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Michelle Jones substitute teaches at CentennialOn any given day, the District is in need of 100 to 200 guest, or substitute, teachers at all grade levels.

This is an ideal position for high school graduates 21 and older with a love of working with children and a flexible schedule.

One of the District’s dedicated and hard-working guest teachers is Michelle Jones, a proud alumnus of South.

With a background in marketing and advertising, as well as the title industry, Ms. Jones came to the realization that education is where she belongs.

“I feel that kids need stability in the classroom,” said Ms. Jones. “And that’s why I want to be a teacher.”

Although this is her first year serving as a guest teacher, Ms. Jones has embraced the experience as being “positive and very rewarding.”

In times past, substitute teachers were viewed as simply being “minders,” or “sitters,” and not hands-on educators.

“Although that’s the way it seemed when I was in high school, it’s a misconception now,” Ms. Jones said. “Substitutes are really engaged with the students: especially if the teacher you are subbing for has a really good plan that you can follow.”

Currently, Ms. Jones is filling in at a rotation of schools while she awaits an open position as a full-time teacher. Although guest teaching is serving as a springboard to a career in education, substituting, she believes, is an enlightening position for people from all walks of life.

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity to get in front of the youth of today and see how things have changed over the years: especially post-pandemic,” Ms. Jones explained. “I think it’s important to be in front of these kids, because they’ve been through a lot, and the face of kids has changed tremendously.”

With her background, Ms. Jones believes she will best be suited as a communications/language arts, or business/marketing, teacher.

“The artsier part of education is where my heart is at,” she said.

Ms. Jones, who frequently substitutes at Centennial, recently signed on to serve a month-long stint as a vocational teacher at Central.

“And I’m looking forward to that, because it helps kids figure out their pathway and what they want to do,” she said. “Although I substitute at all levels, I prefer high school because the kids are really great at this age. They are very moldable, so it’s important that they have the right people in front of them.”

At Centennial, Ms. Jones enjoys an environment rich in history and camaraderie. 

“There’s a good family here,” she said. “And Central has that environment, too.”

As for who she will be cheering for come Bell Game time, that remains a mystery.

“I can’t say,” she said with a smile.

Colorado issues three types of substitute authorizations: 1-year emergency (high school diploma), 3-year, and 5-year, based on educational background and experience. All substitute authorizations are valid for serving in K-12 classrooms.

In the District, certified (educator) 1-year subs with a high school diploma are paid $115 per full (at least 6 hours) day. Those enrolled in the education program at Colorado State University Pueblo are paid $120.

Substitutes with a bachelor’s degree in the 3-year authorization program are paid $125 a day. Those on long-term assignments (at least 12 consecutive days) receive $140 per day.

Those in the 5-year authorization program, with a current or expired teaching license, are paid $165 a day, with those on long-term assignment paid $215 a day.

There also is an incentive program in place.

Certified substitute teachers who work 30 full days (or 180 hours) in the fall semester will receive a $200 bonus in December.

Certified substitutes who work 45 full days (or 270 hours) in the spring semester will receive a $300 bonus in June.

Classified substitutes – paid $13.50 per hour -- who work 30 days (or 180 hours) in the fall semester will receive a $100 bonus in December.

Classified subs who work 45 days (or 270 hours) in the spring semester will receive a $150 bonus in June.

To learn more about becoming a guest teacher, click here: