Substitute Teacher Shortage Impacts Everyone

There is currently a substitute shortage at the high school. Kim Boxleiter is one of the few substitute teachers in the building. Photo courtesy Kaylie Redhead.

Students and teachers are encountering the substitute teacher shortage again this school year.

The shortage of substitute teachers has caused a strain on the education system for the past few years. Language arts teacher Austin Kinsey believes the shortage has gotten better throughout this school year; but classroom teachers are still being affected by this shortage. 

When the school does not have a substitute teacher, classroom teachers are pulled to fill in during their planning period. Kinsey is one of the many teachers experiencing this.

“My planning period is during first period every other day, so if I need to cover for someone, it can start my day off in a weird spot. I usually use my plan to get ready for the day or grade student work; not getting a chance to do this can throw off my morning a bit,” said Kinsey.

Being a substitute teacher can be a stressful job, not knowing what classroom you are teaching each day, and the difficulties of working with students can add to the stress substitutes experience.

“It can be really difficult working with students, especially in classes where the substitute teacher may not have a lot of content knowledge,” said Kinsey.

Junior Brooke Goodrich, believes disrespectful students could be a reason for the sub shortage. Goodrich believes students should remind one another that substitutes are doing their best and that being respectful is important. 

“Students should be nicer to them because it’s a very important and stressful job,” said Goodrich.

Kinsey believes the shortage is due to a combination of issues and has some advice for students on how they could make substitute jobs less stressful. 

“Most times, substitutes just need students who are kind and helpful-each teacher runs their class a little differently, so honesty about some of the procedures and ‘rules’ of the room can help the substitute a whole lot,” said Kinsey.