If you think teachers don’t get enough credit, and you probably do, there’s a group of teachers that get even less – substitute teachers.
That’s why it’s great that there is such a thing as the Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame and why it’s important to recognize those in it, as a way of recognizing the extraordinary contributions substitutes make to our classrooms and education systems.
This month, Swing Education, which offers a staffing application to provide qualified substitute teachers for K-12 schools and runs the Hall, announced the three newest inductees. They were, according to the release announcement, chosen, “based on their contributions to the classroom and greater school community.”
Taken from the release, they are:
Sheeja Mathews, Franklin Lakes, NJ
“As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher to empower young minds and positively influence their lives and witness the development of their thinking,” said Mathews, who has more than 10 years of experience in teaching culturally-diverse student populations in various classroom settings.
Jennifer Rutledge, Mt. Vernon, IL
“When I entered the class on the first day, it was like I never stopped teaching,” said Rutledge, who after a six-year hiatus from teaching is currently pursuing an elementary education certification through an Alternative Route to Licensure program and will be teaching first grade this coming school year. “As I taught this year, I learned that it is time for me to return to the classroom permanently to fulfill my purpose as a mentor, advocate, and educator.”
Jim Strang, Avon, OH
Following a 40-year career in journalism, Strang has been substitute teaching for the last 12 years at Avon Local School District. “The interaction with the young people, other teachers, and administrators has been deeply rewarding,” he said.
The trio, “will each receive a prize package that includes a $500 cash award, $250 for professional development or school supplies, and a commemorative plaque,” according to the press announcement.
“This year’s inductees show the immeasurable impact substitute teachers can have on students’ lives,” said Mike Teng, CEO of Swing Education said in the release. “From in-classroom teaching to remote learning support to dedicated mentorship and more, these educators are making a real difference and we are proud to recognize their hard work and dedication.”
Swing Education says that since 2015 it has helped more than 2,500 school partners and over 5 million students by matching temporary or urgent teaching needs with available instructors.