What Tools do Substitute Teachers Use?

Learn the core tools, software, and programs that Substitute Teachers use in their day-to-day role

Start Your Substitute Teacher Career with Teal

Join our community of 150,000 members and get tailored career guidance from us at every step

Create a free account

Introduction to Substitute Teacher Tools

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, substitute teachers are the unsung heroes who step into diverse classroom environments, often at a moment's notice. To navigate these challenges with grace and effectiveness, the right tools and software are not just helpful; they are indispensable. These digital aids range from classroom management platforms to lesson planning applications, all designed to ensure continuity in education. They empower substitute teachers to maintain order, track student progress, and deliver curriculum seamlessly. For those who wield these tools with expertise, the result is a classroom where learning thrives, even in the absence of the regular educator. Understanding and utilizing these tools is paramount for anyone considering a career as a substitute teacher. In a profession where adaptability and quick thinking are paramount, these technological assets provide a solid foundation for making informed decisions and fostering a positive learning environment. They are the silent partners in a substitute's journey, offering a structured approach to the spontaneous nature of the job. For current and aspiring substitute teachers alike, mastery of these tools signifies a commitment to educational excellence and a readiness to meet the demands of teaching with confidence and skill.

Understanding the Substitute Teacher's Toolbox

In the dynamic and often unpredictable world of substitute teaching, having the right tools and software at your disposal is crucial for success. These resources not only enhance the substitute teacher's workflow but also support effective decision-making and collaboration with permanent staff and students. The ability to quickly adapt to different classroom environments and maintain continuity in education is greatly facilitated by a well-equipped toolbox. For substitute teachers, technology plays a significant role in ensuring that they can effectively manage their day-to-day tasks and adapt to various teaching assignments. From lesson planning to classroom management, the right tools can make the difference between a chaotic day and a productive one. Let's explore the essential categories of tools that are central to the profession of a substitute teacher, along with examples of popular platforms within each category.

Substitute Teacher Tools List

Lesson Planning and Resources

Lesson planning tools are vital for substitute teachers, who often need to prepare lessons at short notice. These tools provide access to a wealth of educational resources, standards-aligned content, and customizable lesson plans that can be quickly adapted to different grade levels and subjects.

Popular Tools

Teachers Pay Teachers

An online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials, offering a wide range of lesson plans and resources.


A digital lesson planner that allows teachers to organize lessons, align with school standards, and access their plans from anywhere.

Common Curriculum

A planning tool that helps teachers create and collaborate on lesson plans, with features for curriculum mapping and scheduling.

Classroom Management

Effective classroom management is key to maintaining order and promoting a positive learning environment. Tools in this category help substitute teachers with behavior tracking, participation, and ensuring that classroom routines are followed even in the absence of the regular teacher.

Popular Tools


A classroom communication app used to share reports between parents and teachers about student behavior and social development.

Too Noisy

An app that monitors the noise level in the classroom, helping students to self-regulate and maintain an appropriate volume during activities.

Random Name Picker

A simple tool for selecting students randomly to answer questions or participate in activities, ensuring fair involvement.

Communication and Collaboration

Substitute teachers must be able to communicate effectively with both permanent staff and students. Tools in this category facilitate the sharing of information, lesson plans, and student progress, ensuring continuity in education and collaboration with the regular teaching team.

Popular Tools


A communication platform that enables teachers to send quick, simple messages to students and parents, keeping everyone informed.

Google Classroom

A free service for schools that aids in creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way, fostering collaboration between teachers and students.


A student engagement platform that allows students to showcase their work and teachers to communicate with parents and provide feedback.

Substitute Teacher Networks and Job Platforms

Finding and managing substitute teaching assignments is streamlined through dedicated networks and job platforms. These tools help substitute teachers to find work, manage their schedules, and connect with schools in need of their services.

Popular Tools


An app that notifies substitute teachers of available jobs in participating districts, allowing them to accept assignments with ease.

Swing Education

A platform that matches schools with qualified substitute teachers, offering flexible scheduling and a variety of teaching opportunities.

Aesop (Frontline Education)

An automated service that helps subs find job openings, manage schedules, and receive notifications about new assignments.

Professional Development and Learning

Continuous learning and professional development are important for substitute teachers to stay current with educational trends and teaching strategies. Tools in this category offer courses, webinars, and certifications to help subs enhance their skills and knowledge.

Popular Tools


Connects teachers with a network of peers and offers access to a variety of educational content for professional growth.

