SUBSTITUTE EDUCATORS DAY – Friday Before Thanksgiving

Substitute Educators Day - Friday before Thanksgiving
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


American Education Week wraps up recognition of teachers and administrators by recognizing Substitute Educators Day. The event occurs the Friday before Thanksgiving each year and highlights the important role substitute teachers play in education.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were over 500,000 substitute teachers in 2020. These educators fill the shoes of the class’s regular teacher for half a day up to several weeks. Substitutes apply to teach in a school district. They will receive notice from the district of an opening sometimes hours before they are needed. Other times, substitutes fill in for a teacher when they are scheduled to be away. A substitute often doesn’t know which subject they may be teaching from one week to the next. They are flexible and resilient educators who provide a bridge between full-time educators and their students.

The observance aims to elevate the respect owed to substitute educators. It is also a way to advocate for substitutes at all levels of educations. The day also promotes being prepared for an absence at school and improving the receptiveness of substitute teachers.

Substitute teachers come from every facet of life with experience in math, science, language arts, history, business, and more. Focusing on the continued progress of a classroom’s education, these teachers play a vital role in maintaining high levels of education in every school system.

HOW TO OBSERVE #SubstituteEducatorsDay

Celebrate the substitute teachers who work at your school. Recognize their dedication and support them as they provide a bridge to your child’s education.

  • Give a shout-out to a substitute teacher you know.
  • Recommend a substitute teacher to your school.
  • Let your child’s school know how well a substitute teacher did.
  • Teach your children to respect a substitute teacher and classroom teacher.
  • While it might be difficult to do, learn the names of the substitute teachers who frequently work in your school.
  • Send a note of encouragement.
  • If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, learn the requirements in your state.
  • Share your experiences as a substitute teacher.

Use #SubstituteEducatorsDay to give a shout-out to the excellent substitute teachers in your district.


The National Education Association (NEA) founded Substitute Educators Day to be observed the week of American Education Week.

Substitute Educators FAQ

Q. How many substitute teachers are there in the United States?
A. In 2020, there were over 500,000 substitute teachers in the United States.

Q. Does a substitute teacher cover every academic subject?
A. A substitute teacher may be assigned to teach any subject. They closely follow a lesson plan supplied by the classroom’s regular teacher. They have the skills to teach students following those materials.

Q. Do substitute teachers have the same education as the classroom teacher?
A. From state to state, the requirements for licensure, education, and certification may be different. However, some substitute teachers work in the field related to the subject, making them an ideal person to teach a class temporarily.

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