Schools are obviously going to have lots of challenges during the next school year (see A teacher predicts what his classroom (and others) will look like in the fall).
An additional issue is going to be getting substitute teachers.
One challenge is going to be that – if we are teaching in a physical school – there will be far more teacher absences than there have been in the past. All of us teachers have gone in when we’re not feeling well, and that’s not going to be happening again until there’s a vaccine.
Secondly, getting subs in our district has gotten increasingly more difficult in recent years, and it’s going to get a lot harder. Many subs are retired teachers, and I suspect retirees are not going to want to put themselves in a potentially risky situation. I also wouldn’t be surprised if district’s put age limits on subs.
I’m assuming districts will be taking this issue into account when making plans for the fall, but who knows?
I don’t have a clue what the solution might be.
Of course, if districts only open, for example, elementary schools and keep secondary schools online, that would reduce the need for subs so it wouldn’t be less of a problem.
But, other than that, I just don’t see how you get around the problem.
Anyone have ideas?
In Florida, they’ve really lowered the pay for substitute teachers. In the late 1980s, I made $75 a day or nearly triple the minimum wage of the time. Today, substitutes make a whopping $80 a day or about 15% above the current minimum wage. Add potential health issues to the equation and there is a bigger problem.
You assume that most subs are retirees. This is not true. Many subs are younger, and substitute as a path towards full-time teaching. Others substitute because they enjoy the flexibility of the open schedule. The real challenge will be getting substitutes who are willing to risk their health for paltry wages. Where I live, substitutes earn between $75-95/day. It is not worth risking one’s health for $75-95/day. Where I live, it was already difficult finding people willing to substitute. The virus makes the situation even worse, and more dangerous.
With the severe budget cuts in education and jobs being slashed, it will be nearly impossible for brand new teachers to find their first job next year. They could be our solution to the sub shortage.
I am a substitute teacher in Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks). I will tell you for the $90 a day ($12.85/hour) it will be difficult to get new teachers to take these positions when we have Chewy.com, Tesla, Amazon, and so many others based here in our area who are paying the minimum of $17 an hour and benefits. I would think that new teachers would flock to those positions where there is safety in health and benefits; that is as soon as they open again.
I am a full-time student and part-time substitute as I am working towards my teaching degree which I hope will be complete in 2021. I am doing this in my retirement. But, I will not go back to substitute teaching with COVID-19 lurking about in the community. I was working 4 days a week and could have worked 5 before the schools closed. Unfortunately, I will not be going back to substitute teaching for $12.85 an hour without benefits of sick leave or health insurance. I will be looking elsewhere while I finish my last year of online school at GCU.
It really is a shame as I just love the students, but I cannot jeopardize my health at my age without health benefits. I already went through pneumonia when I was in school and had no health insurance. I think it’s sad that you have to have an associate’s degree and pass the CBEST and/or PRAXIS to be able to substitute teach. We spend a lot of money in order to make barely minimum wage without benefits.
I think this year if the schools reopen in the fall, there will be such a lack of substitute teachers, something will have to be done. We need a living wage and benefits.
I agree. But for sure there will be younger substitute teachers or other substitute teachers who feel comfortable going into different classes/schools every day to get paid when schools open back. If there is a shortage of substitute teachers, then they should increase the pay rate so that more people would WANT to go back to school as substitute teachers…increase the PAY RATE until the vaccine is ready for distribution. I am a full time substitute teacher in Texas and this is my full time job. I am certified but I love the flexibility of going to different schools and helping different kids on a daily/weekly basis. And as being a Certified Substitute Teacher, I get paid more per day 🙂 and if you train to be a Special Education Substitute Teacher, you get paid MORE per day! I love it better than being a full time certified teacher for one grade all year etc….don’t get me wrong…. I love all teachers who I substitute teach for, they are very hard working and devoted to their kids. But for me, I love inspiring and hopefully teaching class and life lessons to different kids throughout the year. I don’t mind the lesser pay we get than Certified Teachers get, because I like to live frugal and simple life 🙂
I plan to go back to full time substitute teaching, when the schools open back here in Texas at end of August.
Wow, in NJ all you have to have is 60 college credits to be a ST.
I’m NJ, depending on the district, ST make $100 per day.
By me it is $130 per day in NJ