Substitute Teacher Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | September 1, 2023
Substitute Teacher job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities
Substitute Teachers organize the classroom environment and instruct students in the absence of the regular teacher.

This post provides complete information on the job description of a substitute teacher, to help you learn the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they typically perform.

What Does a Substitute Teacher Do?

The substitute teacher is a person assigned to work in the absence of a regular teacher to aid students in understanding a subject matter, as well as to provide skills required for programmed lessons and purposeful training for the classroom he/she is assigned.

The substitute teacher job description covers giving instructions and organizing the classroom environment so as to enhance student learning during the period of absence of the regular classroom teacher.

He/she must work out teacher lesson plans, give out class work and assignments and ensure effective discipline and class control.

He/she will conclude evaluations and daily reports to give account of any information pertaining to the events of the day.

At the commencement of the school day, substitute teachers are expected to report to the school administrative office and collect the appropriate materials and schedule of classes.

At the end of the school day, he/she is required to return the materials to the school office.

Substitute teachers are appointed with the agreement that their affiliation with the school will be on a temporary basis pending the return of a permanent or probation teacher who is absent due to extended leave or illness.

Their role in the school therefore is to perform the duties of the main teacher who is away, and are usually paid on an hourly or daily basis, depending on school procedures.

Most times, these teachers are not qualified for holiday pay, vacation, sick leave or insurance benefits in the course of their appointment.

The individual vying for the position of a substitute teacher performs a program of study recommended in the lesson plans handed over by the regular teacher.

He/she is responsible for ensuring a favorable learning environment that is suitable to the welfare and development of students.

Substitute Teacher Job Description Sample/Example/Template

The following sample job description shows the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that make up the functions of substitute teachers in most schools:

  • Direct the learning procedure in the direction of accomplishing curriculum objectives and goals as implied in the lesson plans for projects, lessons or units assigned
  • Make use of instructional procedures and materials which are most suitable for attaining lesson goals
  • Go through the attendance according to the procedures of the school
  • Ensure an orderly and tidy classroom and may need to keep tables and chairs well arranged and clear of the chalkboard
  • Adhere to all procedures, guidelines, and policies followed by regular teachers in line with recommended teaching procedure
  • Ensure a sustainable relationship with parents, pupils, school personnel and members of the public by communicating in a confidential, polite and refined manner.

Substitute Teacher Requirement: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

The following are the skills, abilities, and other qualifications usually required to perform the role of a substitute teacher successfully:

  • Certificate in teaching or substitute teaching
  • Basic certificate from an authorized high school
  • Ability to comply with written and or oral instructions
  • Ability to create an efficient working relationship with other personnel
  • Proficiency in maintaining efficient classroom management skills
  • Willingness to stand for most hours of the day or sit for extensive periods of time
  • Close and personal relationship with pupils on a daily basis
  • Full capability to give instructions while the regular teacher is absent.


If you are hiring for the  substitute teacher role, the sample job description provided in this post will enable you to create an effective work description that gets you the best candidates for the position.

Also, if you are looking to work as a substitute teacher, you will find the information in this post helpful in learning about what the role entails and so increase your chances of succeeding in it.