Headmaster Blog for July 23, 2013: Looking for a Good Substitute

What is a good substitute? The dictionary defines “substitute” as something or someone, “put in the place of another; to switch seemingly equivalent items; to act or speak as a replacement” and so on. In the course of our lives we find ourselves looking for a good substitute; a substitute for gluten because of an allergy, a substitute for eggs because of a problem with cholesterol, a substitute for sugar to avoid carbs, etc. I used to think of substitutes as something less than the very best. When I was a kid I loved baseball [Detroit Tigers], and there were two kinds of pitchers: the exalted starting pitchers and the lowly relief or substitute pitchers. Only later did I discover that the role of substitute pitcher was highly regarded in its own right, and that many great pitchers groomed themselves for only that role. It is often the case that the outcome of a game of baseball depends on the quality of the substitutes; so also in education.

I’m sure we can all remember times when, as students, our teacher was absent and there was a substitute. These were often either the best of times or the worst of times. I must confess that I regarded the “best” times when the substitute was clueless and we could all get away with murder. The “worst” times were with substitutes who should never have been teachers in the first place and made class time either dreary and boring or utterly miserable; these I call anti-teachers. Somewhere in between were those who thought that the role of substitute meant something like being an academic babysitter. On occasion, however, there was a substitute who knew their stuff; knew how to teach it and knew how to connect with us as students. I can still remember the faces of some of those teachers and the memory is a good one.

At Summit we are looking for good substitute teachers! Our faculty constitutes the front line of all our efforts as a school. To borrow a term from biology, our teachers are the synapse between our students and what we want them to learn. Teachers are human, however, and that means there are times when, for one reason or another, they can’t be in class; times when we need a good substitute. We don’t want “clueless,” we don’t want “babysitters” and we don’t want “anti-teachers”. What we want is a cadre of dedicated substitute teachers willing to step in at a moment’s notice to redeem the class time of a teacher who cannot be present.

At Summit we require our substitute teachers to meet all the qualifications of our full-time faculty. As stated in our faculty handbook these qualifications are stated as follows:

1.1.1 Spiritual

  • He/ she is in satisfactory and whole-hearted agreement with the Summit Statement of Faith, indicated by signing same in the application document.
  • From all accounts and appearances, he/she gives clear evidence of a personal commitment to, and life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • The teacher gives testimony that he/she has a sense of God’s will, that teaching is his/her calling, and that teaching in a classical Christian school is God’s direction for him/her.
  • He/she accepts the requirement to faithfully attend and support a local evangelical Protestant church whose fundamental beliefs are in agreement with the Summit Statement of Faith.
  • He/she has an obvious working knowledge of the scriptures, especially in regard to families, marriage, children, and authority.


1.1.2 Professional

  • He/she has a working knowledge of the Philosophy, Objectives, and Vision statements of Summit.
  • He/she has good communication abilities (written and oral).
  • He/she has personal and social skills that would foster good relations with children and adults.
  • He/she has certification as outlined below.


1.1.3 Certification Policy

  • A valid teaching certificate for Washington (or any other state) is required for teaching at Summit Classical Christian School. Exceptions may be made when experience exceeds certification requirements.
  • The minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • It is preferred that teachers have college training in the area(s) to which they are assigned at Summit Classical Christian School.


If as a parent or friend of the school you are a qualified teacher and would like to serve Summit as a substitute, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you know of qualified teachers who would be interested in this role, please give me their contact info so that I can contact them. Our school is blessed with an outstanding faculty and I would love to complement this team with a bullpen of substitute teachers who can hit the ball out of the park when called upon.

Heads-up for the coming week:

  • In particular we are looking for a qualified teacher who would be willing to job-share with Jill Miller (First Grade) for the Fall term.
  • Summit families can order Scrip throughout the summer for rebates to tuition. Please contact Triona Anderson for details. This is a crazy-easy way to add bang to your tuition dollars.
  • Be on the lookout for periodic emails regarding upcoming park-dates for Summit families.
  • Please continue to PRAY for our school: 1. That our good God will bless us; 2. That God will give the board and administration wisdom and discernment concerning facilities and staffing—especially for qualified substitute teachers!


Headmaster Blog for July 23, 2013: Looking for a Good Substitute