The Unconscious Bias Against Substitute Teachers

Six years of university and two degrees is what is needed to be a Substitute Teacher in Ontario today. Parents daily send their children into schools, knowing that they will be taught by a Substitute Teacher that day. And yet, Substitute Teaching is not viewed as a well respected career. It is time for this cultural unconscious bias against Substitute Teachers to be rooted out in favour of the current reality.

The reality is that Substitute Teaching is an excellent career, offering a very good salary, an excellent home-work balance and fulfillment. The reality is that only the smartest and best candidates make it into a Bachelor of Education program, let alone get hired by a Board of Education. The reality is that Substitute Teachers are respected by students, parents and colleagues. It is time that the cultural bias about Substitute Teaching catches up with the reality. Although people may laugh when we say that a Substitute Teacher may be the next Prime Minster of Canada, it is not a joke, it is the current reality.


  1. Helen

    Hi Amanda,
    I am a new follower! As someone who is in their second year with a major Ontario board but also worked as a professional LTO in the states, I can say there are issues that relate to biases and prejudices. We need to talk about the fact that many Teachers leave “simple” lesson plans or activities for students when an OT can do much more. Where did a full time Teacher get the idea that this is all we can handle? This is the sentiment I am seeing about thirty percent of the time. There is always room for improvement with relations between fulltime Teachers and Occasional Teachers!!!

    • Amanda

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your comment! I hope that raising these issues will help raise awareness of the professional abilities of Occasional teachers. 🙂


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