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Staff Spotlight: Sally and Mike Longo

School districts across the nation are struggling to recruit substitutes to help in classrooms when teachers need to be away from class. To help ease the shortage, the Illinois School Board of Education changed the requirements to make it much easier to obtain a Substitute Teacher’s license. In fact, to get a license, a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in any subject is the only educational requirement – a teaching degree is not needed. 

Geneva residents Mike and Sally Longo have subbed for the Geneva School District for many years. “Our three daughters went to school in the District, so we already felt a connection to the schools and staff,” said Mike Longo. “We wanted an opportunity that allowed us flexibility with our schedule and substitute teaching was a perfect fit.” 

They both agree that what they like the most about substitute teaching is the students. They each have schools where they sub regularly, so they are familiar with the students. “Geneva 304 students are respectful and fun to be around. In addition, the teachers and staff have all been very supportive and welcoming,” said Sally. 

When asked why someone should consider subbing for the District, the Longo's expressed that the flexibility that the job offers is the biggest benefit. Also, every day is different. “You can work as much or little as you like,” Mike explained. “In addition, no two days are the same as you are in different classrooms each day with different daily plans, so every day is interesting.” 

On occasion, long term assignments are available, too, where a sub will teach in the same class for weeks or months. They agreed that long-term assignments are a rewarding opportunity to be a part of the teaching team at the school and be immersed in the classroom.  

Of course, substitute teachers experience days that do not go as planned, just like teachers do. The Longo's had this advice for new subs: “It's best if you're able to go with the flow. However, know that the teachers, instructional assistants, and support staff are always there willing to help.” 

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