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How schools can foster inclusivity to attract substitute teachers

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Graduate of San Jose State University, Paul Teogalbo has been a substitute teacher with Swing since September 2022 in Sacramento, CA. Before he earned his CTC credential in 2023, Paul taught as a paraprofessional for eight years, working with students with special needs.

An aspiring teacher

With hopes of one day becoming a full time teacher, Paul has enjoyed the flexibility of subbing with Swing. He said, “I’ve been a substitute teacher through a few different companies, but Swing is the platform I’ve enjoyed the most, mainly because of its flexibility.”

Currently working a long term assignment covering maternity leave, Paul explained, “Swing gave me the opportunity to step up and finally become a teacher in my own classroom, even as just a substitute teacher.”

What subs look for in assignments

When it comes to picking assignments, Paul looks for a thoroughly filled out school profile.  “I can’t go in blind,” he said. “Communication is key. Please tell me everything I need to know! I’m going to be flexible, but information is so crucial to becoming a successful substitute.”

With the Swing platform, substitutes can filter what exactly they’re looking for in an assignment, so be sure to include details such as:

  • Distance from home
  • Included lesson plans
  • Pay rate
  • Subject matter
  • Grade level
  • How long the assignment will last

“Swing has the most flexibility I’ve ever seen in a platform, the user interface is simple to use and effective.” Paul said. “I really appreciate everything that Swing has done for me to grow and develop as a substitute teacher.”

How to stand out to subs

Feeling included within a school community is crucial to a positive substitute teaching experience. “The most important thing is how you feel when you step foot on campus,” Paul explains. “Some schools make you feel like you’re not going to belong straight away. But what really makes schools stand out is how they treat you.”

Along with designating a clear point person to answer your subs’ various administrative and classroom questions, you also want to make sure they feel generally comfortable and welcome. Invite them into the faculty room for their breaks, encourage your teachers and staff to include them in conversation, and keep up the kind of friendly atmosphere that’s welcoming to a newcomer.

Schools can also go above and beyond and provide substitute teachers with information on:

  • Where to find the bathroom
  • Where to eat lunch and store food
  • Who to speak with if they have additional questions
  • A streamlined protocol for their first day
  • A consistent school-wide system for behavioral expectations and consequences
  • Easy instructions for operating technology
  • Templates and precise guides for end-of-day report forms

 “The school that I’m at right now is making me feel very valued,” Paul said. “They included me in their bowling social, which I really appreciated. They show me that they appreciate me and want me a part of their community.”

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