Districts across California are reporting many start-of-year vacancies and will be relying on long-term substitutes and reassigned coaches, specialists and central office staff to start the school year. Start-of-year vacancies bring unique challenges for everyone, and long-term subs often don’t get the information and support they need to be successful in the classroom.
Seeking to address this issue, the Substantial Classrooms organization was founded to provide knowledge and support to districts seeking substitute teachers, as well as support for substitutes themselves. It’s critical that school and district leaders turn their attention to preparing and supporting the staff who will be starting the year with students.
To aid in this endeavor, Substantial has created a free toolkit to share best practices for supporting substitute teachers. The toolkit provides key areas for district leaders to focus on in supporting subs in start-of-year vacancies and practical short-term advice, as well as a best practices guide for setting up subs in long-term positions. The guide outlines how human resources and principals can work together to make sure that long-term subs have access to essential information and are introduced to the school community. It includes sample agendas, checklists and email templates
“We have been hearing of so many vacancies as the school year begins, we knew we had to help with the creation of this Supporting Subs in Start-of-Year Vacancies toolkit,” said Substantial co-founder Amanda von Moos. “I found that when I was talking to district representatives, they are so focused on teacher recruitment that they hadn’t thought about how to actively integrate long-term subs into their systems. We created this toolkit to be straightforward and easy to operationalize, since we know administrators are juggling multiple vacancies without the appropriate bandwidth.”