The average student spends 187 days — more than one full school year — with substitute teachers throughout their K-12 education. Every day, approximately 274,000 classrooms are led by a substitute teacher. It’s no question that substitute teachers play a significant role in the education of our youth. Regardless, many administrators and staff report difficulty finding enough quality substitutes.
As teacher shortages persist and substitute teachers get harder to find, stellar substitute teachers are more important than ever. To ensure your students continue to get the best education possible while their teacher is out, you need to keep high-quality substitutes coming back. Here’s how:
Treat them with Respect
When a substitute teacher comes to your school, do everything in your power to ensure the students and staff treat them with respect. From the time they enter the door, help them feel welcome in your school. A friendly introduction and a warm smile can go a long way. Encourage other teachers to introduce themselves, and ensure that the substitutes feel welcome in the teachers’ lounge.
Give them the Proper Resources
Providing the resources a substitute teacher needs to successfully teach your students is vital to retaining quality substitutes. Make sure your teachers always leave a detailed lesson plan when they are out. If a teacher is unable to leave a lesson plan, have a backup plan in place. When the lesson plan requires additional resources, ensure those are provided.
Recognize Substitute Contribution
The importance of substitutes teachers cannot be overstated. But sometimes, substitute teachers don’t always feel appreciated. Recognizing the contributions substitute teachers make lets them know you appreciate their work and will keep them coming back. You could give a Sub of the Month award to exceptional substitutes, or hold a yearly substitute luncheon to show your appreciation. If a substitute goes above and beyond, even a simple thank you note or email expressing your gratitude can go a long way.
It’s clear that quality substitute teachers are extremely important to student success. Just because their regular teacher is gone doesn’t mean the day should be wasted. By following these simple tips, you will guarantee that your best substitute teachers want to continually come back to your school.
Having a tough time finding high-quality substitute teachers?
We work with area school districts to recruit, hire and manage their substitute teachers. By offering attractive benefits and the flexibility to substitute teach in multiple school districts, we attract the area’s best, most experienced substitutes. With such a large pool of substitute teachers, we continuously keep a 98% fill rate and above for all our combined districts.