Real Talk - Sub Shortage Implications
Since the start of the pandemic, teachers across the country have retired early or quit for other professions, exacerbating a long-standing substitute and teacher shortage. Now, increased absences have pushed the situation to a breaking point—there simply aren’t enough substitutes.
At Willard Public Schools, we strive to create an environment that is safe, equitable, and conducive for learning. We are at our best when we are fully staffed. In the event that we are not, substitutes help fill those gaps. Without an adequate number of substitutes, schools are forced to operate under less than ideal conditions. Included below are just a few concerns we face when we do not have subs:
- Teachers are forced to step in and instruct all day without planning periods, thus requiring them to plan into the afternoons and evenings, creating a sense of fatigue among staff members. A teacher’s non-covered absence can affect his or her colleagues and students across the school, not just those in the absent teacher’s classroom.
- Our staff members have told us the one thing they need is TIME. They lose what little time they have when they are asked to cover their colleagues' classrooms. This adds stress in a time when recruiting and retaining teachers is top of mind for every district, including ours. It is always important to listen to the needs of our teachers and staff members, but it is especially important now.
- Without additional teachers, classes could be required to be combined to unacceptable levels or not offered at all.
- In the event teachers cannot cover an unsupervised class, school administrators are called on to step in, removing them from high-level planning, discipline, and operational duties.
- In extreme shortages, some school districts have had to close school for a period of time and reinstate virtual/online learning.
This is all happening in school environments where kids are stressed and haven’t yet re-acclimated themselves back to school. Our mission at Willard Public Schools is to grow our student leaders to become life-ready graduates. Our students are our future, and they deserve to learn in the best environment we can provide.
We are calling on our community, alumni, retired teachers, and families to help us fill these positions and continue the level of excellence our district has always provided.
If you are interested in subbing for our district, you must apply through Penmac Education Services or call 417-986-7400.