For sports fans, the idiom “deep bench” is very familiar. The concept of having a number of quality players to substitute during a game can predict a winning season for a team.
At the beginning of every school year, we spend countless hours vetting teachers who are qualified to sub in when needed -- our version of a deep bench. Our students are welcoming of guests, engaging, and eager to learn. Our full-time faculty are top-notch in their respective disciplines, and our parent community is supportive. This reputation coupled with our summer efforts allow us to hire the best substitutes available.
But, it is no secret that the number of people seeking positions in education is disportionately low compared to the need across the nation in both the public and private sectors. A competent, reliable substitute teacher is an asset, and the good ones are often “on the bench” at more than one school.
Last summer, as we anticipated a school year with above average faculty absences due to the pandemic, we needed a new approach to hiring substitute teachers that would not involve competing with other schools for the best of the best. Our solution was to hire permanent substitute teachers or flex subs. These flex subs deepened our bench as they became members of our faculty.
To take the sports analogy even further, they are key special teams players. They are agile, and in a moment’s notice they come off the bench to fill key positions with grace. Each one brings a tremendous amount of experience, which has strengthened our faculty and school community as a whole. They are essential utility players and each is as recognizable as each of our classroom teachers. We are so grateful.
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.