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Substitute teacher shortage possible amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:32 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 01:05:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — She wants to remain anonymous over fears she wouldn't get another substitute-teaching job if her identity were revealed, but the woman we'll call "Jane" thinks the Corpus Christi Independent School District could be in for a sub shortage this school year.

“In my experience, throughout the 10 years that I’ve been subbing, there has always been a shortage of substitutes,” Jane said.

COVID-19 concerns could make this school year worse than others.

Jane, for one, isn't interested in virtual teaching — leading online classes for at least the first few weeks of the school year.

“I don’t see how (the school district is) going to be able to get all the subs trained in those (computer) programs in order to do the subbing for the teachers that are doing virtual instruction,” she said.

The prospect of returning to the classroom amid the novel coronavirus pandemic also gives her pause.

“I don’t want to be responsible for anyone getting sick or for myself getting sick (and) bringing it home to my elderly parents or my own children,” she said.

Jane is almost certainly not alone in her concerns among substitute teachers, but CCISD is confident they'll be able to hire enough of them.

"This year we will continue to try to actively recruit substitutes throughout the year to be able to meet those needs on an ongoing basis,” CCISD Executive Director of Human Resources Debbie Nunez said.

Adding to her confidence is an unexpected addition to the job applicant pool.

"With a lot of employers in the area that have had layoffs or furloughs, we’re actually seeing a lot of people who are interested in substituting," Nunez said.

CCISD will need those people to take substitute-teacher positions if more subs like Jane decide to sit this school year out.

“Right now (teaching is) not something that I want to do,” she said.

To apply for open CCISD positions click here.