1.Get Organized
Arrive early and prepare your space well. A clear space means a clear mind. Write out a plan on the chalkboard, to let yourself and your students know that you are ready to take on the day!

2. Get to Know Your Students
When you first step foot in the classroom, you are a stranger to the students. Break the ice with a quick activity to get to know them a bit and build trust their trust. When you respect your students, they’ll be more likely to respect you right back.

3. Plan a Moment of Fun
Students can get tired of the same old dull routine.  Get creative in the classroom and plan a fun activity to include in the day.  Everyone learns differently and it is your job to stimulate each student’s brain.  Explore a little! The possibilities are endless.

4.  Have Your Sub Bag Ready to Go
As a sub, you’ll never know what to expect and want to be prepared for anything. Load up your handy dandy “sub bag” with extra pencils, papers, a dry erase marker, hand sanitizer, stickers, books and other great tools to keep yourself prepared for the classroom.

5. Be Confident
As a sub, confidence is your best friend.  Students can easily spot a “pushover” and will do everything in their power to get their way.  Making a strong first impression will do you wonders.  Establishing your own worth in the classroom will allow your students to recognize it as well and will have them more likely to follow directions.  Your confidence and positivity will be contagious and will get your students motivated to learn!


To some, “warmth” can mean sharing a comforting smile with a stranger. To others, it’s cherishing moments with loved ones. But to a few, it can simply be the often forgotten luxury of physical warmth. Winter can be harsh at times. Although the first snowfall can be magical, the rest of winter can be a long and unforgiving journey for those who are less fortunate. With the brisk season approaching, thousands of local children are struggling to stay warm in our very own communities.

In this cold but hopeful season, give the gift of warmth. Cradles to Crayons' Gear Up for Winter program offers an opportunity to give back to the local community by distributing warm winter essentials to families in need. A thick coat. A warm hat. A pair of gloves. Anything can help and you make a difference! Every child deserves to enjoy festivities of winter, in warmth. It is said that experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth, helping us build better bonds with one another. So, let us give the gift of warmth this season.


In one week, from today, we will have gathered with family and friends and felt the overwhelming feeling of gratitude for all of the wonders that surround us. Once the holiday passes, what are we left with? Perhaps it is an urge to be a part of something greater or a desire to give back to the world around us. To start off this hopeful season with a warm feeling in your heart, why not get involved in the act of giving back? #GivingTuesday offers you the opportunity to do just that!

After its founding in 2012, by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the #GivingTuesday organization continues to grow their efforts by unifying communities with the charitable act of giving back to the world around us. With the common goal of sharing the joy of giving, this global event strives to strengthen communities with the spirit of gratitude. On November 27th, get involved with #GivingTuesday by making a donation or sharing awareness on the movement of giving back.

How long have you been a substitute teacher?

For two Years.

Why did you choose education as a career?

I enjoy helping people learn something new. At the time I was working as a  Student Climate worker at a high school. I felt I needed to be making a difference if I was going to work with children.  I didn't feel as though I was, and that needed to change.


What is your fondest memory of substitute teaching?

Being able to help a student when I was providing coverage in an Emotional Support class. The student would easily get distracted, at times refused to do his work. He didn't like math but had quite the sweet tooth. So the assistant teacher took him to the vending machine to get a snack. He came back with some cookies. I took his math worksheet to his desk and we started working on it. We put the cookies on the desk and I told him if you can get through all of your math you can have them. He was struggling to stay focused, but I encouraged him. I said look, look at the cookies, they're right there, four more problems, two more problems, you're almost there you got this! In the end, he not only finished his math, but everything was correct. We gave each other a high five and he ate his cookies.

Why is being a substitute teacher important? 

It's important to help the teacher we are covering for. Without guest teachers, the regular teachers would never be able to take a break, vacation, or maternity and paternity leave.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

This doesn't pertain to me exactly but I learned this and believe its important. My Bachelor's degree doesn't exactly help me as a guest teacher right now (unless I'm covering an art class) but my knowledge of art has helped many students. I believe you should never write off your education, whether or not it directly applies to your career. Your knowledge can help many children and adults. You put in the long hours, sweat and tears to earn your degree. Don't believe having a degree doesn't apply or that you won't make a difference. What you shared may have saved someone's life or inspired them in a new way.

