Substitute teachers set up for success, have big impact on the classroom


After attending the Dallas ISD daylong orientation for new substitute teachers, Cynthia McMillian, who has worked as a substitute all year at W.T. White High School, said she was ready to succeed in the classroom.

Dallas ISD revamped its substitute teacher orientation this year to notably positive results.  The orientation partners with different Dallas ISD departments so incoming substitute teachers are informed on everything from de-escalation techniques to best teaching practices. And since Dallas ISD has about 800­–900 substitute teachers working across the district on a given day, preparing these teachers for success in the classroom has a big impact on students.

“We are providing our substitute teachers with the resources and training they need so when they get to a campus, they are successful,” said Torey Willis-Calhoun, a manager for the Dallas ISD Substitute Department.

Dallas ISD this year raised the daily per diem for substitute teachers who have a college degree—which is the majority of substitute teachers—from $75 per day to $85 per day. Meanwhile, certified teachers who substitute teach in Dallas ISD now make $95 per day, which is up from $90 per day.

Additionally, a person who has completed 60 college hours or an associate degree can now substitute teach in Dallas ISD; in short-term assignments. Previously, a substitute was required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. The minimum age to substitute teach in Dallas ISD is still 21.

A new incentive this year also allows a substitute teacher who accept substitute assignments on Monday to earn an additional $5 or who works on Friday an additional $10.

All together, Dallas ISD has achieved about a 10-percent increase in the number of teacher absences filled with substitute teachers. The district this school year has brought on board 700 qualified new substitute teachers, bringing the pool of Dallas ISD substitute teachers to about 2,000.

For anyone considering becoming a substitute teacher in Dallas ISD, McMillian has a few pieces of advice.

“You have to love children, you must be committed, and you must be patient,” McMillian said. “But if you have those abilities, I highly recommend working as a substitute teacher in Dallas ISD. You are given the tools you need to succeed, and it is a very rewarding experience.”

Anyone interested in working as a substitute teacher in Dallas ISD can go here to apply and learn more. Interested candidates for the 2017-2018 school year should begin applying Monday, July 10, 2017.

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