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Do you love children, enjoy teaching, especially the look of excitement on their faces when they grasp the understanding of something new? Could you use some extra money but cannot commit to a full time job?

St. Clair County is always hiring substitute teachers. There is a need for the county’s many elementary, middle, and high schools. They are also hiring certified teachers for long term absences of full time teachers.

And now is the perfect time to get your application on file. It’s hard to believe, but the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. Applications can be made at For more information contact Jennifer Norman, email at or phone at 205-629-2841 ext 2239 or visit the school website at

Growing up, the presence of a substitute teacher screamed, “vacation!” They did not decide my grades. What could they do? Plenty. Tell the principal, get my name called over the intercom when knowing it wasn’t to be checked out. That’s its own kind of dread -- have not felt it before or since. Then there’s the phone call to the parents who were not limited to school hours when it came to enforcing punishment.

But the memories that resonate the most are the teachers that needed neither parents nor principals: Mr. Dobber, fifth grade. He was confident, and confidence is key in almost any situation. He was firm but friendly. He let us know he took careful notes for our regular teacher and we would be sticking firmly to the lesson plan.

But, like every student is unique, so is every teacher. You have your own perspective: your own word choice, way of illustrating a point. And it might be just that voice that turns on the light in a child’s mind. Mr. Dobber incorporated educational games into the lesson plans. We didn’t know it at the time, but we all learn better when we are less stressed and in a good mood.

Exactly how many years later is not important, but I was ten. I have grown children. And I still remember that man. I also remember we all missed him when he left.

There is a special satisfaction in imparting a lesson: any lesson to anyone. Teach a man to fish. he eats for a lifetime. Teach your child to cook, you feed your future grandchildren. Substitute teachers have the opportunity to teach many classes in a year. That’s an opportunity to help shape many children: children that will one day help shape the world.

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