Sunday, May 21, 2006

Needed: A Goodly Number Of Great Subs

Here in California's "Imperial" Valley, all a person needs in order to be a substitute teacher in our public school system is a college degree in Anything, a criminal background check, and a pulse. No actual teaching experience or background is required.

Even though there are many excellent substitute teachers serving in classrooms throughout the country, in all too many cases districts have few, if any, requirements that their substitute teachers undergo training or other type of formal preparation before they enter the classroom.

In my 14 years of classroom teaching, I've had a substitute teacher go to sleep and another simply throw-away a "painless" lesson plan that I had designed and took an "R" rated copy of La Bamba from his bookbag and showed it to my Spanish-speaking students.

Other substitute teachers in our junior high school have been dismissed after uttering racial slurs and using profanity in the classroom.

Boston has a hiring process and training program that
looks intriguing.

Substitute teaching offers some of the most difficult work assignments in education.

Why on earth aren't more districts doing something to ensure that the people who serve as substitute teachers are up to the challenge?

In this
post-NCLB world of standards, testing, and accountability, districts cannot afford to just put "warm bodies" in the classroom when the "regular" teacher is absent. Children deserve to have effective teachers each and every school day.
See our latest education-related entries right here.