What does a substitute teacher look like? A stay-at-home mom who wants to spend more time with her kids. A college student wanting to grow their skills before becoming a full-time teacher. Or a retiree who is looking for something to do in their free time?   

The answer is all the above, and more. At Morgan Hunter Education we work with substitute teachers from all walks of life. In this series we highlight the passions and hobbies of our substitutes and the unique skills or knowledge they bring to our local classrooms. Meet Sarah Rahija.   

Sarah Rahija always had a heart for helping others. As a mother of four, she has invested more than 16 years as a stay-at-home mom while teaching at her church. But she always missed being in the classroom. Ironically enough, Sarah’s local school district in Lawrence works with Morgan Hunter Education to provide substitute teachers, allowing her the opportunity to do what she loves best while serving her own community.

“I’ve always been the ‘neighborhood mom’ helping however and whenever, so this allows me to have a reach outside of that and invest in the kids in our community,” Sarah said.  “This year I’ve been able to stay at one school, which has been amazing because I have built a real relationship with the kids.”

Since returning from Christmas break, Sarah began substitute teaching two classes full-time and works as the building substitute for the remaining portion of the day. One of the courses she has taken a lead role in is Career and Life Planning. Sarah writes curriculum for the course and empowers students to follow their dreams.

Sarah is a true connector by nature and treats being an educator as a lifestyle, not just a title.

“We’re not raising kids; we’re raising adults and I’m trying to help them get to that level of independence and the next level of maturity,” Sarah said

When she’s inside the classroom, she believes it’s important to show each student that they’re cared for and have a support system while they develop into young adults. She even sparks open discussion with her students in what she calls, “Question of the Day.” During this time, Sarah encourages students to open up to one another about topics that go beyond their classwork.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys sitting next to her son while he plays Minecraft or listening to her daughters deliver an update about all the things they’re doing. Sarah also loves to read and watch detective tv shows. Being a substitute teacher gives Sarah the flexibility to continue to be mom of the year while following her passion as an educator

“I always joke about that being a substitute is the perfect job for me because I’m a pretty fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person. I have four kids and scheduling is just not the easiest. So, having the ability to just go and step in when needed is a positive.”

Interested in becoming a substitute teacher?  

No two substitute teachers are the same, and at Morgan Hunter Education we want to bring your unique skills to our local classrooms. If you don’t have previous teaching experience, Morgan Hunter Education will walk you through the process to become a certified substitute teacher in both Missouri and Kansas. Contact our team at Morgan Hunter Education today to get started.