From Survive to Thrive: What Great Substitute Teachers Do Differently, Dr. Trent Bowers

Sub Culture: Three Years in Education's Dustiest CornersCarolyn Bucior

The Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For, Naomi Schaefer Riley

The American Public School Teacher, Darrel Drury and Justin Baer

The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein

The Same Thing Over and Over, Frederick M. Hess

Teach Like a Pirate, Dave Burgess

Today I Made a Difference, Joseph W. Underwood

Not Quite Burned Out, but Crispy Around the EdgesSharon Draper

Educators On Call has donated to each of the funds supporting the substitute teachers affected by the tragic shootings last week at Santa Fe High School and we thought you'd want to help too. We're sharing the letter from the Substitute Teaching Division for more information.

We can't do everything, but we can do something.

Cynthia Tisdale - Substitute Teacher
Cynthia was working two jobs to help cover the medical expenses for her husband who has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. According to her son, she loved substitute teaching.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up if you desire to help. If each of us will do a little, this will make a big impact on her family's lives.
To donate for Cynthia Tisdale, click here.

Glenda Ann Perkins - Substitute Teacher
Ann was a very popular substitute teacher and loved teaching where her grandchildren went to school.yn
“I would like the world to remember her as a hero, of course, a hero that gave herself to get other people out and safe in time,” Perkins’ daughter, Ashley Perkins, said.
To donate for Glenda Ann Perkins, click here.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these teachers. Thank you for your service as a substitute teacher and your willingness to help the families of those substitute teachers who were killed last week in Santa Fe ISD, TX.

Geoffrey Smith

5th Annual Book Drive

Our 5th Annual Book Drive will be in full swing beginning Monday, March 19th, to continue our mission of reducing the number of book deserts in the Philadelphia community.  We have chosen to combine our book drive with the celebration of Children’s Book Week in the belief that “a great nation is a reading nation". 

We aim to provide new and gently-used children’s books to two local youth-based organizations; Turning Points for Childrenthe largest social service agency for children in Philadelphia whose focus is reducing child abuse and improving the lives of children and youth across the city, and WePAC; their key initiative is to renovate and reopen school library space.

For many adults, as children, reading was one of their favorite things to do. They looked forward to exploring new authors and using their imaginations to experience new worlds. In the midst of indulging in this favorite past-time, they were developing their vocabulary and strengthening their command of the language. Unfortunately, today this is not the case for many children in our local communities. Philadelphia is one of the lowest ranking metropolitan cities in Reading proficiency. According to the most recent Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) data, 41% of fourth graders in the city are reading at or below basic levels. A contributing factor is that many schools and community libraries throughout Philadelphia have closed due to budget constraints and low readership, which has impacted youth access to quality reading material.  

Over the years, we have collected over 3,000 books and have donated our collections to Mastery Charter School- Cleveland Elementary, Methodist Services Children’s Home, The People’s Emergency Center and Youth Services, Inc. The main goal of our annual book drive is to reduce the number of book deserts within the Philadelphia community. By contributing to the development of youth in our city it is our hope to place books in the hands of as many youth, as possible. That the books received will increase their exposure to literature and fuel a continued desire to read.

Knowing how fundamental literature is to a developing mind we hope you'll support this mission by doing at least one of the following:
  • Donate new or gently used books until May 11th, 2018.
  • Make a monetary donation for our Celebration of Reading event:
    • GoFundMe
    • CashApp Fundraising - $EducatorsOnCall
  • Save & share the flyer to the right with your social and professional networks. Use hashtag #EOCBookDrive.
  • Tell your friends and family about the book drive.

Criteria for book donations:

  • Should appeal to children in lower elementary to middle school
  • New or like-new without coloring or damaged pages and can be hardcover
  • Award winners, main characters of color, leveled readers, popular series books, and juvenile nonfiction are of particular interest.

If you have any questions about how you can get involved in giving the gift of reading to youth in Philadelphia send us an email to eocadmin@educatorsoncall.org or give us a call at 888-248-4801 ext. 100. 

As we know and believe that knowledge is our greatest resource, we also know that one book can change a life!



