Education: More to teaching than certification

Wood County Schools Superintendent John Flint told members of the Board of Education last week that a policy for allowing alternative certification for substitute teachers will come before them early next year.

The sooner the better.

According to Director of Personnel Sean Francisco, Wood County Schools faces a shortage of qualified substitute teachers, and a policy allowing alternative certification would bring in substitutes capable of helping the district fill gaps that are now being left because of short-term classroom absences.

Silly concerns such as whether an alternatively certified substitute would turn out to be preferred by administrators over traditionally certified substitutes should be disregarded immediately. If a substitute is better for the kids, performs to a higher standard in the classroom, and is WILLING to do the job, the method for his or her certification should have no bearing.

Board member Ron Tice was correct: “I think this is a win-win for the county. I don’t know why we’ve waited so long to initiate it. This should have been done at the start of the year.”

While most people who have a degree in education are also good teachers, having that degree is not what makes them quality educators. In fact, a good deal of what gives teachers the ability to help students learn is their desire to do so. Those with a desire to teach, and a willingness to complete an alternative course to prepare them, should be given the opportunity. Certainly the need is great, in Wood County Schools.

“Substitutes are needed constantly,” said board member Rick Tennant.

Surely Wood County School administrators will move quickly to put a policy together, on which the board can vote as soon as possible in the new year.