There’s No Substitute for a Good Substitute Teacher

Frederick M. Hampton, Selena Lane


The onslaught of COVID 19 forced the closures of schools, but upon their gradual reopening the need for high quality substitute school teachers was at an all-time high. Although many school districts were in need well before the pandemic struck, this disease illuminated the fact that substitute teachers across the nation were in short supply. In an economic environment where other jobs may offer higher pay, more benefits, less stress, and more professional respect, the ranks of quality substitute teachers has continued to dwindle. 

Competent and capable substitute teachers provide a reliable bridge for student learning when university trained and state licensed teachers are temporarily unavailable. This paper discusses specific causes of the substitute shortage, how varying school districts are impacted by the problem, and offers specific guidance regarding how to make significant improvements in both the short and long-term supply through better identification, recruitment, and ongoing support of substitute teachers.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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