Tennessee Valley school districts urging people to become subs

North Alabama schools in high demand for subs
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 10:16 PM CST

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -Substitute teachers: they are incredibly high in demand and there doesn’t seem to ever be enough of them.

Many educators say they are the difference between staying in school or going back to remote learning.

“We need you. Or school system and our children need substitute teachers to help cover for our teachers who are out, to maintain the importance of in person learning,” Greg Hulsey said.

Hulsey, a board of education member for Madison City Schools says he raised his hand to cover a class last week at Heritage Elementary School, something he hadn’t done before.

“Our staff will put you in a great position to succeed. The teacher provided me with a detailed lesson plan that I was able to follow,” he said.

Hulsey says students at Madison City Schools are learning with substitutes.

“There’s a misconception in our community now that kind of bothers me that feels like, if you have a substitute in class, it’s just a baby sitting assignment and that is not the truth. My day there we did vocabulary, we did reading, we did math, we did social studies, the Spanish teacher came in at the end of the day. It was a full day of learning. We weren’t just sitting and watching movies and doing busy work,” he explained.

Several districts have bumped up the pay to help meet the demand.

Madison City Schools is paying people $75 a day, as is Madison County Schools. Athens City Schools rate is $60 or $70 with a four year degree. Morgan County is also paying 70 dollars.

Cullman County Schools and Huntsville City Schools have the highest rates we have found at $125 and $140 a day respectively.

Craig Williams, a spokesman for Huntsville City says nearly doubling the pay has helped bring in more subs, but they still need more.

“Whenever you don’t have the adequate number of not only teachers in the building, but also substitute teachers, who are able to sub as well, that does lead us to have to make adjustments to the plan which is a big reason we went into remote learning this past week,” Williams said.

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