Council on Teacher Education

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Guidance on Candidate Substitute Teaching


The Council on Teacher Education recognizes the critical substitute teaching needs of our partner districts and UIUC is committed to working with our partnering schools toward any and all innovative and creative solutions to this urgent need.  Substitute teaching is an option candidates may pursue, as is any part-time employment, within program part-time employment guidelines.  Interested teacher candidates with an ISBE Substitute License (See: can work in part-time employment positions, including substitute teaching, outside of their coursework and clinical experience commitments.

The following language has been reviewed and we encourage programs to use applicable parts of this language in their communications with school partners, supervisors, and candidates regarding substitute teaching.

Licensure programs may communicate to all candidates that substitute teaching is an option they can pursue, within established, program part-time employment guidelines. Interested teacher candidates with an ISBE Substitute License may work as substitute teachers outside of their coursework and clinical experience commitments.  Programs should communicate that UIUC is not endorsing or recommending specific candidates for employment as substitute teachers.  Districts will be responsible for evaluating candidate qualifications and licensure standing, hiring, and supervising.  Licensure programs should not engage policies or procedures which “rate” or endorse a candidate’s readiness to serve a substitute teacher.  If programs have an established policy on program approval for part-time employment, that can be used to establish readiness for part-time employment, not substitute teaching employment specific approval.

Programs should include their program specific policy on outside, part-time employment in all communications.  Programs may wish to provide coaching to candidates about how to decline substitute opportunities.  Programs should (regardless of substitute situation) ensure that candidates have appropriate supervision and mentorship available during clinical experiences and ensure that candidates have a school employee as a backup mentor in the event their cooperating professional is not available.