Be There: Substitute Teachers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Be There: Substitute Teachers

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  When it comes to the people in your child's school, you know the principal and their teachers, but there is one group of educators you may never meet. And they are just as important as the teachers.

They may not be in the classroom every day, but when they do come to teach, they mean business. The substitute teachers in Muscogee County are vital to the full time teachers they fill in for.

"I don't view it as temporary at all. I view myself as a teacher," said Tamika Lindsey. She was a full-time teacher and has been substitute teaching for the past year. She says her experience has taught her that having great subs is essential in the classroom, "As a full-time teacher I referred to maintain relationships with those who would cover for me in my absence and that way I knew them and their capabilities in the classroom, my students didn't suffer from a lack of teaching."

Educators would agree that having a responsible adult, who has a passion for teaching, makes the school day smoother for the students. SubFinder and Recruiter for the Muscogee County School District, Brenda Reed said, "We want someone who can carry on the classroom in the absence of that teacher and carry on the learning for those students."

"I am responsible for doing all of the responsibilities of a full-time teacher in their absence," Lindsey told News Leader Nine.

But Lindsey adds being a substitute does have its downsides, "I would say the biggest challenge is discipline. The majority of subs experience disciplinary issues in the classroom just because students will try you because you are new."

And these fill-in teachers need to do their homework in order to help the students do theirs. Reed said, "You're walking into a classroom of students, you don't know the students, you may not be familiar with the school. I think going into an unknown situation is the hardest part in learning about the schools."

This year the Muscogee County School District actually has more than 700 substitute teachers employed and more then half of them have a background in education.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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