About the Author: Mike Teng is Swing Education’s CEO and one of the company’s co-founders.
It goes without saying that substitute teachers play a big part in student success — after all, the average student spends about six months of their K-12 career with a sub. Unfortunately, as I witnessed during my five years with Rocketship Public Schools, the substitute teacher shortage has made it difficult for schools and districts to get the right substitute teachers at the right time.
That’s what motivated me to help start Swing Education in 2015. Along with my co-founders Asha and Oz, we were driven by a pair of ambitious goals: We wanted to bring more high-quality educators into the substitute teacher profession, and we wanted to make it easier for schools and substitute teachers to find each other.
As 2019 gets underway, I’m proud to share that together, we’ve made great strides: this month, we filled our 100,000th teacher absence day. That’s 100,000 days where students may have otherwise missed out on quality instruction — or where full-time teachers or administrators may have had their schedules disrupted.
So, at this exciting point in our journey, I wanted to take a step back and thank our 4,000-plus substitute teachers and 1,100-plus school partners for all that you’ve done and continue to do for students. And I wanted to share some what’s in store for the new year.
Big plans for 2019
Although we’ve made a lot of progress so far, we know the work to ensure every teacher absence is covered by the right substitute teacher is far from over. We’re in the process of expanding our services to meet that need.
In the next few months, we’ll be ramping up operations in Arizona, which will add to our current presence in California, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Texas, and New York. We’ll also continue to devote substantial resources to address the substitute teacher shortage by encouraging passionate, mission-driven individuals to join the profession; we helped 2,000 substitute teachers get in the classroom in 2018, including 400 educators who earned permits (we reimburse all expenses for permit-related costs). We also offer free professional development to all of our substitute teachers.
Additionally, we have and will continue to increase our investment in our customer success operations and technology.
- We’ve expanded both our substitute teacher and school support teams over the past few months, and we’ll be continuing to grow in 2019. This will help us improve our level of service to you and provide new resources, such as monthly customer success webcasts.
- It should be easy to use Swing in conjunction with other absence management software, which is why our engineering teams are actively building these product updates.
- We’re continuing to invest in bringing new substitute teachers into the profession and supporting our existing Swing Subs.
With all that as a backdrop, here’s to another year of making a difference for K-12 students — and to our next 100,000 teacher absence days filled!