'Pay It Forward' : State Employee Discusses Substitute Teaching

Friday, January 21st 2022, 6:24 pm


This week, Gov. Kevin Stitt called on state employees to give up their day jobs to serve as substitute teachers. More than 170 signed up since Tuesday.

"You’re going to be scared and anxious right before you walk in the building and that’s totally ok,” Kaci Compton Allen said. She works in IT at the state’s Office of Management and Enterprise services.

“I have two small children of my own,” Kaci said. “I was really doing it as a pay it forward.”

Education Secretary Ryan Walters said he’s worked with OSBI to get finger printing and background checks turned around for many state employees to be able to substitute teach within 48 hours.

“The superintendent actually called me (the night before teaching) and asked which subjects I prefer,” Kaci said.

In fact, the school was able to place Kaci in a tech classroom teaching content that mirrors her career.

“For some of them, I know school is a safe haven, so it’s important for them to just be in a place where they can focus on their schoolwork,” she said.

Kaci said she started the day to pay it forward and emerged with an even greater respect for teacher who are in the classroom day in and day out.

“I don’t know how they do it and how they have children of their own,” she said. “It’s definitely a thankless job.”

School leaders have said they’re needing longer-term substitute teachers. If your think you may be a good candidate, click here.