By Allen Davidson, Assistant Superintendent of Employee Services
March 14 – 18 marked Substitute Teachers’ Appreciation Week in Alberta and across Foothills School Division. In FSD we are blessed to have a diverse cohort of teachers supporting students in their learning by the remarkable work of those staff on our Guest Teacher list. Without question this role is essential to learning across FSD and I know our contracted staff and school-based administrators count deeply on the presence of caring, capable, and innovative replacements in their schools when staff members are away for any length of time.
This often over-looked but critical role requires individuals who can be ready at a moment’s notice, be prepared to meet the needs of various classrooms and student needs, establish clear expectations and rapport in a very short time period, and maintain an environment where all students feel safe and belong. One lasting memory, among all the great teachers I had in my own k-12 school career, was a regular Guest Teacher by the name of Ms. Milligan. She treated me with grace, dignity, and kindness while maintaining high expectations during the many times when my personal actions and behavior made that response difficult. I celebrate Ms. Milligan and our own Guest Teaching staff who understand that the path to a student’s head is through the heart and have the ability to do this in their temporary role.
Guest Teachers touch every stakeholder in the educational system through their work. So if you are a student, parent, teacher, trustee, school office staff or school administrator, please take time this week to show your appreciation for the impact our FSD Guest Teachers have in your school community.