Delphine Stegman approached her parents on the eve of her 10th birthday with an unusual request. She didn’t want a “normal” present, like jewelry, music, or games. Instead, she asked for… an overhead projector.
“Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher,” Delphine says. “I would use the overhead to imitate my teachers. I’ve always loved helping others learn from the time I was as young as I can remember.”
The overhead projector has been phased out (in many schools, anyway), but Delphine’s passion for education remains strong today, several decades later. She currently supports a wide range of students and schools in Southern California as a substitute teacher with Swing Education.
“Working in the classroom is one of the most challenging jobs, but it’s also the most rewarding,” Delphine says. “Working with students has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I absolutely love empowering students by encouraging them to think critically and engaging with them on their academic work.”
Journey to Education
In 2017, Delphine Stegman hit a career crossroads.
She was working in the corporate world in the San Diego area, but felt unfulfilled. As Delphine considered her next step, she connected with several friends who felt very differently about their careers.
“I spoke with a couple of friends who were teachers and absolutely loved their jobs,” Delphine recalls.
Soon, Delphine was convinced. It was time to revisit her lifelong passion for education.
Before fully committing to the career change, however, Delphine wanted to make sure the classroom was right for her. Substitute teaching was a great way to find out.
“I started subbing as a way to decide if this would be something I would be interested in long term,” Delphine says.
That led Delphine to Swing Education, an organization that connects substitute teachers with classrooms in 1,500-plus schools and districts. Swing also helped Delphine by reimbursing her costs to obtain California’s substitute teacher permit.
“I wanted to challenge myself and work with kids in different areas and income levels,” Delphine says. “I did this to figure out what I like teaching and where I felt was the best fit for me if I did want to pursue this long term.”
Delphine started subbing with Swing Education in the 2017-2018 school year. Since then, she’s subbed for more than a dozen schools and has impacted thousands of students.
“Swing is always available for support and questions regarding jobs, pay, or any other things I have needed them for,” Delphine says. “They have also recently added a lot of helpful resources for new substitute teachers wanting to improve their classroom management and efficiency, and have given great ideas for learning how to make long-term connections with schools.
“The pay is also very competitive compared with the other districts I work for. Swing’s online platform has made finding work easy and enjoyable. They do their best to keep their substitute teachers in the loop, and I really appreciate the communication they offer.”
Making a Difference
Turns out, Delphine’s friends were right. Teaching has, in fact, provided the fulfillment she’s been looking for in her career.
“It’s extremely rewarding when students see you and their faces light up and they get excited to have you in their classroom,” Delphine says. “I also feel rewarded when I help students achieve their academic goals. I have had multiple students thank me for being a great teacher because I really care about their learning and make it fun. This is one of the best feelings as a teacher.”
The experience as a substitute teacher has been educational for Delphine as well. She’s realized that K-12 education is the ideal fit for her long-term career goals.
“Through subbing, I was able to challenge myself and think about what I want to do long term,” Delphine says. “This really solidified the choice I recently made to obtain my masters in speech language pathology so I can continue to help students in an educational setting.”
About Swing Education
Swing Education matches high-quality substitute teachers with schools that need them. Contact us today to learn more.