Nothing brings more joy to a student than walking into class and seeing a substitute teacher sitting at the computer.
Most substitute teachers have a reputation of being a blessing and just putting on a movie or watching us as we do classwork or take a test. “I like having a substitute teacher because they’re really chill and we don’t really have to do work when they’re there,” senior Emma Abid said.
Though it is necessary to have an authority figure in the room to hand out classwork, take attendance and make sure nothing goes wrong, some substitute teachers fail to execute. “Most of the subs never know what they’re teaching and always mess up students’ names. They also don’t explain anything and just give busy work we have to figure ourselves,” sophomore Fatima Ahmed said.
Yes, they make sure nothing bad occurs while in class, but what’s the point of having a substitute teacher who isn’t trained in teaching at the very least.
It is understandable that the substitute doesn’t understand every single thing about the subject, but if they can’t answer a few basic questions about it, then you might as well have any other teacher who is free for a period be there. We are all familiar with the substitute teachers who mark you absent even though you said “here” multiple times when called for attendance and the ones who waste a quarter of the class trying to figure out how to turn on the Promethean board. The worst, however, are the ones who speak so much about themselves that you have even less time to get work done before it becomes homework.
Substitute teachers who have either taught the subject before or at least know what they’re doing when in a classroom full of 30 students are the ones who should be hired. Specifically, if a substitute who is long-term still doesn’t know what they’re really doing, then it is unfair to the students. The MCPS policy for hiring substitute teachers is that those applying must send in a resume and apply for a position. “They need a four year degree from a college in really any major and then the county does a thorough background check on them,” main office secretary Renée Chen said.
Substitutes may also be under qualified for the job seeing as how after they get hired they have to go through training but it only teaches about safety and they’re paychecks, not about how to handle students or communicate with the teacher in a classroom environment. Although most substitutes fall under not being as qualified as students would prefer, there are some substitutes who are better and well liked by the student body.
Former long term substitute Alexander Parker, who subbed for social studies teacher Christina Rice, is now a full time teacher this year. Some teachers acknowledge that the substitutes don’t always follow the directions they left them and completely forget or go against the schedule for the class. “I feel that most substitutes try to do their best, but they don’t always follow things the way the teacher would like them to be done.” math teacher Michelle George said. While there are good substitute teachers out there, it is a disadvantage to the students when they don’t know what they are doing.