WEA’s Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project

Statewide, the Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project provides professional development, community, and career coaching to emergency substitutes (EST) and substitutes - and is led, designed, and delivered by current practitioners and leaders from around the state. The project is funded through a partnership grant with OSPI.

SubposiumMay2023 (8 of 11) - CopyWhat's new?

In May, school district and association staff joined together to share and collaborate ways they support substitutes across the state. WEA's SUBposium was an opportunity to focus on leaders who are providing support and professional development for substitutes. Attendees collaborated, shared and provided feedback to each other. They also received resources to support their locals, districts and regions.

"Substitutes bring in their unique resources, tools, and strategies, that help support the work of our educators. Because a substitute could be from a field outside of education, they bring into the educational environment strategies that could cultivate a mindset for students that may look different than their regular educator, while providing students an opportunity for a continued growth mindset in a way that supports diversity in education," says ​Aneeka Ferrell, WEA member and Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project co-lead.

This event was part of WEA’s Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project.

Upcoming professional development

June 15, 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Understanding Behavior for ESTs and Substitutes, register here.

June 21, 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Impacts of Equity on Behavior for ESTs and Substitutes, register here.

July 12, 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Behavioral Functions and Motivations for ESTs and Substitutes, register here.

July 19, 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Equitable Education for ESTs and Substitutes, register here.

Questions or comments? Send an email here.

Emergency substitute outreach project

A team of organizers are reaching out to ESTs who have completed the OSPI survey to find out about their training interests, what is going well for them and what would help them in their position. The information we gather is helping determine the professional development/trainings we offer throughout the year.


Join our affinity group of emergency substitute and substitute teachers. This group provides an opportunity to be in a common space with fellow substitute teachers. By joining, you have a chance to colloborate within a community setting, and discuss topics relevant to you.

"SubCommunities was born out of these emerging needs for community and connection amongst substitute educators. It provides a space for subs to gather, something that is rarely available to us. It also provides strategies, ideas, mindsets, and skills that are specific to substitute teaching," says Megan Conklin, WEA member and Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project co-lead. "The presence of substitute educators from all different backgrounds learning together is what makes SubCommunities unique and effective. We always eat a meal together because food is integral to community building. We always share stories, model instructional and social-emotional learning strategies and learn from one another. We usually walk away from SubCommunities filled up with purpose and joy."

Watch this video about SubCommunities.

Send an email here to learn more.

Stay connected

Join the Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project contact list.

Substitute educators meet a vital need

Substitute educators face one of the most challenging jobs in education today. And, they are crucial to our public education community. They are expected to step into an unknown class, often in an unknown building, on very short notice, and pick up ongoing lessons without the benefit of knowing exactly where a teacher left off or what material students have already covered. Read more here.