An examination of district personnel policies and practices and their perceived effect on substitute teachers: A sub is not a hero for blimpies
The purpose of this study was to identify and examine the personnel policies of school districts and schools in Nassau and Suffolk County that affect substitute teachers and determine the perceived effect that these personnel policies had on the substitute teacher.
This research study involved two phases: a survey of school districts and interviews of focus groups of substitute teachers within selected school districts. The survey examined personnel policies for substitute teachers in six areas: recruitment, selection, placement, orientation, supervision and compensation. The survey developed consisted of 46 questions pertaining to the personnel policies that affect both permanent and per-diem substitute teachers. The initial mailing of the survey to 110 school districts resulted in a response rate of 80% from 88 districts. A rating system was devised to quantify the responses of the districts in order to identify districts as having “well defined” or “less defined” substitute teacher policies. The districts were then rank ordered from highest to lowest scores. Two districts within the top ten percent and two districts within the bottom ten percent were chosen. Substitute teachers were interviewed within the four district focus groups in order to gather information on the experiences of substitute teachers and triangulate data from the district surveys.
The research study looked at the six personnel policies. Recruitment, selection and compensation, handled primarily at the district level, seemed to have relatively little impact on the substitutes while orientation, placement, and supervision, practices at the building level, had a greater impact on the substitutes. Many districts did not have personnel policies in place for substitute teachers. But the absence of these formal policies didn't really have a direct impact on substitute teachers' experience. What was more important and affected the substitute teachers were the climate of the school and the implementation of the informal policies at the building level.
The concluding chapter discusses implications for professional practice on both the district level and building level as well as recommendations for further research and study.
0533: Secondary education