EOC Office - Archways Building
413 Johnson St. Ste 214,  Jenkintown PA 19046
Monday-Wednesday 10AM-5PM

Dino's Backstage and The Celebrity Room
287 N Keswick Ave Glenside PA, 19038
Wednesday-Friday 12PM-5PM


“a great nation is a reading nation,” ~ Frederic G. Melcher

Are you thinking about becoming a teacher?

For new and seasoned teachers, here are some benefits you may not have thought of or may sometimes forget…

Teacher turned freelance writer, Allie Heemstra, explains that being a teacher is an amazing career in her article “The Intangible Benefits of Being a Teacher”. While teachers don’t earn CEO salaries or perks, Heemstra says that teachers are able to feel the “tangible and sentimental” reasons for being in the classroom. For example, a Math Teacher applying real-world experiences to help her students understand the true value of her lessons. Or a Kindergarten Teacher opening the minds of her students to the wonders of reading. Or the High School English Teacher helping her students write college essays. Teachers impact the lives of their students in ways that could never amount to any dollar value. Teachers MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Heemstra shares three other ways in which teaching is a rewarding job:

  1. Teachers get to be innovative...
  2. Teachers get to spark connection...
  3. Teachers get the constant opportunity for growth...

Click here to read more.

For those interested in exploring a career in education and those seeking more experience in the classroom, check out opportunities for substitute teaching!

Meet Allie Heemstra

Allie Heemstra is an Iowa native who has a passion for writing. Previously enrolled in University of Northern Iowa, she took courses in Elementary education, Teaching K-8, and a Literacy minor. Heemstra had gone to Brazil to do student teaching and then came back to become a third grade teacher in Kansas City for 5 years.

Those warm, carefree summer nights have led to the bright beginnings of a new school year. Parents are bustling in OfficeMax to buy supplies and kids are waving goodbye to vacation with a heavy heart. Substitute teachers are also getting ready for the year ahead to provide the best possible education to students. Today we are going to discuss why motivated, caring teachers are so vitally important.

In 2011 Eric Hanushek, an Education Economist at Stanford, wrote an article revealing the empirical value a good teacher has on their students in Education Next. Education is one of the most important economic x-factors in determining a country's output. Hanushek stresses that quality education is one of the most important links to improving our national economy. Efforts to improve quality of education have included structural reforms such as decreasing classroom size, adjusting curriculum, and adding technology to aid learning. However, the most impactful metric on education quality is the ability of the teacher to effectively communicate the material to students. The value of a good teacher is almost immeasurable in terms of growing both our nation's economy and improving the overall quality of life for students.  According to Hanushek, teachers have the ability to increase the lifetime earnings of a student by $110,000 to $230,000.

The rest of Hanushek’s article explores possible solutions to help retain high-quality teachers and it can be seen from the data how critically important educators are, not just here in the US but around the world. Regardless the amount of time spent in the classroom, substitutes have a huge impact on students’ lives. May the upcoming school year be filled with productive positivity. Check out our Facebook and Twitter for resources and tips to help you be the best teacher possible.


Curated by: Joseph Ebner, Summer Intern

Meet our summer intern, Joe:

Working at Educators on Call this summer was a fantastic hands-on experience for my ambitions to pursue a career in Marketing. Tara and Julie, the stellar on-site staff, never spared an opportunity to share valuable advice or answer any of my questions. One of my favorite parts of the internship was the independent yet supportive work environment fostered in the office. As a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major at UPenn, my background in marketing is sparse, to say the least, but working with Julie fast-tracked my understanding of the industry, as well as provided keen insights I could not have received in a classroom.

I also was lucky enough to work with the company during a period of growth in the midst of their expansion to staff more schools and recruit more teachers. One of my primary objectives this summer was to promote our first ever Educator Career Fair this October (the 11th, which by the way you should totally go to) through social media, email, and phone marketing. So much of the company's blood, sweat and tears have gone into planning this one event, alongside the school expansion plans. One of the most important lessons I learned from this endeavor is that when you achieve success, your problems do not go away, they only grow to a larger scale. Nevertheless, the feeling of achievement is amazing and I would not want to share it with a different team.

Moving into my senior year, I am glad I had the opportunity to help a company as driven, honest, and fun as Educators on Call to prepare me for the workforce after college. Thanks to everyone have a great school year!