Editorial: Substitute policy vague, open for interpretation

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Substitute instructors.

Many of us have had them or known someone who has.

Many times we enjoy substitutes because they are a break from the typical class routine, but what do we really know about them?

Here at San Joaquin Delta College the policy on substitutes seems to be up for interpretation because it is so vague.

Teachers must be absent more than a week to request a substitute per the Faculty Handbook for the 2011-2012 school year.

So if a teacher is gone longer, he or she may have to cancel teaching class or hand responsibility over to a substitute.

According to the faculty handbook: “If a substitute is approved, you should provide instructions for the substitute.”

Some substitutes choose to teach their own way and ignore the syllabus or original teacher’s lesson plan.

We feel this is a ridiculous notion.

While these substitutes are in the classroom, they are not the real teacher nor do they have the same rules or grading style.

We have to wonder if the substitutes do this because it is easier for them to grade assignments when they know what it is that they are specifically looking for.

If this is the case, this is not the policy listed.

According to the Faculty Handbook 2011-2012, if a substitute is needed, the teacher requesting the substitution should contact the Division Office for assistance.

In certain divisions faculty members can make prior arrangements with a Board-approved instructor before getting the Division Dean’s approval.

There is a strict policy in place against requesting a substitute without the Division Dean’s approval.

The Division Dean must approve all substitutes and verify credentials.

This is where the policy gets hazy.

The policy does not state if the teacher needs to have had schooling in the area they are filling in for or basic teaching credentials.

This prompts the question as to if the substitute teaching policy needs to be changed to include more details on what it is specifically that substitutes can and cannot do and what students can do if they do not like a certain substitute.