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AR substitute teacher requirements

So what does it take to be a substitute teacher in Arkansas? Besides a lot of patience, you might be surprised at just who is allowed to enter the classroom.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - So what does it take to be a substitute teacher in Arkansas? Besides a lot of patience, you might be surprised at just who is allowed to enter the classroom.

Little Rock has nearly five-hundred people signed up to substitute, meaning they're already cleared to enter the classroom.

FOX16 went to an education expert with decades of experience to find out if there's any way subs can be ready to handle students, especially teenagers.

In Arkansas, a substitute teacher must have at least a high school diploma or G.E.D. and pass a background check.

"Do you think that the state does a pretty good job of making sure the people taking care of their of their children if the regular teacher isn't there are safe and competent?" asked FOX16's Kelly Dudzik.

"We think so," said Seth Blomeley from the Arkansas Department of Education.

If you want to long-term sub for thirty days or more, you need a four-year degree, unless you get a waiver from the state.

"It's kind of detrimental to what learning and schooling is all about just putting a warm body in there that might have some knowledge," says UALR's Dr. Judith Hayn.

Dr. Hayn brings 15 years of teaching in public schools to UALR to train future teachers.

"Look at me. I'm barely five feet tall, and so it really doesn't have anything to do with stature or size. It is your voice and your ability to use every amount of your being to have students understand who's in charge in that classroom, and it is never the students," she says.

Right out of the gate, UALR students take a classroom management course.

"They don't need 13, 14 and 15 year old friends. There is no like me because I'm your teacher business," says Hayn.

"Does anything shock you at this point?" asked Dudzik.

"No, not any more. When I began teaching in the 70s, the issues are still pretty much the same. The adolescent is not much different. The world around the adolescent, however is very different," says Hayn.

Different because Hayn says students are bombarded non-stop with media.

"We wouldn't have known what lap-dancing was maybe 15 or 20 years ago. Now, they see it on every video possible that they see when they're looking at popular music, pop culture," she added.

State regulations dictate minimum requirements. Your child's district may have stronger qualifications. A lot of discretion is left up to the districts.
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