Substitute Spotlight: Mr. Bailey

Substitutes are an integral part of the learning process at Fairfax and are heavily involved in education. They ensure that students are still receiving proper instruction even if their teachers are absent. However, substitutes are always changing and there are always new faces in the building. Many students do not understand or have insight on substitutes and how their schedule works.
Rebel Roar reached out to one of Fairfax’s most well-known substitutes, Mr. Bailey, to ask him a few questions about substituting. Mr. Bailey has been a substitute since February of 2017 and has continued for the past three years. Many substitute for extra cash, or as an flexible side job, but Mr. Bailey’s reason is a little more unique. When asked what prompted him to start subbing, he responded that it was due to his soul searching. He stated that he was trying to “figure out what it is I was purposed to do with my life. After much prayer and meditation, a revelation occurred. It was my purpose to become a music teacher. While I changed my major in college, at first, I decided to take on substitute teaching for extra training for when I become a music teacher.” However, over the past few months, Mr. Bailey’s goals and reasoning behind substituting have shifted. He states, “While I still strive to become a music teacher, substitute teaching here with the faculty, staff, and students here at FHS inspires me even more to be the best I can be for all students here. I substitute teach here to encourage and inspire students to become better individuals inside and outside of the classroom.” He explained that his overall goal is to “create and oversee a positive and fun learning environment where students wish to come and learn.”
Working as a substitute can be quite appealing for many since the job hours can be tailored to fit their own personal schedule. Substitutes have control over their hours and can choose the days they want to work. Bailey elaborated saying, “We are considered temp workers so we work where the need for substitute teachers is. We must work no less than 10 jobs within any six month period to stay hired, and it can be at many different schools in Fairfax County within a week.” Additionally, “A substitute teacher can pick the school or schools they like to work at as long as those schools need a substitute teacher and they are not banned by said school or schools.” Regarding the classes and subjects substitutes are allowed to work with, Bailey said that he “only substitutes certain subjects.” He further explained saying that, “sometimes administration encourages me to “spread my wings” and that is cool too!” However, Bailey’s favorite subject to substitute is physical education. Overall the job is “very flexible, and substitute teachers choose where they work, the school days they work, and the subject.”
After consistently substituting Mr. Bailey can confidently say that “supporting and building positive relationships with students is my number one favorite [part of substituting] without a doubt!”