(Nixa, MO) -- Did you know when a high school student walks across the stage to accept a diploma, he or she will have spent about a year's worth of instruction under a substitute teacher?
Nixa Public Schools is providing extra training for substitutes while teachers are away.
It's a school day students like Nixa high schooler Brandon Maser look forward to.
"It's kind of like a sigh of relief," he says about knowing a teacher is out for a day. "It seems like it's going to be a pretty easy day the next day. You feel like she can't explain the notes as well as the teacher can."
Substitute teacher Mandi McIlroy is in her first year of filling in as an instructor and says learning classroom management is challenging.
"The students act up. Where do I send them? How do I call?"
But now she and other district substitute teachers have the option of additional professional training to help with everything from controlling a classroom to following lesson plans.
"The quality of the substitute's skills matters a great deal," says teacher Jared Day. He says the program will help provide him with a sense of comfort when he must take time off. "It's always a little bit worrisome when you have to leave an important lesson over to someone you may not be familiar with."
There are 142 days in a given school year. By the time a student graduates high school, they will have spent about that many days with a substitute teacher.
It's that reality instructor Suzie Ringgold says is all the more reason the program will benefit both her and her students.
"You want someone to come in who knows what they're doing and has the training."
And according to Brandon, it's training that will make for a better learning environment.
"They would understand that they're a teacher
too and not just a fill in."
Click here to learn more about substitute teaching at Nixa Public Schools.