A Creative Way to Serve Your School

Justin Scott August 2, 2021

Young Life staff are always looking for creative ways to serve the schools in their community. When the pandemic disrupted everything schools closed their doors to everyone. This fall, as schools begin to open again for students and teachers, the doors will possibly stay closed to most everyone else. This makes opportunities to serve the faculty and student body more difficult to come by. Despite these challenges, there are dozens of creative ways to serve the school and I’d like to share one idea you may have not considered yet.

Have you ever thought about getting a substitute teaching license? Even if you have little to no teaching experience you can get one, you just need a college degree, a few bucks, and some time.

Below are the reasons we think most every Young Life leader should have a substitute teaching license and how you go about getting one.


  • You get to meet and serve students in a different context.
  • Kids will ask other kids about how they know you.
  • Gives you credibility with the administration.
  • There’s currently a massive shortage of subs in most school districts.
  • You get paid!

HOW YOU GET A SUB-LICENSE (if you don’t have a teaching degree)

  • YOU OFTEN NEED AN ENDORSEMENT LETTER FROM YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT: This starts with someone you know inside the school or school district. Someone that can vouch for you and affirm that you will be a valuable and beneficial addition as a sub.  In our district, the district writes an “endorsement letter” that you give to the licensing body .
  • A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE LICENSING PROCESS: the cost for a restricted sub-license in our state is a few hundred dollars through our Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).
  • A FEW HOURS WITH THE TSPC:  Every state has some version of a TSPC. This is the commission which licenses teachers.. In our state, it requires a few hours to complete some online paper work, take a test, get fingerprinted, and then you’re done. Just google “your state TSPC” and you should find  a full list of what is required.

We hope this is helpful and allows you to keep moving forward with students, families, teachers, and administrators in your town. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. 

This summer is a great time to start the process so you’re ready for the fall!

KEEP IN MIND:  Like a lot of things we do to serve kids, this idea may be enormously effective in some locations and not such a great idea in others. Make sure you understand your local school policies. In some districts, teachers, subs, and other district employees or contractors are not allowed to have contact with students outside of the curricular hours of the school. Therefore, whether as a result of applicable law or by local policy, you may reduce your access to the school for Young Life activities by taking on a position like a substitute teacher. 

It is also important to note that substitute teaching is not a part of the job responsibilities of a Young Life staff person. When you volunteer or work for a school district, you are an agent of the school in that capacity, not acting as an employee of Young Life. Any outside employment is subject to Young Life’s Moonlighting Policy. Feel free to contact Legal Services for questions about the laws and policies surrounding campus access or Human Resources for questions about the Moonlighting Policy or job responsibilities.

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