How should Washington parents handle being asked to step in as substitute teachers?

Jan 17, 2022, 10:55 AM
children, substitute teachers...
(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

Parents of students in the Lake Washington School District have stepped in as substitute teachers in the wake of a rise in COVID-related absences. But is this a creative solution, or is it putting too much of a burden on parents?

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Typically, teaching in a classroom in any capacity requires a series of requirements, which the district is mostly opting to waive (excepting a background check). For KIRO Radio host Shari Elliker, it seems like a no-brainer, particularly as schools are struggling to stay open right now.

“I thought it was so obvious — of course they’re going to call on the parents,” she noted. “They called on parents to drive school buses, you don’t think they’re going to call on parents to teach a class? They don’t have any options at this point.”

Shari also seems some tertiary benefits as well, based on the idea that students will be equally as understanding.

“Let’s face it, if your mom is the substitute teacher, the kids aren’t really going to act up in front of her,” she opined.

Fellow KIRO Radio host John Curley didn’t quite see eye-to-eye, though.

“Do you think this thing is going to have any life? That a parent would really want to sign up to be a substitute teacher?” he posited.

But what if Curley was asked to step in and be a substitute teacher anyway? His first step would be to have a bowtie.

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And although Shari warned against that particular fashion choice, Curley provided some helpful clarification.

“The bow tie’s not on me,” he noted. “The bow tie is on my ventriloquist dummy. Did I not mention that?”

“I would have a ventriloquist dummy,” he continued. “The dummy would have the bow tie and I would teach with the dummy and do ventriloquism. The kids would love it.”

Listen to John Curley and Shari Elliker weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

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How should Washington parents handle being asked to step in as substitute teachers?