Consumer Tips



Schools Seek Higher Caliber
Substitute Teachers

(ARA) - Like many teachers across America, Suzanne Williams seldom finds it easy to take a day away from her classroom for a professional development seminar or even sickness.

Williams, who teaches advanced placement biology at Los Altos High School in northern California, lacked confidence in any substitute teacher’s ability to follow through with her lesson plans and create a productive learning environment in her absence.

“Unfortunately, many of the substitute teachers I’ve worked with were uncomfortable tackling the difficult subject matter of science,” says Williams. “This set my students back significantly and doubled their workload when I returned.”

Williams is not alone in her concerns. She is among 2.75 million permanent teachers nationwide, 10 percent of whom are absent on a given day for professional or personal reasons, according to Utah State University’s Substitute Teaching Institute. It is estimated that 274,000 substitute teachers work in America's classrooms every day.

Relief came Williams’ way when Los Altos High School turned to Kelly Educational Staffing in 2001 to manage its substitute teacher program. Kelly is among a growing number of staffing companies offering substitute teachers to schools. The company launched its service in 1999 and today serves more than 1,400 public and private schools in 37 states and the United Kingdom.

“Finding quality substitute teachers is a time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating, task,” says George Perez, principal of Los Altos High School. “By partnering with Kelly, we can focus our efforts on the education we provide, while they train, recruit and retain our substitute teachers.”

Early into the relationship between the school and Kelly, a substitute teacher from the company passed a crucial test when Williams needed to be absent from her biology class for a full week. The substitute teacher not only followed the teacher’s lesson plans and her classroom rules (no gum chewing or hat wearing), she built a great rapport with Williams’ students.

“When I returned, my students were extremely pleased with themselves and the projects they completed,” says Williams. “I was amazed. I have never received such positive feedback from my students in response to a substitute teacher. It is wonderful to have a substitute willing to follow my lesson plans and lab instructions so valuable classroom time isn’t lost.”

Substitute teachers from Kelly Educational Staffing meet state and local certification requirements for any K-12 teaching situation in a public or private school. The company screens and checks the references of every candidate, conducts training and orientation, and offers an automated scheduling system for substitutes. “Staffing is what we do, so we have seen great success in filling classrooms when a permanent teacher needs to be absent for professional or personal reasons,” says Debbie Baldwin, national sales manager for Kelly Educational Staffing.

Utah State estimates that by the time students entering kindergarten today complete 12 years of public school, they will have spent the equivalent of one school year being taught by a substitute teacher. For a growing number of schools, that teacher will come from a staffing company and might even be ready to work the biology lab.

For more information about Kelly Educational Staffing, visit www.kellyeducationalstaffing.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content




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