Districts prep for upcoming school year by filling open teaching positions

Some districts struggling to find substitute teachers
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 4:40 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This school year, Moody High School will be fully staffed on the first day of classes.

“I’ve not been this blessed in the past. This is the first year as principal I’ve not started the year with a sub or somebody that we’re trying to fill a position,” said Principal Christopher Walters.

Walters said having a full staff provides students with consistency from the start of the year.

But when teachers need to take a day off, Walters said up until last year, getting substitutes posed challenges. St. Clair County schools raised sub pay and had a permanent sub in the building.

“A lot of it is your willingness of staff. A lot of the issues we did have with COVID, me, my assistant principal were constantly in classrooms and teachers stepping up for other teachers,” said Walters.

Richard Franklin is the President of the Birmingham American Federation of Teachers. He said teaching now is different than before the pandemic.

The teacher shortage has been an issue most of the time Franklin has served as president. Many find themselves burnt out by year five of teaching.

“One of the things I’ve suggested to the districts that I represent, I’ve asked them to at the end of the year, to renew a lot of your nontenure teachers because they are highly qualified,” said Franklin.

William Tunnell is the Northern Region Manager for the Alabama Education Association. He said it could take until September for most positions to be filled.

He said the legislature, governor’s task force, and AEA has been working to make Alabama a more attractive workplace for aspiring teachers. He encourages districts to show their appreciation to teachers to help with retention.

“Show your support, show your appreciation for these educators, you and old. We have a lot of educators across our state that change districts mid-career,” said Tunnell.

For job openings across the state, click here.

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