Decatur City Schools is in dire need of substitute teachers. In fact, there was a recruiting event at the Board of Education on Wednesday to try and help fix the problem.
WAAY 31 went to that event where we learned just how serious the shortage is.
“On average, right now, per day, ten percent of the staff could be out, and we’ve got to make sure those are filled," said Jes Amacher.
Amacher works for the company "Spur,” which hires substitute teachers for Decatur City Schools, and, right now, she says they need them more than ever.
“With it being cold and flu season right now, there’s a mass need for substitute teachers," she said.
The company’s goal is to hire at least 80 subsitutes. Spur said the shortage is most likely due to competing school districts, but they recently increased the pay for substitute teachers by 10% to hopefully persuade people to apply.
“The more the merrier," said Amacher.
If you’re wondering what they’re looking for, Amacher says it's simple.
"Someone who can work with kids as well as can handle the day-to-day that you would deal with in a school," she said.
The recruiting event started at 8:30 Wednesday morning, and by 1:30, only about eight people showed up, which is why Amacher says it’s important they get the word out and have more people apply.
"The kids need it," she said. "And if you think about a teacher who has a sick child at home, and they can’t make it in that day, who’s going to be there for the kids that are able to make it to school that day? We can’t have empty classrooms.”
If you missed out on the hiring event, don’t worry—you can still apply for a position. If you have a smart phone, all you have to do is go to your phone’s app store and download the “Spur” app. The company says the app will take you through an easy step-by-step application process, and you can be done in only fifteen minutes.
If you apply for a substitute teaching position, you will need to have a background check by the Alabama State Department of Education. That costs around $50.