Local schools having a hard time finding substitute teachers
A nationwide teacher shortage is hitting Illinois hard for both full-time teachers and substitutes.
Local schools said the winter season makes the situation even worse
"All of the school's in the area are fighting for the same pool of (substitute) candidates," explained Superintendent Dustin Day with the Waverly School District.
On Wednesday, the small school district of Waverly had three teachers call out for the week.
When the school looked for substitutes to fill those positions, that's when the problems started.
The school district could only find subs for one day.
“We'll have to fill from within," said Day.
Filling within means educators have to teach during their planning period.
"Our teachers are very considerate of giving that up in order to watch the class if we can't find a sub," said Day.
Gidget Freeberg, one sub filling in for the Waverly School District, said she feels the effects of the teacher shortage daily.
"There is a need here because I do get called pretty much every day or every other day," said Freeberg.
However, substitutes like Freeberg don't teach full time and sometimes they’re not available.
“Obviously they have plans. They want to do something or they're traveling. A lot of our teachers are retired so they don't want to work all of the time," said Day.
Not having substitute teachers isn't the only problem school districts like Waverly deal with at the end of the semester.
Students are gearing up for exams, so it's tough not having their usual teacher in the classroom.
“It's not the ideal situation for student learning or to prepare them,” said Day.
The Waverly School District said winter break is next week, so they're just working to get creative and find solutions until kids get out for break.
If you’re interested in becoming a substitute teacher you can follow this link: https://www.roe51.org/index.php/educator-licensure/substitute-licensure