The Student News Site of Parkway North High School

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The Student News Site of Parkway North High School

Norsestar

The Student News Site of Parkway North High School

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North deals with sub shortage

Jacquelyn+Naylor+prepares+to+teach+an+English+class.+Naylor+became+a+long+term+substitute+for+Parkway+North+after+a+teacher+left+the+field.+
Jacquelyn Naylor prepares to teach an English class. Naylor became a long term substitute for Parkway North after a teacher left the field.

Substitute teachers are becoming more relevant in North High as teacher absenteeism is higher than in previous years. It is not uncommon to see your favorite teacher missing or walk into class to find an unknown face in your classroom while you wonder what happened to the original teacher. 

There’s been a lot of sicknesses and other things going around…It’s been a bit confusing trying to get to know the teacher before they move on,” sophomore Tanner Huelsmann said. “I hope that we have more permanent teachers versus trying to keep finding subs all the time.”

With absenteeism being higher, subs are more in demand, but they seem to be harder to find. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, leaders at 61 percent of schools reported that it is “much more difficult” now to find substitute teachers than before the pandemic. This is true for Parkway North as well. 

“Fridays and Mondays are really tough for whatever reason,” school administrative assistant Danielle Dixon said. “Usually, we have maybe an average of two a day, but it could be upwards of sometimes…15-17 subs at one time.”

Substitute teachers come from Kelly Services when teachers cannot be present in their classroom. Usually, it’s for reasons such as personal days, sick/family sick leave, school workshops and meetings, or field trips. 

Kelly Services is a sub-agency; so basically Parkway partners with them,” assistant principal Mike Rizzo said. “When we need a sub, we will reach out to Kelly Services and they’ll supply a sub for the district.” 

Having a substitute teacher in a classroom is not always a bad thing; however, when a teacher is absent a lot or for a long time and subs can’t be found, it is difficult for the students. This is due to the workload of the basic schedule snowballing further and further the more a teacher is gone. 

“Not having a teacher just kind of feels like you don’t have a sense of community in the classroom,” Huelsmann said.

As more subs are needed and fewer subs are available, the quality of who takes over a classroom varies. Parkway tries to find and retain quality subs for their students.

When we have subs, sometimes getting enough people to come to North because there’s such a shortage of educators out there for teachers/subs, is a problem,” Rizzo said. “Usually, if there’s a sub we get and we recommend them for the next time we need them to serve, and if it’s somebody that’s not a good fit for North, we let Kelly Services know,”

Teacher and sub shortages are nationwide and ongoing as there are fewer and fewer people going into the field, but legislators are trying to increase the number of teachers and subs available by increasing teacher pay and addressing issues in schools. 

“The way I see it, there’s always going to be some teachers who are probably going to be gone,”  sophomore Prakar Singh said. “Whether they stay or not, it will boil down to the outside circumstances.”

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My name is Julian Williams. I am a sophomore, and I am on the Norsestar team for the first time this year.

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