Local school districts say substitute teachers are desperately needed

Still needing substitutes
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - As flu season begins, school districts in our area said there’s a growing need for substitute teachers.

School leaders said it’s getting harder to find qualified people who can step in when a teacher needs time off.

School leaders in Bessemer and Fairfield said COVID did a number on staffing including substitute teachers.

They said most of the teaching positions are filled now, but the need for subs remains.

“Yes, there continues to be a need for subs in the school district in all areas.”

Superintendent of Bessemer City Schools Dr. Autumm Jeter said the school district is just now recovering from staffing shortages caused by COVID, but there are still days when subs are desperately needed.

“There are many days where we are still in need of subs to cover classes and we can’t secure one and the teacher or employee will still be absent because they are still due those days, so we have to come up with alternative plans to cover those classes,” Dr. Jeter explained.

The same is true with Fairfield City Schools.

“After COVID came the pool seemed to lessen. So, now that we’re on the other side and things have seemed to settle down, we’re still experiencing that same shortage,” said Director of Human Resources for Fairfield City Schools, Zenobia Odoms.

Which is why both school districts are asking more people to consider becoming a substitute teacher.

They said subs can carry out lessons teachers leave behind, so students don’t miss any instruction.

“The past couple of years it was all about the pandemic. This year, it’s the cold and flu season. We’re no longer in masks. Those aren’t required. So, we know we’re going to see an uptick of cold, flu, strep throat, everything else in place,” Dr. Jeter said.

Many schools in our area have increased the pay for subs to encourage more people to apply.

Fairfield City pays $10.50 an hour, and Bessemer City pays $100 a day.

Both school districts said subs are also needed outside of the classroom.

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