Alishia Vallance has been a substitute teacher with Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) for over 10 years.

In the late 2000s, Vallance graduated college with a bachelor of education and soon got a teaching contract with the local school division. After four years she stepped away from her role to focus on her family. Once her daughter started school, Vallance got back into education. 

"I've worked everything from kindergarten to commercial foods, health, and home economics. So I've kind of done everything across the board," she says.

Her other ventures include teaching sexual education to grades 4-6 through a non-profit organization and running a day home.

"I love teaching it all."

From Vegreville to Sherwood Park and everywhere in between, Vallance has worked at schools throughout the division. Her love of the job comes from the variety and flexibility.

“I get to set a schedule that works for me and my family... there’s so much variety as a substitute—working with different schools, students and staff groups, whether I’m providing one-on-one student support or full classroom instruction—no two days are the same."

We asked if she had any advice for aspiring teachers.

"As long as you're doing what you love and you're putting your heart into it, you're doing an awesome job. Sometimes it's a thankless job, and that's okay, because as long as the kids are happy and they're learning - that's the reward."

Vallance is one of 300 substitute teachers working with EIPS. She got special recognition from the division during Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week from Mar.14-18. 

EIPS is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,125 students in 43 schools.

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