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Dover-Foxcroft substitute teachers try proactive solution to address shortage

Both Jane Conroy and Karen Longevin did what they know best: teaching.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — While schools across the country struggle to find full-time teachers, schools are left with an additional problem: finding substitutes to jump in for them. 

To share tips and tricks about what goes into being a great substitute teacher, two substitute teachers from SeDoMoCha Elementary in Dover-Foxcroft came up with a proactive solution. 

"We met and said, 'Let's propose to the superintendent that we create a training for anyone that wants to be a substitute,'" Jane Conroy said. 

Leading a full-day workshop on the A-B-C’s of substitute teaching, Conroy and Karen Longevin covered topics such as expectations for substitutes, how to follow a lesson plan, and how to handle difficult behavior.

Conroy said she understands that for substitutes just starting in their careers, it can often be intimidating walking into a classroom full of students you don't know.

“Going through a class like that ... will actually help others that want to be subs know what they’re getting into before they head into the classroom," Katelyn Hite, who was hired at SeDoMoCha shortly after attending the workshop, said.

Due to its success, Conroy and Longevin have plans to continue the workshops in the near future and said they are happy to pass along the tips they’ve learned throughout their careers.

"Just to inspire one person to then pursue teaching as a career -- I think that may be a win-win for both the school and the individual," Conroy said. 

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