Sub Shortage

Teachers lose prep period due to lacking substitute support

November 17, 2022

The school is currently lacking in substitute teachers. When COVID-19 hit, the school lost a lot of subs because classes were online and there was no work for them. Since then, it has been a struggle for the district to attract and hire people for the job.

“Our district has taken some strong measures in terms of raising pay, offering training and support for our substitutes,” principal Nicholas Richter said. “It’s really one of those things where we’re just not attracting enough people to want to do that.” 

The substitute shortage isn’t just at Roseville High School, it is happening throughout the state and the nation.

“It’s something we’re seeing statewide, actually nationwide with the fewer subs,” Richter said.

It’s very common that a class is in need of a sub and there are none available. If there are zero substitutes available for a class, other RHS teachers with prep period either step up or are assigned to sub for that class. Teachers usually end up subbing once or twice a week.

“We work with our current staff, and staff who have prep period, and then we would ask for volunteers, we use whatever resources we have and at some point we might have to assign subbing coverage,” Richter said.

Occasionally, a teacher getting called to sub will impact the teacher’s ability to prepare their class for the next period, impacting the lesson for the next class. However, the teachers usually get a heads up the day before they will be subbing. It allows the teachers to meet new students and connect with the school’s community.

“If I know that I’m going to be subbing, then I just stay later the day before and get everything ready. It’s those days when you come in and you get the phone call and it’s like, ‘Hey we need somebody,’ that does kind of impact us a little bit on getting everything ready,” Curt Hobbs said. “Roseville kids are great and going into the classes gives me an opportunity to meet other kids.”

There is no known date as to when Roseville will be out of the shortage at this time. Now, it is up to anyone looking for a job as a substitute teacher to fill the gaps in the shortage.

“I don’t know if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I think we need to look at some innovative strategies to start attracting more people to come and do that, and until we get there I don’t think there’s going to be much of a change,” Richter said.

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