Classroom substitutes often trained educators in search of work

When a teacher calls in sick at a local school, lists of potential substitutes are ready to step in and run the classroom for the day. Many of them are hoping for a full-time teaching job themselves.

The Indiana Department of Education requires that substitutes be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma, but many local school districts have higher standards. They want college graduates, preferably with teaching licenses, who know how to catch students’ attention when they get distracted or who are trained to see and help students when they don’t understand what’s going on in class.

Locally and across Indiana, some school districts have had to lay off teachers, while others have been slow to create or fill teaching positions, and that’s prompted recent graduates and laid-off teachers to seek work as substitutes. And that means students have a greater chance of having a trained teacher filling in if the classroom teacher is gone, according to Clark-Pleasant curriculum instructional specialist Cameron Rains and Franklin executive director of curriculum and instruction Deb Brown-Nally.

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