District 49 is proud to recognize National Substitute Teacher Day on Nov. 19, and we could not have more gratitude for our team of guest teachers.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a guest teacher? Let’s hear from two stars in D49 who have served as loyal substitutes during the last two school years.
Meet Shrisice Washington
Washington started substituting as a way to foster happiness in each day by connecting with kids. She serves as the primary caregiver for her mother and working as a guest teacher offers her the flexibility she needs. “I started as a volunteer, but the kids bring me joy and keep me coming back.”
The seasoned guest teacher works exclusively in District 49, and Remington Elementary is one of her favorite assignments. “The staff there took time to learn my name. That shows they care,” she shared. “They don’t just call me and send me to a classroom.”
Washington’s advice for anyone considering serving as a guest teacher is to come in open-minded and understand students learn differently. As a previous human resources professional, she believes her experience of working with people in the corporate world aligns with developing relationships with students. “It’s the same idea … you need to know how to connect with people.”
“I give teachers the utmost respect. I tell parents to substitute for one day, and your mindset about teachers will change.”
Meet Julie Bartschi
Bartschi has made filling in as a guest teacher in the district where her step-kids attend school a full-time job. She is onsite at Vista Ridge High School typically five days a week to serve students with special needs.
“I used to work in accounting for 70+ hours a week … going to school at the same time to earn my degree just didn’t work.” The flexibility of a role as a guest teacher has kept her on board, but it is the people who keep her in District 49. “It feels like home … everyone is so welcoming.”
Bartschi’s advice for any new guest teacher centers around having a support system. “Find people you can talk to at your school, and ask for advice when needed.”
“It’s been such a learning experience that has taught me to humble myself,” she added. After I earn my degree in accounting, I plan to come back and keep doing it because it’s so much fun.”