Become a Sub

How to Become a Substitute in New York

We review the requirements and process to become a substitute in New York.
state flag of New York


In the state of New York, you must be fingerprinted to undergo a criminal background check by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). You cannot work as a substitute teacher if you do not pass the background check or if you have had a professional license revoked or suspended.

If you plan on substitute teaching within a single district, you can contact their human resources department to go through their application process. Some districts have additional requirements that you must meet before you can begin as a substitute teacher. It is also recommended that you look carefully at pay rates, as districts typically pay lower rates to internal substitutes.

With Senya, you have the ability to work with many schools and districts, and pay rates are higher! When you sign up with Senya, you will be guided through a simple onboarding process–no application required. It will also walk you through a few easy steps to complete your fingerprinting.

Once your background check gives you clearance to work in schools, you will have a brief video call with a Senya representative to make sure you have a successful start to substitute teaching. The Senya platform makes it easy for you to view and accept substitute teaching jobs in your area. You can see substitute teaching jobs by date, school, grade level, subject area, and pay rate.

What is on the Senya platform?

Senya is an app for substitute teachers! The Senya app makes it easy and convenient for you to manage all aspects of substitute teaching:

  • step-by-step guidance through onboarding and fingerprinting
  • map and list views to compare and accept jobs in your area
  • filters and notifications to see the jobs you are most interested in taking
  • directions and contacts for schools
  • calendars to set your schedule
  • reminders for upcoming jobs
  • resources to build up your substitute teaching skills
  • daily earnings tracker and weekly pay
  • direct chat support with Senya Customer Service

Become a Substitute Teacher in New York through Senya

Step 1: Sign Up on Senya

To sign up, simply download the app onto your mobile device, tablet, or computer. The app is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Step 2: Complete the Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is very easy, and you can complete most items within minutes! Plan on spending a little more time on the fingerprinting item, but even that process is made simple through the Senya app (details below).

Continue reading to learn about the things that you will complete during the onboarding process. This is a lot of information, but don’t worry–once you sign up and begin, you will see for yourself how quickly it can be completed. One of Senya’s most common compliments is how easy the onboarding process is!

Profile Information

Once you enter the app, you will begin the onboarding process by adding basic profile information, such as your full name, home address, email, and phone number. You will also upload a profile picture; make sure that you choose a clear picture that represents yourself well, as schools will be able to see this when you accept jobs.

Work Authorization

As part of the onboarding, you will also need to indicate if you are authorized to work in the U.S. and upload a driver’s license, passport, or other state-issued photo ID. Make sure that you submit a photo that is clear and readable.


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is partnered with the fingerprinting company IdentoGo. To ensure that your fingerprints are sent to NYSED, follow the directions below to schedule your fingerprinting appointment.

On the Senya app, click on the Fingerprint Clearance item.

Senya fingerprint link from onboarding screen

The box that pops up will walk you through the process to

  1. schedule your fingerprinting
  2. create a TEACH account through the NYSED website
  3. check your fingerprint status on your TEACH account
  4. upload a screenshot when you status shows that you are cleared to work in schools

Senya NY approval box steps 1 and 2
Senya NY approval steps 3 and 4 screen

When you click the Step 1 "Schedule" button, it will take you to the IdentoGo website. It will already have the correct code (14ZGR7) at the top so that your fingerprints are sent to NYSED. Click the top "Schedule or Manage Appointment" link to find a location near you and schedule your appointment.

IdentoGo appointment screen

In New York, the fingerprint background check may be completed in as few as 24 hours if there is no criminal history. The sooner you are able to get fingerprinted, the sooner you can be cleared to get subbing!

Click here for a full step by step guide, including screenshots, for setting up a fingerprinting appointment through IdentoGo.

When you click the Step 2 "Create Account" button, it will take you to the NYSED website. Scroll down and click the far left box that says "Create a TEACH account" to get signed up on the TEACH system.

TEACH create account screen

Click here for a full step by step guide, including screenshots, for creating a TEACH account.

You can check the status of your fingerprints by clicking on the Step 3 "Check Status" button. Log into your TEACH account and click on the TEACH Online icon. On the next screen, click on the "Account Information" link. Scroll down and select "Fingerprinting" from the list and click the "Go" button. The status message will display on the bottom of the screen.

TEACH fingerprint status screen

When you see the message that your background check results have been received, take a screenshot and upload it to the Senya fingerprinting onboarding item.

Readiness Center

While Senya waits to receive your fingerprint background check results, you can explore the Readiness Center for information and videos to prepare you for substitute teaching.

Items in the Readiness Center are marked as Required, Tier Eligibility, or Optional.

There is only 1 required item, indicated with a red tag: You must go into Contractor Information and sign your 1099 contract. This sets you up to work as a contractor (1099 is a reference to the tax designation), allowing you to work as much or as little through Senya as you choose.

Items required for Tier Eligibility are marked with a yellow tag and must be completed to participate in the bonus program. These include policies and preparation videos, which will help you be successful as a substitute. Although there are a lot of policies, almost all of them take less than a minute each to review. The five preparation videos are approximately 5 minutes each.

Optional items are marked with a blue tag and do not affect your ability to view jobs or participate in the bonus program. However, they have useful information and are very quick to complete. You are encouraged to view all items in the Readiness Center.

Payroll Information

As part of the onboarding process, you will complete tax information and enter bank information to set up payments. Senya payments are made through the payroll company Everee, so you will receive emails from Everee regarding payments. If you ever have questions or issues, contact Senya for support.

Your first payment will come the week after your first job, with weekly payments after that each Friday.

Video Introduction Call

The final part of onboarding is a brief video introduction call with a member of the Senya team. You will be prompted to set an appointment date and time. The call will take place over Zoom; you should receive an invite once you have made the appointment. Zoom can be downloaded for free on your mobile device, tablet, or computer. If you need technical assistance, you can contact Senya or review online troubleshooting pages from Zoom or other support sites.

During the call, the Senya team member will chat with you about your goals with substitute teaching and answer any questions that you have about the app, the 1099 contract, and anything else. Video introduction calls typically last for 15 minutes or less.

Step 3: Begin Substitute Teaching!

Once you have completed the onboarding items, your account will be approved, and you can immediately view and accept substitute teaching jobs!

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A mockup of the Senya app's Log In page on an iPhone screen.