Rep. Dusty Johnson adds substitute teacher to his resume

Rep. Johnson says he hopes his time in the classroom will show people that they don't need a teaching degree to make a difference.

BLACK HAWK, S.D. — You probably had substitute teachers when you were in school, but you’ve probably never had one that is a U.S. congressman. A group of students at Black Hawk Elementary got a special treat on Wednesday when “Mr. Johnson” taught their class.

South Dakota’s only representative filled-in for a first-grade teacher to highlight the workforce shortage.

“When we talk about how hard life has been for frontline workers, sometimes I think we forget about the teachers,” Rep. Johnson says. “And the reality is that this is a critically important job and they’re doing it under pretty difficult circumstances.”

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Rep. Johnson looks over a students work at Black Hawk Elementary

The kids didn’t seem to mind one bit!

“They’re flexible, they’re dynamic; they understand that every day is going to be a little bit different,” Rep. Johnson says. “You can see they’re learning some resiliency along the way.”

Neither did Johnson.

“I have teenagers at home, so I get a lot of shrugs when I ask them questions. There have been more hugs than shrugs here in first grade, and I like that better,” Johnson adds with a smile.

The day was filled with reading and group activities, giving the congressman a first-hand look at what teachers deal with on a daily basis.

“We do want to make sure that we’re giving these educators the tools they need to do the job,” Rep. Johnson says. “I think we also want to make sure that we’ve got policies that try to encourage strong families.”

Rep. Johnson says he hopes his time in the classroom will show people that they don’t need a teaching degree to make a difference.

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A poster advertising the need for substitute teachers hangs in the lobby at Black Hawk Elementary

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Family, Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News