We're Improving the Substitute Teaching Experience For Everyone

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Substitute Teaching Matters

1 Full Year

of a student’s K-12 time
is taught by subs

1 in 10

classrooms are taught by subs nationwide, every day


substitute teachers work in US schools annually

Substantial helps improve the substitute teaching experience for everyone:
students, subs, district staff, teachers, principals and parents.


Students spend up to one whole year of their K-12 education with subs, but educators say it often feels like lost time. We believe students deserve more than a warm body with a worksheet. 

Every student deserves someone substantial: a caring, energetic and well-trained sub who can make the most of class time.

Districts partner with us to help break out of patterns and improve how they recruit, train and support subs. We’ve been called consultants, process improvement geeks, and fearless optimists.

As long as we’re helping districts tackle what they thought was impossible and improve the substitute teaching experience, we’ll gladly wear any of those labels. Learn more.

From Our Founder, Jill Vialet

“While the substitute teaching problem is often framed as a shortage, my interviews with subs, classroom teachers, students, principals, HR directors, sub system managers and superintendents painted a different picture.”

What’s New At Substantial

Sub System Leaders Course

Begins Jan 2018

Sub Data Dashboards

What’s Happening In Your Sub System?

Latest Blog Posts

A Letter of Thanks to Substitute Teachers

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.

read more



Arlington Public Schools
Hayward Unified School District
Mills College
Museum of Children’s Arts: MOCHA
Oakland Unified School District
San Francisco Unified School District
Stanford d.school K-12 Lab Network
Sunnyvale Unified School District
West Contra Costa Unified School District

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380 Washington Street Oakland, CA  94607  |  Careers @ Substantial Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Substantial is a fiscally sponsored project of Playworks Education Energized (“Playworks”), a California based nonprofit public benefit corporation. Playworks is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code and our Federal Tax ID number (FEIN) is 94-3251867.