A few weeks ago I wrote a post on my internal conflict of becoming a substitute teacher this next school year because of the substitute teacher shortage. After a lot of debate and back and forth, I ultimately decided it wasn’t in the cards for me this year, but I will continue to always keep it in the back of my mind.
But let’s talk about this substitute teacher shortage! Why is there such a lack of subs right now (and let’s be honest, always!) Here were a few reasons I could think of:
Concerns about sickness, in general, and specifically during a pandemic. Schools are breeding grounds for germs!
It doesn’t typically come with the benefit of guaranteed hours.
Oftentimes, it doesn’t even come with benefits!
A lack of knowledge that our schools need subs.
The lack of childcare for parents to sub while they still have kids not school-aged yet.
It’s sad that we are dealing with a shortage in an area that could be one of the most important. If a teacher cannot find a sub for their class, it could mean coming into the classroom to teach while incredibly sick, causing more spread of sickness. It could mean overcrowded classrooms while other teachers take on the responsibility of the class. Ultimately, it means scrambling to find a way to keep the kids occupied and safe while the teacher is out, instead of focusing on academics and social skills, like a classroom should be.
Here are a few ways we can support substitute teachers, teachers, and schools in general:
Keep our classrooms and schools as clean and germ-free as possible.
Appreciate our subs! They do not make much money, typically, and do not have benefits from their job.
Spread the word about our lack of substitute teachers that may need extra income or have time to step in and help sub.
Offer childcare for those that have the time to sub, but maybe cannot find proper childcare.
How do you support substitute teachers in your community?