Substitute teachers step up

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BISMARCK, N.D. Imagine going to work and having almost 100 co-workers missing for one reason or another.

That scenario occurs on an average for Bismarck Public Schools.

As many as 90 teachers are not present almost every day.

When an instructor is out, someone has to step in to rule the classroom.

While teachers try to prepare the students and substitutes for their day out of the classroom, it really falls into the guest teacher's hands to get the students to listen up.

Substitute teachers can teach a variety of subjects, to a classroom of strangers of all different ages.

“Going into a Kindergarten room trying to get them in order is like opening up a box of ping pong balls. They're just all over the place,” said Glenn Bertsch, substitute teacher.

“We are asking those subs to be a teacher when they go in that room and to really carry out that same type of learning and lesson plans that a regular teacher would,” said Lisa Kudelka, Human Resources manager.

Glenn Bertsch has been a teacher for 45 years and a substitute teacher for 14.

“And, that's how they keep going through the whole day. A perfect day would be 55 points,” said Bertsch.

This is his motivational game to get students on their best behavior while their teacher is out. He also says relating to the students leads to great substitute success.

“They want to get to know you on a personal basis, so what's worked for me as a guest teacher is they have an interest in what it is that I like to do in my spare time, have I met anybody famous,” said Bertsch.

“That's something they really like to do is to interact with each other and their instructors. That's one of the reasons why I go back, because I too like to interact with them,” said Bertsch.

Bertsch only planned on subbing for three to five years before retiring, but the kids keep him coming back, and back again.

If you are interested in substitute teaching for Bismarck Public Schools you can contact the Human resources department at 323-4070 or go onto their website.