TN schools seek to hire substitute teachers amid staffing shortage
TN schools seek to hire substitute teachers amid staffing shortage

TN schools seek to hire substitute teachers amid staffing shortage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – School districts across the state continue to battle staffing shortages by encouraging the hiring of teachers, bus drivers and maintenance workers, but they also need more replacements.

Finding that alternative can also be a challenge.

Substitute teachers are used in the classroom when teachers need leave for illness, bereavement, parental leave or other reasons. They can be retired teachers, young professionals or even high school graduates, as long as they pass a background check and follow specific guidelines for the specific employment district.

Metro Nashville Public Schools employs many substitutes, including permanent substitutes and substitute support positions. According to MNPS Chief Communications Officer Sean Braisted, the permanent replacement position allows a person to be a full-time employee at the school and able to fill in for a teacher if needed while also “being a part of the climate and culture.” school.”

Braisted said the district operates on a multi-substitute basis, meaning the district will always accept requests for substitutions. These sub-divisions fulfill an important role in supporting MNPS students and staff, providing instructional support to students in the classroom or filling in the cafeteria or library as extra hands.

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Substitute teacher salaries in Metro Nashville range from $100 to $145 per day depending on the role and qualifications of the individual.

Substitute assistants with a high school diploma or equivalent can earn $100 per day, including a $15 daily incentive for working 7.5 hours.

Substitute teachers start at $120 per 7.5-hour day for those with at least a high school diploma or equivalent, $130 per day for someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher but not a teaching certificate and $145 per day for someone with a valid Tennessee teaching license. ah. . All prices also include an incentive wage amount for a full day’s work.

Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools like to have around 500 people ready to serve as substitutes if the need arises, according to CMCSS Chief of Communications Anthony Johnson.

Currently, however, Johnson said the district only has about 250 substitutes for about 2,600 teachers. That number is more than the district had for the 2021-2022 school year, he added.

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The number of subs in Clarksville has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson told News 2.

“The spread appears to have had a significant impact on transfer recruitment and retention,” he said. “In 2019-2020, CMCSS had approximately 425 active exchanges. By 2021-2021, that pool has dropped nearly 50% to 216, and the district has not yet returned to its pre-epidemic replacement pool.”

Shift wages in Clarksville start at $12 an hour for someone with a high school diploma or equivalent or a college degree. An individual with a STEDI conversion certificate or expired teaching certificate can make $12.50 an hour, a current teaching certificate holder or a retired Tennessee teacher can make $16.50 an hour.

That rate is also subject to change, according to Johnson, as the district is constantly evaluating its compensation to retain and hire employees.

Smaller school districts are also experiencing a drop in substitute recruitment following the onset of the pandemic. Tullahoma City Schools in Coffee County told News 2 they saw the number of grants available decrease from 2020 to 2021.

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“Like any school district in Tennessee, finding substitute teachers is a challenge,” the district said in a statement. “During the 2019-2020 school year, prior to COVID-19, TCS had 49 substitute teachers; during the 2020-2021 school year, that number drops to 27 teachers.”

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Currently, the district has 30 already approved substitute teachers and 11 new ones.

Over the past year, Tullahoma has made a concerted effort to hire more subs, including raising the subs pay rate in December 2021. Substitutes without a degree will earn $75 per day; certificate, $90; and retired teachers $115 for their replacement jobs in Tullahoma.

Like Clarksville and Nashville, Tullahoma is still working on its replacement. To apply for a teaching position, visit your school district’s website and ask about the requirements.

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