Florida's Education Commissioner Announces Substitute Teacher Initiative

They're the men and women behind Florida’s education system, they already know a thing or two about making educational policies, but there's more to learn, so they're heading back to the classroom starting Wednesday.

"We appreciate the teachers and we know they do great work, but often times we haven't been willing to go that extra mile and walk in their shoes,” explains Jim Horne of the Florida Commissioner of Education.

Education Commissioner Jim Horne announced that he and several other top education leaders will be taking that walk in teachers' shoes. They'll be serving as substitute teachers in Tallahassee’s public schools as part of a new Back to the Classroom substitute teaching initiative.

"What I expect to get really is a better appreciation of what actually goes on in the classroom in the very early ages,” comments Debra Austin, Chancellor, Division of Colleges and Universities.

Commissioner Horne stresses that the back to the classroom initiative isn't just a classroom visit. Starting Wednesday morning, he and others will be taking over for the entire day, lesson plans and all.

"This will be a wonderful opportunity for our classroom teachers and others that work in our schools to have direct input in terms of giving information to our commissioners and chancellors,” adds Supt. Bill Montford, Leon County Schools.

Supt. Montford is also taking part; he'll be substituting in a high school math class.

Maybe the students will teach their education leaders a thing or two more about being in the classroom?

The Back to the Classroom initiative will be an on-going program. Commissioner Horne says he hopes to expand to it other political and business leaders.