Working with a substitute teacher service should add value to your absence management plan. Though individual school districts have varying requests and needs, there are some requirements you should be able to count on when you engage a staffing service. These important aspects will increase the benefits you receive from your partnership exponentially; they are the non-negotiables.
7 Non-Negotiables You Should Count On From Your Substitute Teacher Service
When partnering with a substitute teacher staffing service, you should count on access to professional substitute teachers acclimated to your district and available when you need them.
1. Recruitment customized to meet your needs
Substitute staffing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each district has its own needs and specifications, and these should guide the recruitment campaign for substitute teacher candidates. Look for an experienced service with the resources to meet your needs. They should work with you to determine your needs and specifically design a search to meet them.
2. Comprehensive introductory training
Don’t settle for sub-optimal training methods. Look for a combination of face-to-face orientation training along with online, on-demand opportunities to expand knowledge and skills. The more training substitutes receive, the better prepared they will be for the challenges they will meet in the classroom. Mandatory training is a must.
3. Dependable customer service
Depth and breadth of support are important. Look for a substitute teacher service with multiple layers of administrative support available when you need it. From an onsite management team to expansive national resources, you should have places to turn when you have a question or need help.
4. Expert use of data
Be sure to select a substitute service that has expertise in data analysis and understands its value in absence management. Having a partner that makes data-driven decisions ensures a proactive approach that puts you ahead of the curve.
5. Leverages technology with human oversight
Though an online, automated absence management system is a must, the best substitute teacher services back that up with engagement staff who help to compensate for exceptions like late call-outs and last minute cancellations. This yields the best probability for optimal fill-rates.
6. Sustains a healthy, happy workforce
A substitute teacher service that meets the physical and emotional needs of their employees gains a loyal and energetic effort in the workplace. Look for a company that offers insurance benefits and recognizes and rewards substitutes for exceptional service. When substitutes feel valued and appreciated, they are often more willing to give their best efforts for the school community and their students.
7. Invested in the long term
When a substitute teacher service puts down roots and invests in your school community, it is clear they intend to partner for the long term. Look for satisfied customers to determine where your partnership is likely headed.
Providing Substitute Teachers Everything They Need
Substitute teacher agencies combine the knowledge of education professionals with the expertise of business, technology, and human resources authorities to create a service that anticipates and responds to your needs. But to be truly remarkable, a substitute teacher service must also anticipate and provide for the needs of its substitutes. These well-prepared professional educators are the ones who really add value to your district.
Substitute teachers come from all walks of life and enter the field with a variety of experiences. It is, therefore, essential that they undergo comprehensive onboarding to prepare them for the challenges of the 21st-century classroom. An orientation that highlights developmentally appropriate classroom management strategies and best practice instructional techniques gives them meaningful exposure when presented by an experienced educator. Well-prepared substitute teachers will approach the uncertainty of each new job placement with confidence when they have the benefit of tools and emergency plans behind them.
Since school districts depend on their substitutes, they must be nurtured and supported for long-term success. Finding a substitute teacher service that understands this need is key; you can quantify the advantages. Besides helping substitutes learn necessary routines and procedures, an effective substitute service will help schools create a welcoming and supportive environment. Successfully engaging substitute teachers increases experience and confidence levels while promoting continuity of instruction and familiarity with students and staff. A substitute teacher service that invests in their employees and in your school community will be a reliable partner for the long term.
Contact ESS to hear about our unique approach to substitute teacher service that will meet all your requirements. Through careful data analysis and customized recruitment, we will build and nurture a talent pool of substitutes to capably staff your teacher absences while providing a positive presence in your school community.
Phil has been supporting school districts across the country for more than 12 years. He works hands-on with districts implementing customized solutions to improve their substitute teacher and support staff programs. When he’s not increasing districts’ fill rates, Phil can be found swinging his clubs on a golf course.