Substitute Teacher Story: Jane Abrams

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Kelly Education is proud to highlight the work of our talented substitute teachers.

Mrs. Jane Abrams is the winner of our 2024 Substitute Educator of the Year award in the K-12 Substitute Teacher category. She is a former Kindergarten teacher who retired early after an accident but recently returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher at Fulford Elementary for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

In this Q&A, Mrs. Abrams shares her substitute teacher story.

Why did you become a substitute teacher?

During the last couple of years, I suffered the loss of several family members and friends. It was a prodigious blow. Most of my days were spent at home suffering from a form of depression.

This was extremely unhealthy so decided to do something about it. I went back to something I loved…teaching. I needed to be with children. It wasn’t long before they filled my heart back up with joy and love. Cheesy? Probably, but they gave me what I needed most.

Why do you “Wake up & Teach”?

I have gained a whole new family. At Fulford Elementary, Dr. Rodriguez, Mrs. Agenor, teachers, office and support staff welcomed me with open arms. They shared their children with me. This is a workplace of respect and congeniality. How blessed am I to be working with these wonderful individuals.

What advice would you give to new substitute teachers?

Be positive. Listen to what the other teachers have to say and ask questions. Leave a detailed account of what you accomplished or didn’t accomplish during the day. And finally, bring a “goody” bag. Not lollipops and rewards or games, but age appropriate activities that are educational and fun. There might be some time at the end of the day that you may need to fill. Be creative!

Did you have a favorite teacher?

Mrs. Seibert was my third grade teacher. We all loved this wonderful woman, so much that I tried to emulate her as a teacher. She gave us confidence and made us strive to be the best we could be. Footnote: We continued to stay in touch until her passing in 2012.

What is the greatest benefit of being a Kelly Education substitute teacher?

Kelly Education gave me the freedom to work around my schedule. They also give employees additional perks such as insurances, retail bargains, incentives, just to name a few.

What colleagues say about Mrs. Abrams.

“Mrs. Abrams has shown dedication, determination, compassion, and a positive spirit and attitude. She has substituted in nearly all classrooms and grade levels at our school and has gone above and beyond in each role. She taught the actual lessons provided, created lesson plans based on pacing guide and standard expectations—and even met weekly during planning time at our regular collaborative planning sessions. This is something unheard of! Her passion for what she does is truly at a superior level.” – Dr. Maria T. Rodriguez, Principal


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