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    Evelyn Jennings

    Substitute Teacher Spotlight
    Jettie S. Tisdale School
    Bridgeport Public Schools

    Ms. Evelyn Jennings is passionate about helping youths. She is the former Dean of Students and Child Development Director for the YMCA of Delaware and Bridgeport YMCA, and previously worked as an Interventionist at Jettie S. Tisdale School.

    In a few short months as a long-term substitute teacher, Ms. Jennings vastly improved 7th grade math scores and has been honored by Khan Academy for her achievement in student outcomes. Ms. Jennings holds bachelor's degrees in Child Psychology and  Elementary Education, and a master's degree in Higher Education Administration.

    In this Q&A, Ms. Jennings shares her experiences and offers inspiration to new substitute teachers.

    Why did you become a substitute teacher?

    I had spent five years as an interventionist at Tisdale. I came back because of the wonderful administrators and teachers who provide quality education to this community.

    I wanted to help the students that had fallen behind during the pandemic. Some of these students did not do well with independent learning on the computer. I saw that I could make a difference. I also enjoy that the schedule allows me to have a level of flexibility.

    What do you like most about being a substitute teacher?

    I want the students to be the best they can. I tell my students that they can conquer anything in life if you apply yourself. You have to prep yourself so that you can be successful. I prepare to teach. They have to prepare to learn. We're a team—it's a two way street. We work together to achieve.

    Watch this brief video to learn more about Ms. Jennings.

    What advice would you give to new substitute teachers?

    Get to know your students. Build a relationship with your students. Get them to trust you because once they trust you, they will do anything to please you. Let them know that you care. If they know you care, they're going to try.

    What would you tell someone considering substitute teaching?

    This is an excellent opportunity for you. Kelly Education has videos and programs to prepare you to be successful in the classroom. It is so rewarding when you see a child grow and when they see the change within themselves—and when you're part of that change. 

    What motivates you to wake up and teach?

    When I wake up I ask myself, "What am I going to achieve  today? What experience will the children provide to me today? Every day, they give me a new experience—and I love it! To see a child who doesn't believe in themselves gain self-confidence or a student who was failing that is now passing—that glow and that excitement is rewarding.


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