Gov. Lujan Grisham reports to first day as substitute teacher

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham traded in her office at the Roundhouse Wednesday for a kindergarten classroom where she filled in as a volunteer substitute teacher.

The governor says she learned a lot about New Mexico’s public school system – like how much work substitute teachers have to put in when they prepare to follow a lesson plan. Since she was in a kindergarten class, she also learned how much time it took to clean up after school.

The governor did hold a press conference afterward, where she said she will take her classroom experience and apply it to the Legislature to ensure improvements to the state’s education system.

“These relationships are critical to the success of these students and if we don’t do more to alleviate these pressures inside the classroom – with or without a global pandemic – we are going to shortchange our students and we are not going to lift up our educators. Being in the classroom and seeing it’s tough, I loved every second of it but it is tough,” said Lujan Grisham.

The governor says while it was a tough first day, she is ready to sub again when needed.

She’s one of nearly 70 volunteer substitutes who signed up through the Supporting Teachers and Families initiative. More than 50 of those volunteers are National Guard members who will be helping out more rural schools in the state.

Tonight on the Nightbeat, KOB 4 talks to students to see what they think of this new program bringing the National Guard into the classroom.