Broome-Tioga BOCES and Binghamton University have a new partnership this year with ten component school districts. The Substitutes With a Purpose (SWAP) program was started to support the needs of participating districts and Binghamton University’s teaching candidates. We are all aware that there are challenges in the region in finding qualified substitutes. At the same time, there are a number of teaching candidates at Binghamton University who are in need of quality field experiences to prepare them for their teaching career. It just so happens that many of these students are also free during the day because many of their classes are in the evening. This seemed like the perfect match to meet the needs of our component school districts and future teachers!
Participating districts now have new subs in their building(s) for a dedicated two days per week. The number of subs in each district varies- some having one and others having up to six. On a third day of the week, the teaching candidates are partnered with a cooperating teacher for their field experience hours. These students will be keeping busy this year, but know that there are many benefits to participating in the program.
The Binghamton University students have the opportunity to learn from the whole school experience, from subbing to working with their cooperating teachers. They will become more connected to the school/district they are in and have an opportunity to build relationships with faculty and staff in the school. They also have access to professional learning opportunities as part of the process. All of the participating teaching candidates attended the first fall workshop on September 11 at BT BOCES Instructional Support Center, where they worked with Kerri Bullock, Robin Eccleston, and Stacy Smith, to learn more about the expectations of substitute teaching and how to be successful. When their schedule allows, the teaching candidates are also invited to attend the new teacher professional learning series hosted by BT BOCES throughout the year.
Participating school districts are excited about the opportunity to have access to more substitutes on a regular basis. The districts are also looking forward to the opportunity to connect with future teachers and potential candidates for upcoming teacher openings. We look forward to learning from the partnership this year and expanding the work in future years!