Importance of Substitute Teachers Receiving Training

With students being led by substitute teachers for 5-8% of the year, quality substitute teacher training is essential to preserving the learning environment for students. (Stapczuk, 1994). Gone are the days when substitutes were babysitters or peacekeepers. Today, substitute teachers are a critical resource for school districts to ensure students continue receiving the necessary education, even in the absence of the classroom teacher. As a result, there is an increased need for training substitute teachers.

Training substitute teachers offers the school, students, and substitute significant benefits which should not be overlooked. Below are just three of the many reasons substitute teacher training is essential:


  1. Substitutes are familiar with school policies and procedures before entering the classroom . In many cases, substitute teachers are not familiar with school policies and procedures. Although this may seem trivial, knowing the school’s procedures in the event of an emergency or difficult situation protects the students, school and substitutes.
  2. Trained substitutes are more effective in the classroom. Often times confidence is the key and the same applies for substitutes. A well-trained substitute entering a classroom full of boisterously excited students is better prepared to gain control of the classroom than an untrained sub. Not only will substitutes know the school policies and procedures, they will also have a better grasp on the school’s teaching methods and approach to classroom learning and management. This allows a substitute to confidently walk into a classroom and pick up where the permanent teacher left off with minimal impact to the student’s learning.
  3. Trained substitutes are better qualified, versatile and reduce school district liability. By offering training to substitutes, you are investing in the future of your school district and student education. Not only will trained substitutes be better qualified and ready to step into the classroom, depending on the training you design, your substitute pool can be highly versatile and ready to meet the needs of the school district on short notice. Lastly, by providing training on classroom management and school policies and procedures, in addition to other education centered topics, the likelihood of performance related issues among your substitutes is reduced, and ultimately, your liability.
Although this is not a comprehensive list of reasons to train your substitute teachers, it illustrates the magnitude of benefits available to school district’s who invest in training. An increase in training likely signals an increase in expenditures, but with App-Garden’s Virtual Sub Training e-Learning software it does not have to.
As a leader in cloud solutions for K-12 administration, App-Garden developed an option for school districts to train substitute teachers without the substantial overhead typical of training programs. With Virtual Sub Training , school districts reap the significant benefits of training substitute teachers with the advantage of a low-cost, high-efficiency option.