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Two-Day Program Trains ‘Guest Teachers’ to Fill Need for Dwindling Substitute Teachers

Two-Day Program Trains ‘Guest Teachers’ to Fill Need for Dwindling Substitute Teachers

Administrators across Pennsylvania dread teacher absences because they simply don’t have the human resources to accommodate for them.

Fewer and fewer individuals are finding the idea of substitute teaching attractive as daily pay in the state can be as low as $75 and not much higher than $100.

As a result, districts have had to get creative when it comes to finding “warm bodies” to oversee students when their teacher can’t be there.

This includes grouping classes into the school gym to be taught by a single teacher as well as reducing the qualifications substitutes must have, both obviously not ideal learning situations for children.

"Pennsylvania's current requirement that substitutes have bachelor's degrees is stricter than most states. New Jersey, which has not reported sub shortages, demands only 60 credits. Virginia requires just a high school diploma,” said says districts in Pennsylvania are starting to capitalize on the fact that any individual with a Bachelor’a degree can sub-in a classroom.

After being able to fill just 60 percent of teacher absences this year, the Delaware County district’s Intermediate Unit will train “guests teachers” for two-days in order to work in “sub-starved classrooms” soon enough.

Substitute teaching has different requirements and stipulations depending on the state, but in general most states are facing a shortage with the National Education Association saying that low pay is the number one thing to blame.

In South Carolina, for example, subs can earn as little as $30 for 7.5 hours of work.

Substitute teaching is just one of the many important jobs in education that does not receive competitive pay. Earlier this month, a report revealed that early education workers barely make enough to get by while earning an average salary of $23,000.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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