Every day substitute teachers provide professional service in schools throughout Alberta. Substitute teachers carry the same daily responsibilities of instruction, management and supervision of students that regular classroom teachers do. The substitute teacher, however, has the added challenge of not being able to work with students on a long-term basis while being responsible for ensuring that each day is used productively.
Each year, the Association designates one week as Substitute Teachers’ Appreciation Week. In 2017/18 this week is scheduled for 2018 03 12–16.
To show appreciation for substitute teachers, schools, ATA locals and jurisdictions are encouraged to undertake activities that will assist substitute teachers in enhancing their professional skills and make them feel valued members of your team.
Some suggested activities are
- provide the substitute teachers with a letter outlining their strengths and contributions to the school and the profession;
- prepare a school handbook for substitute teachers to assist in the provision of materials (see Preparing for a Substitute Teacher templates below);
- share a lesson or activity;
- organize an orientation seminar in partnership with the ATA local;
- invite them into the staff room;
- provide access to ongoing professional development activities;
- plan a special professional development event for substitute teachers during this week;
- sponsor substitute teachers’ attendance at the annual Substitute Teachers’ Conference from professional development funds; and
- recognize their value via small gestures and words of gratitude.
Please take some time during Substitute Teachers’ Appreciation Week to reflect on the contributions substitute teachers make in the life of students and teachers, show your appreciation and say thanks.