In honor of Substitute Educators Day, I write this letter to you, the “guest teachers” who worked in my various classrooms over the years. First grade, second grade, computer lab – you covered them all, ably, at a moment’s notice, and to my eternal gratitude.
For teachers transitioning between grades, schools, or districts substituting is the perfect vehicle to clarify career priorities…
Yesterday’s Washington Post included an eye catching headline: one in four teachers miss 10 or more days of school, earning the label “chronically absent.” Although the article was careful to present a balanced view, the comments section quickly devolved into the predictable argument about valuing vs vilifying teachers.
While discussions about the growing teacher shortage have traditionally emphasized the failings of our teacher pipeline, the Learning Policy Institute’s (LPI) recent reports warn that our best chance at averting our current path toward a significant teacher shortage is to focus on teacher retention through improved “mentoring, induction, working conditions, and career development.” Defining the problem in this way has significant implications for how we might go about avoiding the crisis, and one significant, generally neglected, piece of the puzzle is substitute teachers.