by Katie Barton | staff writer

This year, our campus has had less substitute teachers available to cover classes. 

“Most of our substitutes tend to be retired teachers or a bit older than a regular teacher,” Assistant Principal Kristina Miranda said.

Since substitute teachers tend to be older, many have decided not to sub this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s just kind of a limited pool and I think many schools are are needing substitutes,” Miranda said. 

Johnson has one long term substitute who is on campus everyday to help fill in when teachers aren’t able to get a substitute.

“We do have a long-term substitute because of the COVID-19 situation that is assigned to Johnson everyday, so that person might be utilized,” Miranda said.

When there is no substitute available for a class, other teachers who are free during that period will also sometimes watch over a class. 

“If we absolutely did not have a substitute then the next step would be to go to a teacher on campus. So we might ask a teacher to volunteer that’s on conference,” Miranda said. “For example, or we might use an instructional dean this year.”

Even with the lack of substitutes available, teachers are sill able to take personal days or non-COVID related sick days. 

“Teachers are still able to take personal days if they you know need to, it’s just it may we have to be pretty savvy sometimes,” Miranda said. “It just depends on the day, you know with filling positions.”

Even with the changes in how many substitutes there are, for teachers the process of getting substitutes is still the same.

“So they would just enter their absence and that then would be assigned so that hasn’t really changed from years past,” Miranda said.     

For Substitute teacher Cherald Kocurek most of her jobs are pre-booked by teachers but many of the last minute calls she gets are because of teachers being quarantined.

“Most of my are pre-booked by the teacher. They know they’ve got a medical appointment or a child’s medical when I get the call,” Kocurek said. “A lot of last minute calls have to do with exposures.” 

Substitute teachers get called either late at night or early in the morning for their last minute jobs, so it can be hard for them to have to come in all of a sudden. 

“Usually they come the night before but when they come in the morning, it’s a little a bit of a struggle because get up get ready come in,” Kocurek said.

Though this is a new issue, teachers, substitutes, and administrators are trying to be sure that all classes have someone to watch over students.

“We definitely think outside the box this school year,” Miranda said. “But ultimately we’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure that the students have somebody in the classroom with them to help them with their lesson.”

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