- Application Process
- Substitute Teacher Training Program
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Us
If you are interested in becoming a teacher in the Boston Public Schools, working as a substitute teacher is a great way to sharpen your teaching skills while getting to know our schools as well as the principals and teachers in our school district. Substitute teaching can lead to professional teaching positions, if you hold a valid Massachusetts teaching license.
Minimum Qualifications All candidates interested in substitute teaching in the Boston Public Schools must meet at least one of the following minimum qualifications:
Possession of a current teaching license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or another state licensing board.
- Education Degree
Possession of a conferred Bachelors or higher university/college degree in education. (Education undergraduate majors may also qualify upon approval by the Assistant Superintendent for HR or his designee.)
- Teaching Experience
Two (2) years K-12 classroom, substitute or practicum teaching experience.
If you have successfully interviewed for a substitute teaching position and you do not hold an initial teaching license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, you must take and pass the Boston Substitute Teacher Training Program test with a score of 85.
All candidates must pass a Criminal Offender (CORI) and Sexual Offender (SORI) Records Check.
The following steps should be completed (in order) by candidates wishing to substitute teach in the Boston Public Schools.
Step 1. Apply on-line to become a Substitute Teacher through the BPS Career Center.
To apply to become a substitute teacher, search for "Substitute Teacher District Pool" in the Career Center and apply to that position. Please highlight the above qualifications in your resume for the best chances of obtaining an interview.
Step 2. The Office of Human Resources will call you to schedule a Screening Interview.
After you have completed your online application and interview, the Office of Human Resources will review completed applications and contact those candidates who meet the specific subject area needs of the school district. During the Screening Interview, candidates are asked general questions about substitute teaching and real-life classroom scenarios.
Substitute teaching assignments are subject to availability and no one is guaranteed an assignment, even after the application selection process is complete.
The Boston Substitute Teacher Training Program was designed by the Substitute Teaching Institute (STI) at Utah State University. The cost of this program is payable online by credit card, check or money order, and includes 6-10 hours of interactive SubSkills training and the online SubAssessment and a SubDiploma.
- The interactive SubSkills training is provided online and may be taken at your convenience.
- The SubAssessment is also taken over the Internet.
- Candidates may take the SubAssessment a maximum of four times, to obtain a passing score of at least 85.
- It takes an average of 15 minutes to complete each section, with a total of five sections.
- Print a copy of your SubDiploma which shows a passing score of at least 85. You will need this before employment.
Those applicants who possess a valid Massachusetts Educator License may waive the Teacher Training Program
For more information and to be redirected to the Boston Substitute Teacher Training Program visit http://stedi.org/rlogin?dist_org=boston
Internet Resources for Substitute Teachers
- Boston Substitute Teacher Training Program
- Online application for teacher licensure
- Boston Teachers Union
- Boston Public Schools SubCentral
- SubCentral Profile Form
As a substitute teacher, you are eligible to receive benefits according to very specific rules and the type of position you have been assigned.
Health and dental benefits are available, after working an average of 20 hours a week for one month. Substitutes become eligible the first day of the following month and will have 60 days to complete all necessary paperwork to receive health benefits.
Boston Teachers Union
Substitute teachers who work 60 days or more in a given school year are considered bargaining union members of the BTU. The BTU is the exclusive bargaining unit that negotiates the collective bargaining agreement, enforces the agreement, and promotes the general welfare of its membership. BTU dues and agency fees will be automatically deducted from each paycheck.
Per Diem Substitutes
Per Diem substitute teachers are those teachers who work day-to-day assignments to fill positions on an interim basis.
Per Diem Annual Bonus: Per Diem substitute teachers are eligible to receive, subject to budgetary restrictions:
- a $1,000 annual bonus after working more than 120 days by the end of June; or
- a $1,500 annual bonus after working more than 150 days by the end of June
Retirement: Per-Diem Substitutes must contribute to the OBRA Retirement system.
