By Thelonious Brooks
12/20/2023 – EdSource

The best substitutes are passionate mentors who play a role in student success. As a substitute teacher with 14 years of experience in public and private schools in Oakland, I believe my commitment to students and my experience outside of teaching enable me to be a valuable guide in the lives of the K-12 students I have the privilege of working with, and I want more school leaders to recognize that role.

Before I started teaching, I served in the Air Force, went to law school, became a paralegal, and launched my own clothing line. I bring every aspect of these experiences — the ups and the downs — with me to the classroom to provide a fresh perspective to students. When I substitute in math classes, I can talk about how interpreting numbers helps entrepreneurs understand their profit margin in the future. In language arts classes, I can talk about how persuasive arguments are the basis of a strong legal case. And, in all my classes, I’m always quick to discuss the importance of critical thinking, adaptability, and a strong work ethic, no matter where a student’s life will take them….Read Mr. Brooks’ full article in EdSource here.