For three years, Angela Jaynes has been the saving grace of Bridges Elementary School in the Higley Unified School District. If a teacher calls in sick, needs an extra pair of hands, or just wants 15 minutes to themselves, Angela is there to pick up the slack – and she is always there.
Whether she's filling in for a first-grade teacher or a lunch aide, Angela has it covered. She's a jack-of-all-trades, holding a full-time sub position through ESI.
Angela is a RescueSub, a role through her district and ESI where she works full-time...filling any necessary roles the district needs on a given day. RescueSubs are eligible to purchase benefits, and usually see higher rates than daily substitutes. They are flexible heroes for the districts they serve.
RescueSubs are flexible heroes for the districts they serve.
Perhaps, Angela's proclivity for saving the day comes from her time serving in the military. She spent 21 years serving in the Navy, and thought back then that there was no way she'd ever know a better or deeper sense of camaraderie. That was before she became a substitute teacher. While the military felt like a fraternity, the children and staff of the school feel like a family. From the minute she walks in the door until she walks out at the end of the day, Angela feels the love and support that everyone has for each other – the teachers and students alike.
Speaking of family...Angela began substituting at Bridges while her son was a student. At first, she was worried that he would have a problem with his mom teaching in the same place that he was learning. But her son saw things differently. He told her, "I love having you come to school with me." Now that he's headed to middle school, Angela jokes that she's going to become a middle school sub.
"Just being aware of everyone's differences and being respectful of where people have come from or what they may or may not have. Show compassion to different people. To all people."
Angela's desire to teach came through her interactions with her father, who arrived in the United States from Mexico when he was 13. He inspired her to strive for a career in teaching, because she helped him learn English when she was just a little girl. She and her sister encouraged their father to converse with them in English, though Spanish was all of their first languages, so he could improve and become fluent. Angela's mother and father made it a point to instill their diligent work ethic into their two daughters, and that's something that Angela carried with her through the military, up until present day. She practices that work ethic while teaching – she began with her father's language skills and uses it to this day in the classroom, where she continues to be inspired by and for her students.
Along with being hardworking, Angela places an emphasis on empathy in schools. The kids come from so many different backgrounds, and Angela speaks from experience in knowing how it feels to be the minority in a classroom. In order to keep students from feeling alienated, she highlights the importance of differences.
"Just being aware of everyone's differences and being respectful of where people have come from or what they may or may not have," she notes. "Show compassion to different people. To all people." If there comes a point where she notices strife within the classroom, she does not hesitate to drop what she's doing and transition into a mini-lesson centered around empathy and compassion.
"I'll tell (the students), let's look around the classroom. Look to your left, look to your right, and tell me… does that person to your left or right look the exact same as you? Do they have the same learning abilities that you do?"
"I'll tell (the students), let's look around the classroom. Look to your left, look to your right, and tell me… does that person to your left or right look the exact same as you? Do they have the same learning abilities that you do?" Angela highlights the fact that differences within each student can play to their strengths; differences are key and they make up who the class is at its core. Even if a student doesn't understand another, it's important to be patient and try to see the situation from a different point of view.
This lesson has everything to do with making an impact in her students' lives. "If I can make an impact in one child's life, if I can make a child see something more in themselves, then my job is done," Angela says. There was a student who approached Angela and spoke about her impact, saying that: "I remember you told me that if you made an impact in somebody's life, then you've done something well. You've impacted my life." Moments like that are why Angela does what she does.
"If I can make an impact in one child's life, if I can make a child see something more in themselves, then my job is done."
When not at school Angela loves to watch sports and cook with her husband, retired from the Air Force, and son. The two met in Alaska and have been married for 14 years. She loves that being a rescue sub allows her to help provide for her family and keep the same schedule as her son, allowing for maximum family time. Angela finds joy in being able to assist teachers, whether they need a whole day off or only 15 minutes to gather their thoughts.
"[You're] helping the community; [you're] helping the school. And ultimately, I think that's what most of the school districts are in need of: That extra hand."
By filling in the blanks, she makes sure that everyone is performing their very best, while doing what she does best. Being a hero.
Looking for a full-time substitute position? Educational Services, Inc. (ESI) offers full- time positions with benefit eligibility. Positions are compensated at a daily rate and with the understanding that this is a full-time position with the expectation that an assignment shall be fulfilled on a daily basis, each day school is in session. Apply now!