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Local Substitute Teachers Provide an Essential Educational Service

Photography Provided

In any school district, substitute teachers play a crucial role in day-to-day activity. The leaders at Westfield Washington Schools are always looking to hire dependable substitute teachers to ensure all students can continue on their education journey.

Substitute teachers

“We always are looking for good subs,” says Westfield Washington Schools Substitute Teacher Coordinator Staci Pratt. “Even in a typical school year, we are always welcoming new subs into our district. Sometimes I feel like they’re the unsung heroes of the school district, because we rely on them so heavily to keep our schools operating smoothly when teachers and instructional assistants are out.”

In addition to clearing an extended background check, substitute teachers in Westfield Washington Schools are required to have a high school diploma and a substitute teacher permit in the district. Pratt says ideal candidates must have a passion for working with children, in addition to several other key traits.

“We look for someone who’s kind, compassionate, understanding, patient, enthusiastic and positive,” she says. “Those are all traits of a good substitute teacher.”

Once they’ve been hired, substitute teachers in the district have the opportunity to build their own schedules based on daily need.

“We work with a fantastic system called Absence Management through Frontline Education,” Pratt says. “When a staff member is absent, they enter their absence. If they require a substitute teacher, then on the other side the substitute teachers can see any jobs that are open.”

With four years of full-time classroom experience, Leslie Miller has worked as a substitute teacher in Westfield Washington Schools for the last three years. As a mother of three, Miller likes having a flexible schedule that aligns with that of her children.

“Any time they were going to be off, I was also going to be off,” she says. “I knew I was always going to be off on Christmas and on snow days.”

Substitute teachers

As a former full-time teacher, Miller appreciates the detailed lesson plans that teachers leave her as a substitute.

“I really appreciate these teachers, and the time they put into trying to make my experience as good as possible so it keeps their kids on track,” says Miller, who primarily substitutes at the elementary schools. “When they give me very good lesson plans, I am helping to continue their education. It’s not just a stopgap measure.”

In addition to a flexible schedule, Westfield Washington Schools Substitute Judy Workman says she enjoys the refreshing change of pace that comes with being a substitute teacher.

“I love that it’s something different every day,” says Workman, who primarily works in middle school and high school classes. “I’m almost never in the same place twice, so I never have the same day twice.”

Both Miller and Workman aim to positively impact the lives of students in Westfield Washington Schools.

“You have lots of little people to love on – I’ve had kids wave at me in the grocery store,” Miller says. “As a sub, you just have multiple opportunities to maybe be a force for good.”

Those interested in becoming a substitute teacher for Westfield Washington Schools can apply online by following the Human Resources tab at wws.k12.in.us.

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