WEA's Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project

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.

Statewide, the WEA Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project provides professional development, community, and career coaching to emergency substitutes 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.

Mission statement

The Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project’s mission is to change the culture of how emergency substitute teachers and the greater substitute teacher community are supported, trained, and valued within public education.

Career Coaching

Group Sessions: WEA’s Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project provides in-person and virtual career coaching sessions for emergency substitutes interested in pursuing full teacher certification. Coaches support mentees in navigating resources and systems while guiding mentees in making their own well-informed decisions based on all available information and personal best fit.

1-on-1 Coaching: At the end of each group session, interested participants are invited to register for 1-on-1 coaching with an ESTS Project career coach. Participants can schedule up to 5 one-hour sessions for additional support navigating resources, systems, and options. If you are interested in 1-on-1 coaching, but unable to attend a group session (recommended first step), you can register here.

WEA SubAcademy

WEA’s ESTS Project will host four Sub Academies across the state inviting emergency substitutes as well as any other substitutes for a full day of professional development offering many courses specifically designed for substitutes.

Free Online EST and Substitute Educator Professional Development Courses

WEA's Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project is providing professional development via Zoom. When you register, you will automatically receive an email with a Zoom link. Courses are free for all Washington ESTs and substitute teachers.

SubSchool asynchronous professional development

WEA is sponsoring SubSchool memberships for  a limited-number of Emergency Substitutes! SubSchool is a dynamic and modern virtual learning platform, designed specifically for substitute teachers, where members can access learning opportunities on key topics like classroom management and facilitating instruction.

Are you ready to join the 400+ WA subs who are already learning with SubSchool? To claim one of the sponsored SubSchool memberships, you first need to register for clock hours for at least one course.

  • When you complete the clock hours registration, you will receive a link to set up your free SubSchool account. You will use your SubSchool account to access all courses.
  • You only need one SubSchool account. If you want clock hours for each course, you will need to register with ALL Cvent course links. Please review the process when you register for each course.
  • SubSchool courses are asynchronous.
View information here.


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 collaborate 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.


School district and association staff join together to share and collaborate ways they support substitutes across the state. WEA's SUBposium is an opportunity to focus on leaders who are providing support and professional development for substitutes. Attendees collaborate, share and provide feedback to each other. They also receive 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.

Stay connected

Join the Emergency Substitute Teacher Support Project contact list.