SubGuide – Retaining Substitute Teachers –, Substitute Teaching Division Skip to main content

In today’s job market, school districts need to continually upgrade and be proactive in maintaining an adequate pool of substitute teachers. Districts that retain substitute teachers have recognized substitutes as valuable to the district. They have provided substitutes with good working environments, included them in professional development opportunities and training, and in Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week (SubWeek).

One district indicated that the factor that had the greatest impact on substitute teacher retention was training. Training proves to be essential to retention. A myth exists that substitutes often leave school districts because of low wages. Research conducted by the Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State University revealed that the number one reason substitutes are leaving is because of how they are treated, not the dollar amount tied to their services. The second reason for substitutes leaving “is their inability to manage classroom behavior” (Sorenson, 2001). The following articles deal with retention:

Byers, K. D. (2003). SubWays: Ways to track, train, and retain quality substitute teachers. SubJournal, 4(1), 42-53.

Cardon, P. W. (2001). Recruiting and retaining substitute teachers. SubJournal, 2(1), 37-44.

Gonzales, L. M. (2002). Inspiring the pinch-hitters: Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction of substitute teachers. SubJournal, 3(2), 53-64.

Sorenson, B. L. (2001). Money has not solved the problem – Personalizing policies to attain and retain substitute teachers. SubJournal, 2(1), 31-36.

Swetnam, L. A., & Lane, R. (2001). Supporting substitute success saves time. SubJournal, 2(2), 58-63.

Coffey, L. A. (2003). Working together to solve management issues. SubJournal, 4(1), 54-60.


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