BACK TO SCHOOL

Districts seek substitute teachers amidst shortages

Aug 16, 2022, 10:20 AM | Updated: 1:43 pm

As hundreds of thousands of students head back to the classroom this week, school districts are asking their communities to help fill the expected gaps in the classrooms this year by becoming substitute teachers.

“I’m learning kind of all sides of what a teacher is and what they have to deal with,” Austin Lukens said.

Heading into the 2022-2023 school year there’s no place Lukens would rather be than inside a classroom. He started substituting in 2019 and liked it so much he decided to go back to school himself to pursue becoming a licensed teacher.

And his timing couldn’t have been better.

“For me, it’s just good practice,” Lukens said.

School districts have always relied on substitute teachers in the community but that need only became more desperate during the pandemic. At the height of COVID-19  and quarantines, Jordan School District, for example, said they needed about 300 substitute teachers every school day.

“[Students] are at school to learn. And they deserve that opportunity to learn the content in the classroom,” said principal Bryan Veazie.

“Without a teacher in the classroom, that becomes very difficult.”

Principal Veazie is entering his fifth year as principal of Copper Hills High School in the Jordan School District. He remembers just last year the struggle to cover classes with teachers out sick and quarantining.

Administration staff and hall monitors stepped in to help. Teachers filled in during their prep periods. And sometimes they combined classes to make sure they were taken care of with an adult in the room.

Veazie anticipates a sub shortage this new school year and he encouraged people in the community to “come and try it.”

“Substitute teachers are critical and they’re essential,” Veazie said. “And they’re a very valuable and important part of ensuring the consistency and quality of student learning.”

Jordan School District anticipates needing up to 230 substitute teachers per day this school year.

Lukens plans to be in the classroom, taking advantage of the control he has over his work schedule as a substitute as he works to get his license to be in the classroom full-time.

“I find it so gratifying to be a mentor for these students,” Lukens said.

“For me teaching is—I’m going to die with a marker in my hand. That’s where I’m at.”

Jordan School District says they need to hire at least 50 or more substitute teachers for their sub pool. The pay is $129 per day for entry level positions—or those with an associate’s degree—and $168 per day for licensed teachers.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Back to School

A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
13 days ago
...
Deanie Wimmer

Chronic Absenteeism leads to rise in F grades in most of Utah’s largest school districts

Schools all over Utah are dealing with the problem of chronic absenteeism. Educators are seeing thousands of absences, and as a result, failing grades.
14 days ago
Box Elder High School (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

In excessive heat, some districts without A/C move to half days to spare students

With record-breaking, three-digit temperatures and older schools without air conditioning, two districts and one additional high school have announced changes to a half-day schedule to accommodate students.
25 days ago
...
Shara Park

Taylorsville High Wellness Center sees more students in need of basic items

Taylorsville High created a wellness center to give kids a break, however over the course of the year staff saw an increasing need for basic supplies like food, clothing, and hygiene products.
26 days ago
A teacher starts to reset up her classrooms at Freedom Preparatory Academy as they begin to prepare...
COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer

Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show

A new national study finds math and reading scores for America's 9-year-old students fell sharply during the pandemic, underscoring the impact of two years of learning disruptions.
26 days ago
...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Tooele High releases students after broken AC causes uncomfortable class temps

The Tooele County School District was forced to release all students at Tooele High School Wednesday, after a broken air conditioning system led to classroom temperatures too high to work in.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Districts seek substitute teachers amidst shortages