Long-Term substitute teachers are teachers who are assigned to fill a position anticipated to be vacant for more than 20 consecutive workdays but less than a full school year or teachers actually serving continuously for more than 20 consecutive workdays in the same assignment.
Compensation: A long-term substitute teacher will receive a higher rate of pay after 10 consecutive workdays and again after 25 consecutive workdays.
Contract obligation: A long-term substitute teacher shall be granted a provisional teacher contract on or before December 1st if the assignment in which he/she is serving becomes vacant for the remainder of the school year.
Sick Days: One sick day for every 20 days worked. Sick time is cumulative from year to year provided that the substitute remains a BTU member, and sick time shall carry over upon becoming teachers or paraprofessionals.
Professional Development: The substitute teacher will also be eligible for Professional Development Opportunities. However, the teacher is required to attend the eighteen hours of professional development required of all teachers. This time is scheduled beyond the school day and compensated accordingly.
Cluster substitute teachers are those teachers who are assigned to one of the nine Cluster Offices in the BPS for a full year, rotating among schools within the Cluster. Daily assignments to specific schools are made by the responsible Cluster Leader. The Cluster substitute is paid at a higher rate than per diem substitutes.
Health Benefits: Health and dental benefits are available.
Sick Days: one sick day for every 20 days worked. Sick time is cumulative from year to year provided that the substitute remains a BTU member, and sick time shall carry over upon becoming teachers or paraprofessionals.
Health and Welfare Benefits: Cluster substitutes shall be included in the Paraprofessional Health and Welfare Fund benefit for dental insurance, eye care and legal services.
Professional Development: able to participate in professional days sponsored by the school and shall be compensated accordingly. The substitute teacher will also be required to attend the eighteen hours of professional development required of teachers. This time is scheduled beyond the school day and compensated accordingly.
- If I have been an active substitute teach during the last year for BPS, do I need to do anything differently?
No. If you are a current and active substitute teacher, you do not need to re-apply.
- If I have been a substitute teacher in the BPS previously but have not been active during the past year, do I need to re-apply?
Yes, substitute teachers who have not been active over the course of the previous school year are automatically terminated. You will need to re-apply following the process described above.
- If I am a retired teacher in the Boston Public Schools do I need to take the training and test?
Yes. Everyone must take the test and interview with BPS, unless you have a current Massachusetts Educator License.
- How long does the training take?
Between 6-13 hours
- How quickly can I start the program?
Once you register and pay the fees, you will be able to start the training online or you can wait until you receive the training CD and workbook in the mail.
- Can I take the test without taking the training?
If you feel confident that you have the knowledge required to pass the test, you could take the test without taking the training. However, we would not advise it. You only have 4 chances to take the test and the test is designed around lessons learned from the training. In addition, you will still need to pay $29.95 for the entire substitute training program which includes the test. The test is not sold separately.
- What is the passing score for the test?
85 or better.
- How long does the test take?
The test will take anywhere from 30-40 minutes.
- If I am an existing substitute teacher, can I still sign up for training?
Yes, you can still sign up for training, but please be aware that it is at your expense.
- If I become a substitute teacher and later I am hired as a regular teacher, can I get reimbursed for the training costs?
No. Even if you later become a regular teacher, you will not be reimbursed for the training costs.
- When I click on the URL link http://stedi.org/rlogin/?dist_org=boston an error message page appears?
First, try to copy and paste the above address into the address bar of your browser. Sometimes older versions of browser software or your system's settings are not set up to automatically load the page when you click on a link. If you continue to have difficulty, please contact the Help Line for STEDI.org 1-800-922-4693.
- What is BPS SubCentral?
BPS SubCentral is our new web-based Substitute Assignment System. This does not replace our telephone assignment system but instead is an added feature. You can now search for assignments by logging into BPS SubCentral. To learn more, see the SubCentral Page.
For any additional questions regarding substitute teaching in the Boston Public Schools, contact the Substitute Teacher Staff at (617) 635-9380.