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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,371
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,371
Senior Member
Raise the bar!
Old 08-18-2019, 05:35 AM
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While I fully support the idea of raising the bar for subs, I do not support "state certification." One of my biases behind that is that most state requirements prove only how incapable the government is of achieving much. Licensure and certification is not evidence of competence.

I've worked with some pretty bad subs over the years. Most don't last long--the system seems to weed them out, at least in those districts where teachers and admin pay attention to what subs are doing in classrooms. Transferring the responsibility for that to a state agency granting certification is not an acceptable alternative.

Most teachers I know do their best to leave good sub plans and do not expect a sub to teach new concepts. That is as it should be... although as one who loves to teach, I find it frustrating when I have to do busywork with a class. (Although I would also argue that even busy work can become a learning experience with a good sub/leader.)

I've also worked with some good subs over the years. Not all are former teachers nor are they certified or college degreed. Many have a passion for nurturing and teaching and a strong desire to be good at what they do. Requiring certification will not increase the pool of those good subs. The more important question is "How do we recruit and maintain good substitute teachers?"

I fully support background checks and fingerprinting. But I also know that they are not a guarantee there won't be some problems.

Lastly, I would offer an anecdote. I was in a classroom with a certified master degreed teacher subbing as an ed-tech. I knew her well; she's a good teacher, especially in math. She found herself totally confused during one lesson. She said, "Let's move on while Mr. B sees if he can figure this out." It is not to my credit that I did--it made sense since I was not on the firing line and could really focus on the problem. She allowed me to explain the solution to her and the class when I found it. (That teacher, by the way, has taught me a few teaching and classroom management tricks. Prior to her retirement, we worked extremely well together. It didn't seem to trouble her that I'm not certified. I do have a BA but it is not in math nor is it in education.)
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