Matthew R. Stover
Why pandemic subbing helps administrators and schools
Through teaching, administrators can build better teacher and student relationships
Dr. Martinrex Kedziora subbing at an elementary school
Everywhere you look, administrators are stepping into classrooms to help solve the staffing shortage brought on by the pandemic.
In the last CLS Leaders’ PLC, principals talked about how they act as roving subs or even take over a class long-term. And shifting to teaching is often the best part of their day. After all, who wouldn’t rather be with the kids than do COVID-19 contact tracing?
Recently, Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, superintendent of Moreno Valley USD and chairman of the board of CLS, made print and TV news for being in classrooms subbing during the Omicron surge, something he’s done for weeks along with his district and site administrators.
In a recent text exchange, he was asked if the elementary students he was teaching were exhausting him. “No, I’m exhausting them!” he joked. “I love it.”
Three reasons why
Beyond the short-term goal of making sure there is an adult in every classroom, the experience is SO worthwhile:
When leaders teach, they get a more accurate perspective of the challenges experienced by teachers. Most administrators started as teachers, but over the years, they may have forgotten what it’s like to lead a classroom of students. Having fresh experience makes for better relationships all around.
Teaching gives administrators a stronger understanding of individual student needs. These connections can inform overall school strategies such as better professional development and learning initiatives. It may also change perceptions about certain students.
After the pandemic, administrators can switch roles once in a while with teachers who are interested in moving to administration. These leadership opportunities will give teachers valuable experience that will be useful later.
Even after the pandemic, schools will benefit from administrators teaching a class at least once a year. The experience can't help but deepen relationships and keep everyone connected on what’s really happening with teachers and students.
If you’re a leader who has taught this year, we would love to hear your story! Please share your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.