Irving ISD and Dallas College are teaming up to create a pipeline of highly qualified staff to step in as substitute teachers, also known in the district as Guest Educators.
Irving ISD is not immune to the shortage of substitute teachers across the country exacerbated by the pandemic. This partnership helps meet Irving ISD’s need for substitute teachers, and in turn provides Dallas College School of Education students with hands-on experience needed to serve as classroom teachers upon completion of their teacher education program of study.
“It’s a win-win,” says Ashly Witek, Coordinator of Auxiliary Staffing for Irving ISD. “This partnership increases our pool of guest educators, which we work to build diligently throughout the year. This creates an additional pipeline of education-minded individuals seeking real-life experience in the same field as the degree they are pursuing.”
Beyond meeting the district’s immediate need, the program has the potential to lead to greater opportunities.
“The district could be a great fit for the college student, and the student could student-teach here or be hired on after they earn their degree,” says Witek. “They come in, get invaluable experience in the classroom, learn what grade-level, what campuses they fit in. The opportunities are endless when you’re looking at that kind of thing.”
Given that a high percentage of Dallas College students are from the local community, it is likely that several students hired through this opportunity may be Irving ISD graduates.
“Seeing our former students succeed in college and beyond is always a great thing,” says Witek. “It serves as a positive influence and motivator for our current students when they see students just like them succeeding in college and their future careers.”
Representatives of the two entities collaborated to ensure that Dallas College’s introductory education courses will reiterate what is taught in Irving ISD’s guest educator training sessions, including strategies and methodology on how to manage classroom behavior, how to greet and connect with students students, how to work with special education students, and how to be successful in the classroom.
“The new partnership between Irving ISD and Dallas College School of Education will prepare students to serve as substitute teachers and provide them with high-quality experiences that prepare them to serve classrooms upon completion of their education program of study,” says Dr. Jeffrey Miller, dean of student and faculty empowerment for the School of Education at Dallas College. “The program will also provide a seamless pathway for education students into the new bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Dallas College.”
Dallas College will promote this opportunity to their current students through job fairs and a targeted campaign.
Interested students are invited to complete the guest educator application at irvingisd.net/careers.
Learn more about the Dallas College School of Education at Irving ISD’s “Everything But the Teacher” Job Fair on Tuesday, July 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at the MacArthur High School gym (3700 N. MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75062).