Lynda.com (LinkedIn Learning)

Provides a vast library of instructional videos and courses on various subjects, including classroom management and educational technology.


Offers online courses from top universities and institutions, allowing substitute teachers to learn new skills and earn certifications.

Popular Tools

Showcase the Right Tools in Your Resume
Compare your resume to a specific job description to quickly identify which tools are important to highlight in your experiences.
Compare Your Resume to a Job

Learning and Mastering Substitute Teacher Tools

As a Substitute Teacher, the ability to quickly adapt to different educational environments is paramount, and mastering the tools and software used in these settings is a critical part of that adaptability. The right approach to learning these technologies not only makes you more effective in the classroom but also enhances your value as an educator. It's about more than just understanding the features; it's about integrating these tools into your teaching strategy to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. Here are some actionable insights and tips to help you learn and master the necessary tools and software for your role as a Substitute Teacher.

Identify Essential Tools and Software

Start by identifying the tools and software commonly used in the schools or districts where you substitute teach. These may include Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Canvas or Google Classroom, student information systems, and interactive whiteboard software. Familiarize yourself with the basics of these platforms, as they will be your primary tools for managing classroom activities and student engagement.

Engage in Active Exploration

Once you've identified the key tools, dive into them through active exploration. Create a "sandbox" class where you can practice setting up lessons, grading assignments, and using any interactive features without the pressure of a live classroom environment. This hands-on experience is invaluable for building confidence and competence with the software.

Utilize Training Resources and Workshops

Many educational tools offer official training resources, including webinars, tutorials, and in-person workshops. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn directly from the experts. They can provide you with shortcuts, insights, and best practices that you might not discover on your own.

Connect with Other Educators

Join online forums, social media groups, or local educator meetups where you can connect with peers. These communities are excellent resources for sharing experiences, solutions to common challenges, and creative ways to use teaching tools. Learning from others can accelerate your mastery of new software.

Practice Regularly and Reflect

Consistent practice is key to mastering any new skill. Use the tools regularly, even if it's just for planning or personal development. After each substitute teaching assignment, reflect on what went well and what could be improved in terms of tool usage. This reflection will guide your ongoing learning process.

Stay Updated on New Features and Trends

Educational technology is constantly evolving, with new features and tools being introduced regularly. Subscribe to newsletters from tool providers, follow edtech blogs, and attend industry conferences to stay informed. This will ensure that your skills remain current and that you're aware of emerging tools that could benefit your teaching.

Share Your Knowledge

As you become more proficient, share your knowledge with other substitute teachers. Offer to lead a training session or write a blog post about your experiences. Teaching others not only reinforces your own learning but also contributes to the professional growth of your community. By taking a strategic and hands-on approach to learning and mastering substitute teacher tools and software, you'll enhance your ability to provide a seamless and effective learning experience for students, no matter which classroom you step into. Continuous learning and collaboration with your peers will keep your skills sharp and your teaching methods innovative.

Tool FAQs for Substitute Teachers

How do I choose the right tools from the vast options available?

Choosing the right tools as a Substitute Teacher involves pinpointing the essentials of classroom management, lesson execution, and communication. Opt for versatile platforms recognized for educational use, such as learning management systems (LMS) and student engagement tools. Seek advice from experienced educators and prioritize tools that schools in your district commonly use. This ensures compatibility and eases the transition between different classrooms, allowing you to maintain a consistent teaching approach.

Are there any cost-effective tools for startups and individual Substitute Teachers?

Substitute Teachers must swiftly adapt to different classrooms and teaching tools. Prioritize mastering software that's widely used across schools, such as classroom management and lesson planning applications. Engage in quick, practical tutorials and utilize educator communities on social media for tips and best practices. Practice with the software during prep time to build confidence. Embrace each teaching assignment as an opportunity to refine your skills with these tools, enhancing your flexibility and effectiveness in the role.

Can mastering certain tools significantly enhance my career prospects as a Substitute Teacher?

Substitute Teachers can stay current by joining educational forums, subscribing to teaching blogs, and engaging with online teacher communities. Regularly attending professional development workshops and webinars tailored to education technology keeps them informed. Additionally, following educational influencers on social media and participating in local educator meetups can provide valuable insights into innovative classroom tools and strategies. This proactive approach ensures they remain conversant with evolving educational trends and resources.
Up Next

Substitute Teacher LinkedIn Guide

Learn what it takes to become a JOB in 2024