BY CONOR FOGARTY ON NOVEMBER 25, 2014
The importance of substitute teachers in the public school system is sometimes ignored or minimized. However, the importance of substitutes may be much greater than most people realize.
“I feel that substitute teachers are underappreciated by many people in schools because they do not always teach the same class, so some people think they are unimportant,” substitute teacher Catherine Rosario said.
While some people say that the greatest amount of class work is completed while a teacher is present, substitutes are not useless.
“Substitute teachers are important because teachers need time to be sick and have down time to work on things that are not school related,” Rosario said. “Someone has to run the class while the teacher is gone.”
Filling in for teachers is not the only reason there are substitutes.
“Substitute teachers are meant to carry on the ordinary routine of the educational process to further prepare students for the real work in real worksites,” substitute teacher Johnnie Johnson said.
Substitutes are needed to continue class curriculums while teachers are gone, or else, classes will be behind once teachers come back.
“When teachers are gone, it is important for the students to get work done in class, and the only way for that to happen is for a substitute to watch over the class,” substitute teacher Joyce King said.
When substitutes are trying to keep classes on track, sometimes they get the worst behavior from students.
“Being a substitute teacher can be hard sometimes because when there is a sub instead of the normal teacher, some students get the idea that they can be uncooperative and fool around during class,” Rosario said.
This makes it hard for substitutes to keep students calm and to keep the classes in check.
“When there are uncooperative students, it can be tough to make the class comply with the instructions and complete the assignments that the teacher left for the class,” Rosario said.
This even gives substitutes a reputation for not enforcing productivity in their classes.
“Some students think that substitute teachers are not the same as normal teachers and treat them with disrespect,” King said.
However, attitude and cooperation issues are not the only problems that substitutes encounter.
“It is sometimes hard to be a substitute teacher because you are expected to treat all students the same, but if there are any students with special problems, then the class may be disrupted and the substitute will not understand how to handle the situation,” Johnson said.
Substitute teachers also do not have the same jobs as normal teachers.
“Being a substitute teacher is different than being a normal teacher because there is less paperwork, but classes can sometimes be harder to control,” Rosario said.
While regular teachers know how to deal with each student in all of their classes, substitutes have to figure out how to make the class cooperate on the spot.
Substitute teachers and normal teachers serve different roles, but students should show respect and be cooperative no matter who is teaching the class.