Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Substitute Authorization

Prairie Lakes AEA offers a 20-hour course that would allow individuals with a baccalaureate degree OR a Paraeducator Certificate* to be a substitute teacher. Those participants with a baccalaureate degree completing this course would be authorized to substitute teach in a K-12 classroom for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment.

Rules Changes Effective November 2013

  • Persons holding a Substitute Authorization License are limited to 10 days in one classroom in one month, and they are still limited to 5 concurrent days in one classroom but this is an effort to limit the use of a Substitute Authorization in the place of a long-term sub. There is a waiver process for this. A school district can write a letter to Joann Tubbs, she will review the pass on for approval.
  • Those we hold a bachelor’s degree in education can get a substitute authorization without take the Praxis test or the Substitute Authorization class.
  • If you are a new graduate and have completed a teacher preparation program but have not passed the required Iowa assessments, you may apply for the Substitute Authorization License and you do not need to complete the Substitute Authorization course. You may not use the substitute authorization to work for a school district in a contracted position while you wait to pass your exams.

The Substitute Authorization may be issued to an individual who:

  1. Has successfully completed all the requirements of the approved Substitute Authorization course.
  2. Has achieved at least one of the following: (1) holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institute, OR (2) has completed an approved Paraeducator Certification program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
  3. Has attained a minimum age of 21 years.
  4. Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check.
  5. Has successfully completed a National Criminal History background check.

The BOEE-approved Substitute Authorization program includes the following components:

  1. Classroom Management—Participants will develop an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior intervention techniques that create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  2. Strategies for Learning—Participants will develop skills to use a variety of learning strategies that encourage student development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
  3. Diversity—Participants will develop an understanding of how student differ in their approaches to learning opportunities that are equitable and are adaptable to diverse learners.
  4. Ethics—Participants will develop an understanding of how to foster relationships with parents, colleagues, and organizations in the larger community to support students’ learning and development and to be aware of the Board’s Rules of Professional Practice and competent performance (Code of Ethics).

Successful completion of this program leads to an Iowa Substitute Authorization. This is not the same as a Substitute License. Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about the Substitute Authorization.

You will need to complete the Substitute Authorization application process when you have completed the required coursework. Click here for instruction to apply for license.

To view the dates and locations of the Substitute Authorization classes offered in Prairie Lakes AEA go Professional Development or click here.

Substitute Authorization Renewal information - Click here.

*Paraeducators as Substitutes: Paraeducators that hold a Generalist I Certification AND hold a Substitute Authorization License can substitute teach in the special education classroom to which they are assigned. The special education classroom may be in the elementary, middle, junior high or high school level.

Prairie Lakes AEA Contact:

Carrie Guerin, License Renewal Specialist

Linda Ankeny, License Renewal Coordinator
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