Fill Voids and Build Relationships
Guest teacher Mary Brown
When it comes to hiring, our school and district staff have worked hard to retain and recruit full-time employees to join Collier County Public Schools (CCPS). However, with more than 7,000 full-time and part-time employees, we understand occasional absences from classes and front offices are unavoidable. The continuity of education is maintained by guest teachers and assistants who are well-versed in the policies, procedures, and expectations of the classroom and school.
“If you are retired and looking for a great part-time job, this is the perfect job,” explained guest teacher Louis Depaolo. The guest teacher’s role in the educational process is very important. Providing stability in the classroom, instructional programs, and school support processes is essential. Through professional training and experience, guest teachers and guest assistants provide students with instruction and support to minimize negative effects on student achievement that may result from the absences of employees.
“We really love having the same guest teachers come because they build relationships with our students, and that’s really important to us,” said Golden Gate Middle School’s Assistant Principal Christina Wennlund. “Guest teachers are important because they help us fill a desperate need that we have.”
A guest teacher should expect the needs and intentions of a classroom teacher to be communicated prior to taking charge of the class; conversely, a classroom teacher should expect the plans and assignments, which he/she has left, to be carried out by the guest teacher assigned to the classroom.
Left: Guest teacher Dennis Schafer
Middle: Dr. Kamela Patton guest teaches at Calusa Park Elementary
Right: Guest teachers Louis Depaolo and Carlos Gonzalez
We currently have more than 800 active guest teachers and guest assistants within our Guest Teacher Program. However, not all of them work on assignments on a consistent basis, which is why we actively recruit guest teachers and assistants year-round.
In some situations, full-time employees must separate from full-time positions for family and personal reasons. Therefore, we also allow separating employees to request to remain active with the district in guest teacher and guest assistant positions, in lieu of leaving/separating from the district altogether. Allowing separating employees to maintain their active status with the district in a “Guest” capacity strengthens the skills and experiences within our “Guest” pool, but it also allows for smooth transitions back into full-time positions when former full-time employees decide to return to full-time positions within the district.
To build our guest teacher pool, we have increased pay and made some adjustments to the requirements. Guest assistants must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma/GED, and guest teachers must be at least 20 years of age and have 30 college credit hours with one (1) year of professional experience working with school-age children (PreK–12th grade). Guest teachers have the flexibility to choose whether they want to work on any given day. We encourage anyone interested in a career in education, classroom or otherwise, to submit their application to join our Guest Teacher Program. You’ll find information regarding our Guest Teacher Program and the application process on the following web page: www.collierschools.com/guestteachers. You may also call 239.377.0335 or email StaffingCCPS@collierschools.com.