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How Substitute Teachers Impact Learning and Achievement

How Substitute Teachers Impact Learning and Achievement

The merits of quality substitute teachers may seem obvious, however, in light of the turmoil in education over the past few years, effective substitutes are more vital than ever to student achievement. Students need additional social-emotional learning, teacher absenteeism is rising, and there is a shortage of substitute teachers—quality or otherwise. School leaders cannot afford to settle and assign any adult to fill classroom vacancies. This point is even more critical in charter schools, as the implications of unhappy parents and stakeholders carry the additional danger of losing students to competing institutions.

Substitute Teacher Relationships 

Traditionally facing much more adversity from students than regular classroom teachers, substitutes must be flexible, fearless, and firm. Quality substitute teachers also have strong interpersonal skills, resilience, confidence, and character. Building positive relationships with students is essential to student learning and academic achievement. According to ScienceDirect:

“Substantial research literature indicates that positive teacher-student relationships (TSRs) promote students' academic achievement.” 

The same applies to substitute teachers. Building relationships takes time; there needs to be consistency in who delivers their instruction, not a cast of rotating characters, which is why maintaining a quality substitute teacher staffing pool is so important for schools. Many charter schools are smaller than their public counterparts, so building relationships is even more essential. 

Bridging the Gap

In recognizing substitute teachers' significant contributions to school programs, the National Education Association refers to substitutes as educational bridges. In an ideal world, when teachers cannot be present in their classroom, there should be a seamless transition to a substitute. That can only happen when students are familiar with and comfortable with a substitute teacher. 

Finding Quality Substitutes

Just as teachers are pulled in a dozen directions, school administrators are, as well. Spending time finding, interviewing, vetting, and cultivating quality substitute teachers is time taken away from the many other, equally important tasks. This is where a professional staffing agency can help, specifically one solely dedicated to educational staffing. 

A competent substitute teacher staffing agency will work with a school to customize a substitute pool. They will talk extensively with school leaders to find the people who will be the most successful for their building, ensuring a good fit for the school’s culture, demographics, and specific needs. 

The ability and effort to match schools with candidates that best fit their needs are particularly essential to charter schools. At a charter school, decisions about how best to serve students aren't made at a district office; instead, they are made by teachers and administrators who know the student population they serve. An educational staffing agency whose people spend time and effort familiarizing themselves with a school’s culture and building a customized substitute pool is invaluable.

Substitute Hiring Tips for Busy Administrators

How can hiring quality substitute teachers help reduce teacher burnout, boost staff morale, lower teacher absenteeism, and improve overall school performance? We have answers! Check out our new ebook, The Power of Quality Substitutes: How Hiring and Maintaining the Best Substitutes Can Improve Your Charter School. Stop struggling with finding and hiring substitutes. Use our ebook to make the process much easier and more successful! 

the power of substitutes