The Substitute Journey Project

In our Substitute Journey Project, a handful of aspiring substitute teachers have agreed to journal and/or be interviewed about their experience becoming a sub. We’re following these individuals from the initial point of interest, through their first day in a classroom. These first hand experiences help us to better understand both the practical steps and the emotional journey of becoming a substitute. Our hope is that from this experiment we can build tools, resources and recommendations that will support all levels of the educational system—schools, districts, counties—improve processes to induct and retain more substitute teachers.

We’re Exploring

  • How does the journey to becoming a substitute teaching impact the attitudes and beliefs of substitute teachers?
  • How can we build empathy for what it’s like to become a substitute teacher?
  • How can we make the individual journey of becoming a substitute more visible so that we can learn from it?

Are you a new or aspiring substitute teacher? Would you be willing to share your journey with us? We’ll keep everything confidential. Email us, if you’re interested: info (at)

Title Photo: Greenery by Kevin Gong (CC BY 2.0)