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What is the difference between a substitute and replacement teacher?

Difference between substitute and replacement teacher

May 8, 2024

What is the difference between substitute and replacement teacher?

What is the difference between a Substitute Teacher and a Replacement Teacher?


A substitute teacher and a replacement teacher are both temporary instructors, but they typically serve different purposes and have different durations of employment.


What is a Substitute Teacher?

  • A substitute teacher fills in for a regular teacher who is absent due to illness, personal reasons, or professional development.

  • Substitute teachers usually step in on short notice and often have limited interaction with the regular teacher regarding lesson plans or curriculum.

  • They may be called upon for a single day or for a short-term assignment, ranging from a few days to several weeks.

  • Substitute teachers typically follow the lesson plans provided by the absent teacher, maintaining continuity in the students' learning experience.


What is a Replacement Teacher?

  • A replacement teacher, on the other hand, takes over the teaching duties of a regular teacher who is on extended leave, such as maternity or paternity leave, sabbatical, or long-term medical leave.

  • Replacement teachers are usually hired for a specific duration, often for the entirety of the regular teacher's absence, which can span weeks, months, or even an entire academic year.

  • They are expected to follow the curriculum and lesson plans set by the absent teacher but may have more involvement in long-term planning and adapting the curriculum as necessary.

  • Unlike substitute teachers, replacement teachers have more time to establish rapport with students and may have additional responsibilities beyond teaching, such as attending staff meetings or parent-teacher conferences.


While both substitute and replacement teachers provide temporary teaching coverage, the main differences lie in the duration of their assignments and the level of involvement in the overall teaching responsibilities.

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