Elijah Norwood sub interview on WRTV

Father Steps In to Fill Teaching Void

By: Adam Schumes, WRTV, March 18, 2022

There is a critical need for teachers in the Hoosier State, and Cedar Elementary School is no exception.

That's why when Elijah Norwood saw a need for teachers in the Avon Education Foundation a few months ago, he decided to step in.

“We’ve struggled with subs for the last two and a half years ever since COVID hit and it’s been a real challenge daily to get classes covered on a regular basis,” Cedar Elementary Principal Kevin Gray said.

The school of about 700 students needs four or five additional teachers on any given day, Gray said.

Friday was Norwood's second time subbing at Cedar Elementary, where his daughter is a student. He also subs at other elementary schools in the district.

“It's a huge need in the community, so anything that I could do lend a helping hand ... that's my job and my responsibility as a father and someone who is a part of this community,” Norwood said. “It was kind of a no-brainer. If we need subs and my daughter is not getting the learning, then I have to step in as father,” Norwood added

Norwood is quite the busy man. On top of substitute teaching, he runs his own company, called 22StarvingArtist.

Meanwhile, Norwood has also dedicated himself to cultivating a positive learning environment for his students.

“I’ve learned that through listening to the kids, they will, in turn, listen to you, so I provide them with a safe space and let them be exactly who they are,” he said.

But by the looks of it, Norwood's future prospects in teaching are promising.

“He doesn’t just talk it; he demonstrates it in class, so I just told himtoday that anytime that he is ready to make this a full-time gig he has a job right here,” Gray said of Norwood.

Anyone interested in becoming a substitute teacher in the state of Indiana can view requirements online.

Click here to view story on WRTV

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