The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has rolled out a 22-hour online training course for Missourians interested in becoming a K-12 substitute teacher.

Missouri launches online training course to fast track prospective substitute teachers

Last month, the Missouri Board of Education voted to temporarily give prospective substitutes the option of using the expedited certification method or completing the standard 60 college credit hours. The emergency rule the board passed is set to expire at the end of February 2021.

State Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven says the change is meant to help reduce an expected shortage of substitutes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We were facing a teacher shortage before the pandemic and so that certainly has not gone away – it’s escalated in many areas,” she tells Missourinet.

Vandeven says the pandemic has boosted the importance of teachers.

“I’m hoping more and more teachers will feel very called to that profession,” she says. “It’s an amazing profession and we’ll work hard to make sure that happens.”

The training, which is aligned with Missouri teacher standards and includes embedded assessments, involves topics about:

1. Professionalism: Appropriate conduct, confidentiality, legal responsibilities
2. Honoring diversity: Basic terminology and appropriate actions
3. Student engagement: Basic definitions and appropriate strategies
4. Foundational classroom management techniques: Ways to control a classroom and diffusing conflict
5. Basic instructional strategies: Effective questioning, assessment methods, lesson plans
6. Supporting students with special needs: Basic terminology of disorders and characteristics and appropriate strategies
7. Working with at-risk youth: Learning traits, characteristics, and appropriate strategies

The cost for the full set of courses required to meet certification is $175. Applicants must complete a background check.

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