FWISD rewards substitutes for their work

From one classroom to another, FWISD substitute teacher Stefanie Morgan stepped in for multiple teachers who were out of their classrooms for the day or even for a moment. She works with students one-on-one, giving them the assistance and attention they need.

Stefanie Morgan has been a substitute teacher for FWISD for three years, primarily working with elementary and high school students. Morgan began substituting after she was laid off from her previous job and decided to change her career.

Substitute teachers who have been consistent within the district are now being rewarded for their work.

The district launched a Substitute Teacher Graduated Incentive Plan, which aims to grant bonuses to long-time substitute teachers and encourage potential substitutes. The plan began Feb. 27 and will end May 31, giving teachers 61 days to earn the incentive.

Substitutes hired before March 20 are eligible for this incentive plan. Based on the number of full days worked, they will receive additional pay at the end of the school year.

The chart below shows the number of days a substitute met work to accumulate the corresponding incentive pay. The minimum amount that can be earned is $540 while the maximum is $1,220.

Salvador Chavez, a technician in the FWISD substitute department, said the incentive plan is a one-time effort and continuation of the plan has not been discussed.

Chavez said the district created the incentive so substitutes will stick around and encourage more people to work for the district.

Morgan said the incentive is very beneficial for her family’s financial circumstances.

“I think the incentive plan is great because it shows that the district cares about their substitutes and appreciate the work we do,” Morgan said.

She said because substitutes don’t get paid over the summer, the incentive can help alleviate some of the financial problems substitutes may run into. Morgan must work a part-time job over the summer to make up for not having salary pay as permanent teachers.

Morgan said it is also a good trial opportunity for someone who is trying to go into teaching because teacher instability is detrimental to the students and their education.

Morgan said she receives multiple calls a day from schools looking for substitutes and hopes more people will take these jobs with the incentive implemented.

She said the incentive is thoughtful, but the pros of being a substitute are more rewarding. Long-term assignments, she said, can allow you to build relationships with students. Even short-term assignments can have an impact on children.

“It is not about the money, it is about bettering the students of the future,” Morgan said. “The reward is nice though.”