EDUCATION + SCHOOLS
Gov. Cox serves as a substitute teacher in the Granite School District
SALT LAKE CITY — Due to a shortage of substitute teachers, and following the executive order he signed on Jan. 31, Gov. Spencer Cox filled in as a substitute teacher Tuesday at West Lake STEM Junior High School in the Granite School District.
In his Jan. 31 executive order, Gov. Cox granted state employees 30 hours of administrative leave to fill in as substitute teachers, or other school support positions during a period of staffing shortages.
“Spending time in the classroom gave me even more respect for what our educators do every day. We can’t thank them enough for their skill and dedication, especially their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic,” Gov. Cox said in a press release. “Seeing the curiosity of these students and how they interacted with their peers and me as their substitute reinforced my view that in-person learning is the best environment for our students. We must do everything we can to keep our schools open.”
Gov. Cox received his teacher prep notes the night before. He substituted three periods. Two periods covered Utah history, while a third period was on U.S. history.
First lady fills in as a teacher
First Lady Abby Cox also filled in as a teacher at the school Tuesday. She served as a special education instructor during her time as a substitute. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate in special education from Utah State University.
“It’s so important for all students to learn and form meaningful relationships with their teachers and each other,” First Lady Cox said in a press release. “These types of powerful connections improve individual lives and strengthen our community as a whole.”
During the first two weeks of January, the Granite School District had more than 2,000 requests for substitutes.
“Numbers have improved dramatically, but last week alone we still had 761 requests of which 192 went unfilled by traditional subs,” Granite School District Ben Horsley said in a press release.
Horsley says those unfilled requests were filled by district level emergency substitutes or school site teachers or administrators using their preparation periods to cover.
Gov. Cox went to social media on Tuesday to share his thoughts on the day.
That was such a special experience. The students were incredibly engaging, kind, patient and smart. I’m exhausted and more grateful than ever for teachers that do this everyday. Thanks to Ms. Pedersen for all the prep work and instructions to help me through. https://t.co/QwI1Fp7SCN
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) February 8, 2022
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