Substitute Teacher Influences, Challenges Stereotypes


Written by: Britan Dietsch, Reporter

As important as the teacher is to every class, they are only human. As such, things pop up in their lives which affect their ability to teach on some days. Enter the substitute teacher. With the temporary amount of time they have in the classroom, it can be hard for a substitute teacher to make a lasting impression on their class. Daveda Leppke goes above and beyond to become the exception.

“When I got my teaching degree, my kids were only in first and third grade,” Leppke said. “Since they were that young, I didn’t want to teach full-time.”

Leppke only substitutes for the Basehor-Linwood district; however, based on stories she’s heard from other teachers, she thinks she’s been exceptionally lucky to land in such a great area.

“I love interacting with the kids here,” Leppke said.

Outside of being a substitute teacher, Leppke teaches cardmaking and scrapbooking classes at her home in Bonner Springs. She also runs an online business, Daveda’s Stamping Spot, which sells craft stamps and associated products. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading and sports.

Substitute teachers have been stereotyped as being just a warm body to monitor the class, and their presence meaning that not much actual work will get done that day. Leppke not only works to challenge that stereotype, but hopes that future generations will join her.

“I’d like a lot more people to consider being a substitute teacher,” Leppke said. “It’s a great way to become a positive role model in students’ lives.”