know if you are eligible to work as a substitute teacher. You must cover all costs associated with this process. It may take four weeks for your report to clear.

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Contact Information

For more information on substitute teaching opportunities near you, contact your local school district.

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