Schools are in desperate need of substitute teachers.

Public schools need a list of qualified people to call on when the teacher is out.  They would prefer quality well trained substitute teachers if they had the choice, but some states simply need substitute teachers!   The phrase “substitute teacher shortage” is heard quite often nowadays.

Here is a look into why the teacher decline could be happening.

The Pay Off.  Is it worth it?  Substitute teaching is like stepping into someone else’s shoes for the day and learning their routine along the way.  On this day the sub must learn how to teach and at the same time manage the class.  There will possibly be communication with parents, special education teachers or other staff that needs you to promptly address a matter.  The substitute teacher might stay with this class for a while or change classrooms to learn a new set of rules and students.  This is an exhausting yet rewarding task.

The pay does not measure up to the time and effort put in.  This job takes training and a person with a flexible schedule.  Some people are not finding the complexity of this job worth it.  A substitute teaching job takes perseverance!  Substitutes need to be focused on the students and the task at hand for this occupation to be worth it!

No benefits.  No insurance.  Substitute teaching is a job with little security, but much flexibility.  Substitute teachers might attend a teacher’s doughnut breakfast or a special snack celebration, but that will be the extent of their extra benefits.  Substitute teachers do not receive any type of insurance or benefits.

The economy has picked up.  During the lull of the economy, highly qualified degreed individuals took to subbing positions in order to supplement their income.  As the economy picked up it allowed many part time substitutes to return to a full time job for a consistent salary.  Many states have not recovered from that sudden pull out.

What we need to realize is substitute teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs in education today.

happy teacher with student

Joy of teaching.  There is nothing more rewarding in this job than seeing a student “get it!”  As a substitute teacher you are able to teach and have class discussions about the subject.  There will be those moments when a child looks at you and completely understands where you are coming from.  Maybe you described the information in a different way than their regular teacher or maybe they were listening this time.  Regardless of the reason you helped make a connection which made a difference in a student’s life.

Joy of children.  A lot of people become substitutes simply for the love of children.  Adults might have a gift connecting with teenagers, preschoolers or special needs children.  The ability should not be wasted!

Mentoring.  This is a society where everyone seems to be in a hurry to do what needs to be done to get ahead.  Substitute teaching is an opportunity for an individual to give of themselves and make a human connection.  Children need adult mentors and role models in their lives.  Sometimes a substitute that frequents your school is an ideal mentor for a longing student.

Experience.  Are you thinking about being a teacher?  This is a wonderful way to test the waters before making that big investment.  There have been many teachers to substitute in many different grades to narrow down the age group they would like to teach in the future. Plus, subbing allows you to learn and experience all the ins and outs of a school.

Doing it for your children.  A parent that would like to be a little more involved in their child’s school might like the idea of becoming a substitute.  There are many benefits to subbing at your child’s school.  You are able to get to know more of the faculty.  You are able to come to school with your child.   It is much easier to communicate with your child’s teacher if you are working together.  Plus, it is easier to understand and appreciate what your child does throughout the day if you are able to experience it.

There is a shortage of qualified substitute teachers in many states across the country and we can do something about it.  Contact an educational placement agency like Teachers ‘R Us to seek training and employment as a substitute teacher.  Administrators, teachers and parents need dedicated individuals to be there for the next absent teacher.  Students should never miss a moment of learning because of any substitute teacher shortage.