Debbie Price is our December Substitute of the Month. She takes a lot of last minute assignments, receives phenomenal feedback, has excellent classroom management skills and communicates consistently with MHED staff. Debbie is highly requested by teachers. Thank you Debbie for your dedication to the students in the community!
What do you like most about being a Substitute Teacher?
I love that every assignment is a new adventure! I find that the elementary schools are bursting with energy, curiosity and positive hope for the future. The excitement I see in their young faces really keeps me feeling energized. I appreciate how being a substitute teacher allows me the flexibility of setting my own schedule, and choosing the assignments and classrooms I want to work in. I am very busy with direct teacher requests for assignments. I feel it is the ultimate compliment when a teacher seeks me out and asks me to sub for them. The teams of teachers, office staff and administrators, always make me feel welcomed, appreciated and part of the team, not “just the sub.” Substitute teaching provides me to the opportunity to still do what I love, without being tied to lesson planning, conferences, various staff meetings, and all the other responsibilities of the regular classroom teacher.
Why did you become a Substitute Teacher – what is your background and what other jobs have you had?
When I retired after many years of teaching, my children were both in high school. It was nice to have plenty of time to attend all their activities and sports, no matter what time or where they traveled to. Once they both went off to college, I felt that urge to get back into the classroom. My wonderful husband provides me with the luxury of not working because I have to, but rather working because I want to. The decision to substitute teach came easy and was the perfect fit. I must say however, substitute teaching is a challenging job. It is nearly impossible to walk into a classroom full of strangers and expect them to listen to you, respect you and behave nicely. I have found that my background in teaching, being very outgoing, and teachers making me feel part of the team, has given me an advantage. I can honestly say as a substitute teacher, I know I am making a positive impact on all the students that I encounter. I also feel that the teachers know they can rely on me to continue the lessons as planned and it is not a lost day of teaching for them filled with fluff or busy work.
What is your favorite grade level/subject to teach?
My favorite grade levels are K, 1st and 2nd. Being at the same schools all the time, allows me the opportunity to get to know the students very well and to follow them through three grade levels. It makes for a smooth transition the following year when I am in their classroom because they already know me. It is rewarding to watch them grow and learn.
What do you feel the students like most about you when you fill in as the teacher?
Strangely enough, I believe they really like my positivity and the consistency I provide. Each day I begin class by reminding the students of my expectations and assuring them that it’s going to be a great day. My goal for each assignment is to do my best to keep the classroom running just as if the regular classroom teacher were there. They know that I have the same expectations of them as their regular classroom teacher. Nothing is better than the students being excited when they realize I am their teacher for the day. It is also a great feeling, when students see me in the building, and they ask me when I am going to come be in their classroom again.
What do you do in your free time when you are not working?
I love doing just about anything outdoors, when the weather is nice……I am definitely a fair-weather fan. I mostly enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a very social person. My husband says I never meet a stranger, and I have the gift for gab. In the summer I enjoy working with my husband in our garden. We grow all of the vegetables every summer to make and can our own salsa. In the cold weather months, you can find me watching every Kansas Jayhawks basketball and Kansas City Chiefs football games. I try really hard to never miss a game! I am definitely a huge fan of both! Currently my daughter has me really busy helping her with wedding plans. She will be getting married next September, and we are in full wedding planning mode right now. It is a very exciting time.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to the love of my life, Rob for 26 wonderful years and we have two children. Rob is my favorite person in the world, and I can honestly say I don’t know what I would ever do without him. He has worked for UPS for 36 years now. He is a feeder driver, which means he drives the big semi-trucks full of packages from here to far western Kansas and back every day. Garret is our oldest child, at 25. He attended De Soto schools and graduated in 2012. He then went on to earn his degree in Electrical Technology from Pittsburg State University. Garret also works at UPS, in the Facility Plant Engineering Maintenance Department. He basically keeps the place running and the packages moving. He recently purchased his first home in Western Shawnee. Our daughter Elaine is 23 and is also a De Soto High School graduate, Class of 2014. She graduated from Pittsburg State University with a degree in Biology. Elaine is currently attending The University of Saint Mary and working on her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. She received her White Coat in October and is now in her first clinical rotation. Elaine is engaged to First Lieutenant Bobby Shires III, he is an Airborne Reconnaissance Platoon Leader in the Army and is stationed in North Carolina. We are very proud to welcome him to our family.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
Actually, I share my uniqueness with my husband. We were both born on the same exact day and year, in the exact same hospital and delivered by the exact same doctor. According to hospital records, I am 4 hours and 13 minutes older than he is, and yes, he will never let me forget it. We truly are soulmates.