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Would You Be A Good Substitute Teacher?

David Shockley, a former teacher in the Hamblen County School System, teaches a math class at Lincoln Heights Middle School.

Do you have the skills it takes to be a good substitute teacher?

The Hamblen County Department of Education is looking for good professional substitute teachers.  The next training, which lasts six hours, is scheduled for Oct. 7.

“The role of the substitute teacher is a challenging one which brings with it many rewards and the opportunity to assist in the development of Hamblen County’s greatest asset—its students,” said Dr. Dale Lynch, director of schools.

Lynch continued, “The purpose of the training is to provide you with the information needed to ensure continuity to the instructional program when teachers must be absent from their classrooms.  In addition to providing assistance to the instructional program, another primary responsibility of substitute teachers is to maintain a safe, attractive, and supportive educational environment for the students entrusted in your care.”

Leslie Grigsby, a former teacher, and Eva Thompson, district reading specialist, agree that the characteristics of an exceptional substitute teacher is being a professional in actions, dress and demeanor.

“They are the teachers for the day,” Grigsby explained. “They are important to the school system.”

Grigsby, when she was a teacher, looked for a substitute who was “someone I knew would follow my lesson plans and maintain control of my classroom.”

She said trust between a teacher and a substitute is key. “When I found a good substitute, I’d call him/her over and over.  I appreciated someone who could step in and complete what needed to be done in my classroom.”

Good substitutes also ask questions of other teachers in the building, Grigsby explained.

“Teachers are very protective of their students, no matter the grade level,” Thompson said.  “Word of good substitute teachers travels quickly. These substitutes are doing a great service for the school system.”

The training will focus on professionalism, confidentiality, legal aspects, class management and discipline, daily routines, following teacher lesson plans, keeping up with an appointment calendar, and being a representative of the Hamblen County Department of Education.

Why consider being a substitute teacher?

Grigsby and Thompson agree that it might be for persons who have always wanted to be in education or teach, or for people who love to work with children. “Substitutes also make a difference in the lives of both the child and teacher,” Grigsby added.

Certified substitute teachers earn $65 a day and non-certified substitutes earn $55 a day.

For more information about the training or becoming a substitute teacher, please call the HCBOE personnel office at 586-7700.

Some substitute teachers work in all grades and in all schools throughout the school system. However, substitute teachers can chose the grade levels with which they want to work or at which schools they want to work.

Candidates will undergo a screening that includes a writing assessment and a background check.