Giving Compass' Take:
- Heather Close discusses how it's becoming increasingly difficult to find substitutes when teachers are absent from class.
- What are the root causes of there not being enough substitute teachers? What can be done to remedy this shortage of substitutes?
- Read about how to approach teacher shortages.
What is Giving Compass?
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I was a substitute teacher in Monroe County, Indiana, from 1998 to 2000. I covered K-12. Here are some items to consider: Students stole the TV remote, so initially I struggled to start their physics video; once I manually turned the TV on, they kept changing the channel. More than one student went to the bathroom and never returned. A middle-school boy climbed wall shelving filled with Bunsen burners. I sent Spider Boy to the principal. She sent him back with a note to me that read, "I don't have time for this." I did not return to that school, ever. That's why this resonated with me:
"Last school year, almost 3 out of 4 public schools reported higher rates of chronic teacher absenteeism, or teachers missing 10 or more days of work, according to the U.S. Department of Education," reports Denise-Marie Ordway of The Journalist's Resource, a free academic research group from Harvard Kennedy School. "At the same time, 77% of schools reported having more difficulty finding substitutes to fill in while regular teachers were out, with 61% saying it was 'much more difficult' than it had been before Covid-19 began to spread. . . . As kids make their way from kindergarten through their senior year of high school, they spend an estimated total of almost a whole academic year being taught by subs, on average."
Read the full article about substitute teachers by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.