Substitute teaching is a particularly difficult job.
As Hayley Glatter writes in The Atlantic, "Substitutes are almost always put in sink-or-swim situations: They're with a class for a limited amount of time, lesson-plan-preparedness is often inconsistent, and students can be less than helpful in describing what they should be working on."
Nearly every state and the District of Columbia have reported a shortage of teachers. Spanish-speaking and special needs teachers are in particularly high demand. At the same time, student enrollments are projected to grow by 3 million in the next 10 years.
Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana has been substitute teaching for over a decade. He believes the practice not only helps schools meet a growing need, it provides him with invaluable insight into the realities local schools are facing.