Substitute Teachers

McDowell County Schools Substitute Teachers


Minimum requirements for substitute teachers are:

  • 18 years or older with a high school diploma or
  • 18 years or older with a GED, plus 24 semester hours from an accredited community college or university - and
  • Upon completion of the course you must pass a background check and complete and submit the appropriate employment forms, including a Health Examination Certificate.

The virtual substitute training is offered by the App-Garden University. (See Catalog Purchasing Guide, bottom of page.) There are many benefits to you as a substitute, such as the ability to train anytime and anywhere you have access to internet. It is so important that the school district keep you current on the board policies and procedures as well as giving you great tips and ideas for being a successful substitute teacher. Training is required of all substitutes in order for our district to meet compliance requirements.

Once the purchase has been made, you may begin the course. Please note, an email address is required to log into these courses.

As a new substitute for MCS, two orientation courses are available. You will choose one based on the following information.

  • McDowell County Schools Substitute Teacher Orientation with Effective Substitute Training $49.00
    • This two-part course is intended for NEW substitute teachers who do not hold a teaching certificate or who are not Effective Teacher Training (ETT) certified. The Substitute Teacher Orientation portion of the course will provide orientation for one calendar year from date of completion. 
  • McDowell County Schools Substitute Teacher Orientation $39.00
    • This course is intended for NEW substitute teachers who hold a teaching certificate or who are Effective Teacher Training (ETT) certified. This course will provide orientation for one calendar year from date of completion.

Upon completion of the on-line course/s, employment packets may be picked up at Central Office.  After the employment packet has been completed, please call Robin Smith at Central Office (334 South Main Street, Marion, NC) to schedule an appointment.  

You will be given the instructions for completing the background check when you turn in the completed paperwork. Please bring teacher's certificate (if applicable), college transcripts (if applicable), social security card, void check, and driver's license with you.

Substitute teachers may not work until after their background check is completed AND employment paperwork is processed (6-8 business days).

Rate of Pay:

  • Effective Teacher Training (ETT) certified or Effective Substitute Training (EST) certified with the certificate on file at Central Office: $113.00/day
  • Certified teacher with their license on file at Central Office: $133/day
  • One-half of the pay rates are paid for half days.

Renewing Substitutes

When your orientation certificate expires, complete the renewal training and print the renewal certificate. Also, please download and complete the Substitute Data Sheet and return both documents to Robin at Central Office. IF you want to change your tax withholding information or you have changed banking institutions, please let Robin know.


Substitute Orientation or Renewal Course(s)

Welcome to SmartFind Express, a service providing internet and phone access to the Substitute and Employee Absence Management System.

If you have any questions about MCS Substitute Teacher Program, please contact Robin Smith at (828) 652-4535, ext. 0 or email: