The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) says more than 1,400 individuals have already enrolled in a training program to become a K-12 substitute teacher. DESE spokesperson Mallory McGowin tells Missourinet about 200 of the candidates have completed all other necessary requirements to be certified – an application and a background check.
On September 3, the state launched the 22-hour online course for those wishing to break into the field during a time when Missouri education leaders anticipate COVID-19 will cause an even greater teacher shortage.
The training, which is aligned with Missouri teacher standards and includes embedded assessments, involves topics about:
1. Professionalism: Appropriate conduct, confidentiality, legal responsibilities
2. Honoring diversity: Basic terminology and appropriate actions
3. Student engagement: Basic definitions and appropriate strategies
4. Foundational classroom management techniques: Ways to control a classroom and diffusing conflict
5. Basic instructional strategies: Effective questioning, assessment methods, lesson plans
6. Supporting students with special needs: Basic terminology of disorders and characteristics and appropriate strategies
7. Working with at-risk youth: Learning traits, characteristics, and appropriate strategies
Frontline Education is the company offering the training. The cost for the full set of courses required to meet certification is $175.
For the time being, the program is a temporary option DESE is allowing. The Missouri Board of Education passed the emergency rule in August and is set to expire at the end of February 2021.
Prospective substitutes still have the option of getting certified by way of the traditional 60 college credit hours.